Well above average thriller with Jack Nicholson playing the lead, as the recently retired police detective Jerry Black who experiences the most brutal crime during his career when a little girl is found murdered and raped. His colleagues are throwing a for Jerry as it's his last day as a cop, when they get the news that a teenage boy has found the body of seven year old Ginny Larsen.
He gets the difficult task of reporting the terrible incident to the girl's mother, Margaret Larsen (Patricia Clarkson). He pledges her that he will one day find perpetrator, a pledge that will eventually become an obsession.
Jerry Black's colleagues make an easy way out of the situation and arrest a mentally challenged native american (played excellently by Benicio Del Toro), whom they torture through relentless hours of tough interrogation, which eventually leads to a meek confession. There is no chance of prosecute him properly however, since he "mysteriously" is killed in the police station which only leads to that the case is unofficially regarded as closed.
Black is convinced that there is way more to it.
He visits the school where Ginny went, and speaks to her friends. It turns out that Ginny had an adult friend she was regularly seeing, whom she called "the giant". After having looked at drawings Ginny made of him, before she died, it soon stands clear that it's not the indian guy who was arrested.
Making good of his promise, Black spends all his time to search for "the giant" who allegedly used to give little Ginny small "hedgehogs".
Sean Penn is the director behind this good adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's short story, The Pledge; Requiem For The Detective Novel. Penn does a good job, though it's not particularly "action-packed" but rather creeping slowly through the story. The result is a sturdy piece of work, that will not stand out that much but will serve as fine entertainment.
The star cast consists of (apart from Nicholson The Great, and Del Toro); Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke and Harry Dean Stanton.
They all make solid but not too rememberable performances.
The Pledge is simply good but light entertainment. Really liked the ending, which was very stylish and suggestive!