The Pledge (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Nicholson plays the soon to retired police detective (Jerry Black) who becomes obsessed with solving a murder case, so much so he ends up devoting almost all his time even after retirement into finding the killer. You might think this is nothing exceptional story wise here..but hang on this isn't you run of the mill cop hunts murderer film.
Where the Pledge impresses is the slow but careful unwinding of the story, solid direction from Penn., and a story that is far from predictable or contrived. Quite the reverse the Pledge diverts from the usual well worn path most films of this type walk down, into an unusually fresh story that has quite a sad but strong conclusion. (the start of the film hints at the ending)
A very solid supporting cast including Patricia Clarkson, Tom Noonan, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, even Mickey Rourke and Harry Dean Stanton are in there. Nicholson really gets into the skin of Det. Jerry Black his interest in the case becomes almost an obsession as he hunts for clues and the killer, even to the point where it impacts (destroys) his personal life. To some the ending might lack the usual tidying up some films attempt (I think this would have been a real let down for an ending), but here I think it has a lot more impact for the viewer and makes you think about the film in more depth.
Excellent story, solid plot and directing, great cast and a film well worth investigating
If you like suspense, mystery with an interesting plot the Pledge should be high up your watch list
OK. As the film moves forward, it becomes more and more unbelievable. And at its end, the viewer cannot be sure whether the main character has gone insane or is simply very, very drunk. This great drunkenness, by the way, has never before been revealed in the film. Nicholson's character has been sober throughout. We are informed of this problem by another character near the film's ending.
While truth stretches truth, one only hopes that these wonderful performers will better themselves with more honest, quality scripts in future. The movie is worth it for the performances, I suppose. But five thumbs down on the story!
What would lead Jerry Black to do such a monstrous thing as bait a trap with a child he loves? Obsession, maybe. Madness impending. Desperation to stop a monster in its tracks? Whatever: It's killin me.
I have small children. Since starting my family I have steered pretty clear of movies involving child-centered violence or violation, but the lure of Penn and Nicholson got the better of me. I sat folding laundry as I watched this movie late at night, and I wept copiously through at least three scenes (thanks, Vanessa Redgrave and Patricia Clarkson). I could not stop. The premise is monstrous and the actors absolutely and precisely execute grief and pain.
The ending is elliptical, but that's the point. This movie is very good. It'll gnaw at you.
Most recent customer reviews
sean penn's 2nd best movie as a director, his first was the crossing guard my opinion, awesome movies both of em... very good director, only getting better..Published on Jan. 28 2013 by Jason Heidman
A study into the depths of madness. Jack Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime as an obsessed cop who will do anything to catch the killer. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by DEC
This is an unsatisfying, uncomfortable movie. Without giving away the plot, it involves a retired police officer who has made a promise to find a child-murderer. Read morePublished on March 29 2004 by Kirk McElhearn