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The Pledge
The Pledge
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson, Beau Daniels, Dale Dickey
Director: Sean Penn
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2001     2hr 4min


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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson, Beau Daniels, Dale Dickey
Director: Sean Penn
Creators: Andrew Stevens, Brian W. Cook, Don Carmody, Elie Samaha, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Jerzy Kromolowski, Mary Olson-Kromolowski
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/19/2001
Original Release Date: 01/19/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/19/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Dorothy M. from FEDERAL WAY, WA
Reviewed on 7/25/2018...
I am not usually a Jack Nicholson fan, but he did a great job with this role. The storyline is believable and the acting is Oscar-worthy. The ending is not the usual American happily every after. Sean Penn is a superb director.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 11/12/2012...
Enough has already been said regarding Nicholson's performance and amazing talent that I don't feel it needed to copy them but this is one special film that deserves to be praised and watched by all who appreciate the gift of love and of having someone as special and caring as Jack Nicholson's character is in this movie! Benicio Del Toro's character is amazingly frightening and obviously innocent (at least of this crime) from the start but just another victim in a society that has become increasingly violent! I would have liked to see more of Mickey Roarke and Harry Dean Stanton but overall it is a moving and very memorable movie!
Jimmie D. (Starbuck) from FORT WORTH, TX
Reviewed on 8/11/2010...
This is a brilliant and stunning movie that put Sean Penn in the big leagues of directors. His pal Jack Nicholson delivers one of his best performances. Just check out the cast -- major league at every position. Revealing is the presence of Benicio Del Toro in a role that probably lasts no more than 10 minutes. But it is a crucial role, and he also delivers the goods. Robin Wright-Penn has seldom been better. Don't go here for your usual thriller with lots of fireworks and neat plots that get tied up in bows. This is for people who prefer to think and to feel -- why Nicholson's character has to risk even the life of child of the woman he loves and that woman's love for a pledge he can not break.
Tim D. (tim) from HUNTINGTON, MA
Reviewed on 9/23/2009...
i was into this movie all the way through but the was very anti climactic i mean cmon a car accident stops the movie it its path and pretty much stopped my interest in the movie as well. i really wanted something to happen other than a car accident. we never found out what he looks like or who he was or what jack wouldve done to him or he wouldve done to the girl he just gets in a car accident they might as well of had him sprain his ankle in a basketball game and not be able to make it to his appointment.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Not for dolts
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone expecting to find a formulaic cops-chase-killers movie should immediately move on to the latest Hollywood idiot fodder flick. "The Pledge" is intelligent, thought-provoking, well-directed, well-acted, and a feast for the senses.
I know many people who felt let down by this film, possibly because they expected the usual chase and hero's triumph at the end, which does not happen here. I found myself to be curious and somehow astonished by the end, and anxious to see it again.
Jack Nicholson gives one of his best latter-day performances here, and touches on areas which are not normally "Jack". By the end of the film, he is stunned and totally confused; knowing he was somehow right, though strange twists of fate conspire against him. It's almost Hitchcock territory; the man wrongly accused, or the man who knows all the facts, and yet no one believes him.
Sean Penn is no clown director; he's not making mass-market cheap thrill flicks here. He lets the story develop with a total absence of Hollywood cliches and setups. By the end, though most people will feel somehow cheated out of a visceral release, I feel viewers with an open mind who don't expect their movies to be served up like fast-food will be quite pleased. It's one of those movies you can talk about all night long."
Stunning Thriller With Nicholson At His Best!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 06/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There is much to recommend in this complex and deeply layered psychological thriller featuring Jack Nicholson in what seems to have evolved into a continuing exploration into the dark side of human nature in his roles over the last decade. This is a gorgeously photographed and quite penetrating drama which on one level involves Nicholson as a dogged, troubled, and obsessed retired detective convinced the actual killer of his last gruesome juvenile homocide case is still at large, while on another level it is a stunning and all-too graphic portrait of what such single-minded concentration can do to a fragile and vulnerable personality. While it is not a movie I would recommend to the faint of heart, it is an absorbing exploration into this character's heart of darkness and the perils associated with such risky adventures.The movie is set supposedly in Reno and the surrounding Sierras, and the natural scenery that provides the stage for this drama is simply breath taking, and is worth the viewing experience for this experience alone. I was, however, disappointed to discover by viewing the end credits that the movie was largely shot in western Canada. Wherever it was filmed, the scenery provides a curious backdrop to the ugliness and sordidness of human beings, and how their own experiences and personalities blind them to the beauty in others around them. Each has been branded by the character and limitations of his or her own reservoir of emotional experiences, and each is consequently sent spinning toward a seemingly irrevocable tendency to make snap conclusions about complex realities as a result. Thus Nicholson is caught in the dilemma of not only his own troubles, but in the easy answers others have in attributin ghis actions and behavior to other motives and problems. Thus Robin Wright Penn, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Vanessa Redgrave, Harry Dean Stanton and a number of notable others blithely (and sometimes painfully) slip past the rather remarkable qualities in Nicholson's character as well as in Wright Penn's memorable turn as a woman with battered background and a beautiful little girl who lights up the screen and who also just happens to exactly fit Nicholson's bogeyman serial killer's profile. Thus, his motives for the subsequent involvement are confused at best, yet he seems to genuinely care for the new family he adopts along the way. With this, the stage is set for potential tragedy, and while I found the conclusion emotionally and dramatically unpleasing, it was admittedly indeed in the scope of the characters and circumstance to have it so ended. I recommend this, but also caution against letting one's impressionable children watch this. Like "Silence Of The Lambs" or "Seven", this is hardly juvenile entertainment. Enjoy!"
Powerful and Thoughtful.......
Stewart Axelrad | San Antonio, Texas United States | 06/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First, let me say that I consider Jack Nicholson to be one of most underrated actors of his generation. His performance in "The Pledge" is nothing short of remarkable, not so much in the way his speaks the dialogue, but in those moments when he has none, and reveals the mind of a deeply tormented man. Other reviews have discussed the plot, so I'll dispense with that, other than to say that this is a movie about redemption and a lost cause. The pledge referred to in the title is one that Nicholson cannot assuredly keep, and thus forfeits his "soul's salvation". The Nicholson character is basically a lonely, desperate man, who hangs his hopes on catching a serial killer, and by a twist of fate, fails in his mission. The supporting cast is excellent, Benecio Del Toro, Robin Wright Penn and even Vanessa Redgrave (one of the best performances in the film, although a brief one-scene cameo). Sean Penn's direction is superb, with the intercutting of nature scenes with the main plot (watch for the symbolic flock of birds throughout the film). This is not a film for those who desire neat, tied-up endings but ones which mirror the real and unresolved tragedies of life. Truly a haunting and poignant story, with excellent character studies all around."