The Pledge Reviews

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Joe Leydon
The Moving Picture Show
July 18, 2014

[Penn] sustains a mesmerizing intensity while relentlessly building toward an emotionally wrenching climax.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Nick Rogers
Suite101.com
September 17, 2010

Sean Penn's agonizing, angst-ridden "The Pledge" feels like a mystery less about murder and more about the inexplicable dangers of impulse and guilt. It's also a waning opportunity to see Jack Nicholson as anything besides a silver-haired hornball.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Michael Dequina
TheMovieReport.com
March 26, 2010

Its grip is on the mind but not the heart--a problem for a film that clearly aims for some emotional impact.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
September 22, 2007

Nicholson rules over The Pledge with a shaky hand, and that's the source of his power here.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
October 8, 2006

After two honorable failures, Sean Penn makes quantum leap forward with an intriguing murder mystery that's also effective as a psychological character study. Nicholosn's riveting turn compensates for deliberate pacing and downbeat tone.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
January 15, 2005

Penn shows restraint and patience, letting the actors discover moments, rhythms, and quirks that make their characters believable.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
May 2, 2003

É uma pena que nem todos tenham paciência para tentar compreender melhor Jerry Black. Tenho certeza de que, no futuro, este será lembrado como um dos personagens mais marcantes da bela carreira de Jack Nicholson.

| Original Score: 5/5
Tom Grealis
RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
February 13, 2003

Penn has moulded a patient but deeply unsettling character study, leaving the viewer with more questions than answers.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Susannah Breslin
Film Threat
December 8, 2002

Emotionally powerful film of rare and grave subtlety.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
November 6, 2002

Mystery-thriller buffs, promise yourselves that you'll see The Pledge. And while you're at it, be sure to invite along Jack Nicholson fans and anyone who saw the first two movies that Sean Penn directed.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 21, 2002

The problem is Nicholson. He sleepwalks through the part in a cloud of ubiquitous cigarette smoke, stiff, uncomfortable, and looking like he wishes he'd never signed that contract.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
September 26, 2002

Penn can't be faulted for his work with the actors. Most of the featured players have only a scene or two, but they're indelible.

Alex Ramirez
Cinenganos
September 15, 2002

Carnadas humanas, una historia obsesiva, y un tono lírico tremendo... grata combinación que transforma una historia policíaca en algo humano, vivo y enteramente emocional.

Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002

Penn's task is well-served not only by a superb cast but the efforts of first-rate collaborators.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
June 5, 2002

Steeped in an almost unbearable sadness, dense with moral ambiguity it stubbornly withholds comfort at every startling turn.

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
March 22, 2002

Ultimately, the payoffs just aren't there, either psychologically or dramatically.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chuck Rudolph
Matinee Magazine
March 7, 2002

Never less than respectable.

Full Review | Original Score: short
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
February 28, 2002

The film's stately pace emphasizes Jerry's slow transformation, and there are a number of wonderful scenes, both visually and structurally.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Dujsik
Mark Reviews Movies
February 26, 2002

Jack the character actor is back, and it's been well worth the wait.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ian Waldron-Mantgani
UK Critic
February 17, 2002

While some developments are generally predictable, the movie ends up taking us on a thematic journey that is unexpected and shattering.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
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