Academy Award(R)-winner Jack Nicholson (1997 Best Actor, AS GOOD AS IT GETS) drives this suspenseful, critically acclaimed action thriller about one man's unquenchable thirst for revenge! For six agonizing years, Freddy Ga... more »le (Nicholson) has waited for John Booth (David Morse, THE NEGOTIATOR), the man jailed for a crime that destroyed Freddy's life. Now, Booth is out of prison and Freddy's giving him three days before he returns ... to even the score! Directed by Sean Penn and starring Academy Award(R)-winner Anjelica Huston (1985 Best Supporting Actress, PRIZZI'S HONOR) and sexy Robin Wright (MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE), THE CROSSING GUARD is an intense, emotionally charged thriller that delivers!« less
Deborah D. (pmdeborah) from YORK, PA Reviewed on 7/23/2010...
The acting from everyone was great. The plot was also wonderful. There were some parts that were a bit slow. A movie that makes you think about remorse and forgiveness.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Joseph Leydon | Texas | 09/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's too long, too unfocused and way too self-indulgent. But in the end, none of this matters. Sean Penn's second effort as a director-screenwriter is compelling and emotionally resonant ways that more conventionally well-made films never manage to be. Jack Nicholson gives one of his finest performances as Freddy Gale, a jewelry store owner whose daughter was killed by a drunken driver six years before the story begins. Since then, the devastated Freddy has remained alive only by nursing the hope that he will be able to kill John Booth (David Morse), the man who accidentally killed his daughter. But as the guilt-racked Booth is released from prison, it becomes very clear that perhaps neither man really wants to live much longer. Throughout "Crossing Guard," Penn has a tendency to sledgehammer his way through walls rather than simply opening doors. Even so, he always gets where he wants to go -- to that dark corner of our hearts where we can forgive no one, not even ourselves. Co-star Anjelica Huston has a couple of terrific scenes as Freddy's ex-wife, a woman with her own share of guilt, fear and loathing."
Tour de Force!
Curtis Grindahl | San Anselmo, California USA | 04/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I puzzle at those reviewers criticizing this film, which to my mind is a tour de force. Of course, I do volunteer work with dying folks and help train aspiring grief counselors to deal with the traumas that life all too often brings us. I can only assume that those who so quickly dismiss this powerful meditation on grief and remorse have yet to experience these real life emotions. Something by Schwarzenegger may be more to their taste, or one of the ubiquitous comic book recreations we encounter most summers with cardboard characters and pseudo emotions. Sean Penn is plumbing much deeper regions of the human psyche, and doing so with actors of rare talent, fully capable of sharing with us their heart rending vulnerabilities. Few actors have the courage to go to the places these actors visit as they face suffering almost too great to bear. I'm reminded of the more recent Mystic River that explores equally traumatizing events. It was heartening to watch the joy with which Sean Penn's Academy award for his performance in that Clint Eastwood film was greeted by his fellow professionals who have long acknowledged this young man's genius both in front of and behind the camera. The Crossing Guard deserves a wider audience and will surely reward the discerning viewer with a deeply felt movie experience. Check it out for yourself!"
Sean Penn and Nicholson make a great team
DSG | Franklin, Wisconsin | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Penn is amazing what what he put to script here Nicholson or Jack Nicholson is brilliant as his role the movie touches you , scares you, shocks you, keeps you guessing a little about what will happen at the end. but overall a truly moving movie. have it on dvd and it never let me down. it never has and never will. the crossing guard is truly a gem like Chinatown with Nicholson in it. I could watch this movie again and again and again. Nicholson really shines in this role for a movie. and the cast is innovative and picked out quite well :)"
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 09/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sean Penn, recently winning his first Oscar for MYSTIC RIVER, directed this film, and as an actor he is vastly aware of the importance of good performances. While the movie itself is a flawed film, one can hardly fault the performances. The movie is about going on with one's life, even when that seems the furthest thing in mind. Jack Nicholson in a very strong performance plays Freddy, a man who lost his seven year old daughter to a drunk driver. After this loss, his marriage to Mary (Anjelica Huston) has fallen apart, and she has remarried a stable and nice enough man (played with restraint by Robbie Robertson). Freddy has been living for one thing: revenge. Now that the driver, John Booth (David Morse) has been released from prison, Freddy wants to kill him. Booth, however, is a changed, desolate man as well, bearing the guilt of ruining not only Nicholson's life, but hurting his loving parents (Piper Laurie and Richard Bradford) as well. How these two face their demons is the crux of the plot. What makes it so good are the performances. Huston is magnificent; a scene between her and Nicholson in a restaurant late at night is devastating in how it switches from what starts out as sentimental and caring, but then turns despicably ugly. Although not on screen much, Ms. Huston asserts her power as an actress. Robin Wright Penn as the girlfriend of Booth has some powerful moments, although her "dancing" sequence is both absurd and unmeaningful. David Morse is brilliant as John Booth, an obviously gentle man who made that horrible mistake of drinking too much and driving. His guilt weighs heavy on his shoulders, and in the convoluted ending, he and Nicholson still make it potent. Not a happy film by any means, but a good exercise in cinematic performance."
Deeper than It looks!
Mark Ellis Iddon | england | 12/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched The crossing guard last night again for the 2nd time. It was 4:00am in the morning, and I had my ear phones plugged into the TV. What really hit home is the complexity that exists within this beautifully orchastrated film. The journeys each character takes, as people, dealing with their own inner feelings works in a way that I feel a lot of films don't do any more. I can't really critisise any acting in the film, although I do question Jacks ability to cry on celluloid! The end scene is a bit drawn out, and yet has a kind of zen about it. The soundtrack complements the film perfectly. And watch out for the opening sequence as Jack walks accross New York, I think the music complements him down to a Tee! Watch this film in a quiet room. But If you are feeling depressed, or somebody in the family just died, maybe watch Bambi... actually don't do that either! Watch Independence day, that always makes me laugh!"