The Pledge Reviews

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Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
January 19, 2001

Penn gets bogged down in his own grand vision.

Eric D. Snider
January 19, 2001

The dreary film makes promises it doesn't deliver on, pulling the rug out from under us without really letting us step on it in the first place.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 14, 2007

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Rob Blackwelder
January 18, 2001

There's very little compelling, or even memorable, about it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
January 19, 2001

Thoughtlessness is no excuse ... for so revolting a film that The Pledge ultimately is. I couldn't wait to get out of the theater just to get the stink of it off me.

John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
June 18, 2001

...a resolutely low-key and solidly unconventional exercise in frustration.

| Original Score: 6/10
Paul Clinton (
Top Critic
January 19, 2001

It has all the right credentials, so why is it such a muddled mess?

Nev Pierce
October 12, 2001

As enthralling as it sometimes is, there isn't any point to the relentless grimness.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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.

Daniel Papkin
April 16, 2001

A movie as unsatisfying as it is ambitious.

Cornell & Petricelli
January 19, 2001

We left with a feeling of lethargy that made watching The Pledge hardly worth the effort.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
January 17, 2001

Other than re-iterating the well-known fact that 'life sucks,' I didn't really get much out of this movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
March 26, 2001

The film is more exciting that watching paint dry, however, because of great work by some very talented actors.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tony Toscano
Talking Pictures (U.S.)
January 17, 2001

The story falls into the trap of using too many twists, red herrings and coincidences.

Tom Block
January 18, 2001

So logy and doom-laden that watching it feels like a hike through waist-deep snow.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
January 18, 2001

Drags us through dark places, without convincing us it's a journey worth taking.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Todd Anthony
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 18, 2001

Great acting doesn't compensate for weak writing.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
January 18, 2001

Penn's unending parade of unhappy situations is simply too insistent, his suffocating, claustrophobic worldview more of an assault than the revelation he perhaps hopes it will be.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Cynthia Fuchs
January 19, 2001

While it's never uninteresting, and its story moves sinuously, quite deft and engaging ... it eventually becomes overbearing.

Ross Anthony
Hollywood Report Card
January 19, 2001

Moving with the speed of a paddle-boat upstream, the bulk of the movie is about as exciting as watching someone fish.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
February 7, 2001

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006

Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic
June 24, 2006

Emily Blunt
Blunt Review
February 7, 2001

Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
December 10, 2001

Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 2, 2002

Susan Granger
January 1, 2000

Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 1, 2000

Nik Huggins
Future Movies UK
November 6, 2003

Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
May 22, 2003

Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
August 10, 2001

Mark Freeman
Critical Eye
September 14, 2001

Joe Leydon
San Francisco Examiner
February 7, 2001

Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
Top Critic
March 8, 2001

Alexander Walker
This is London
December 15, 2003

Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]
December 15, 2003

Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
February 7, 2001

October 30, 2001

Top Critic
February 23, 2012

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012

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