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The Crossing Guard

The Crossing Guard (1995)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

54

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 7,325

My Rating

Movie Info

Sean Penn wrote and directed this tale of loss, guilt, and revenge. The daughter of Freddy and Mary Gale (Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston) was killed by a drunk driver, John Booth (David Morse). The death of their child took a heavy toll on the Gales; their marriage broke up, and, while Mary has remarried and attempted to put her life back together, Freddy has become an embittered alcoholic, seething with directionless rage and searching for a purpose in life. Freddy intends to kill Booth as

R,

Drama

Sean Penn

Nov 16, 1999

Miramax

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Cast

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (7) | DVD (3)

though Penn doesn't always seem to know where he's going, his movie doesn't altogether miss its destination.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is dramatically shapeless and pretentious too, but as director, Sean Penn gets powerful performances from his central trio: Nicholson, Anjelica Huston, and David Morse.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

So-so character study directed by Sean Penn, featuring Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright.

March 22, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Thoroughly uneven yet mostly compelling...

November 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

I came to value the clumsy moments in which Penn seemed to be groping for truth and meaning along with the characters.

January 13, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Moving, unpredictable and psychologically complex.

January 23, 2006
Fantastica Daily

Deep, dark and memorable.

January 10, 2006
ColeSmithey.com

Haunting character study by Nicholson in a grim, effective film.

June 23, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Sober, serious and rough. Nicholson's in rare form.

April 3, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

Wonderful drama about loss with powerful performances

July 18, 2003
About.com

Offers a penetrating look at the unsettling dynamics of grief and guilt.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for The Crossing Guard

John Booth: Would you maybe, ya know, would you take a couple days, and maybe think about not taking my life? 

"Some lives cross, others collide."

The Crossing Guard is far from a great movie, but it still has its moments of power. This is easily my least favorite Sean Penn directed movie, but the other three I've seen from him were all very good. The story here isn't very original, nor are the characters or anything the characters say. If I was struck by anything while watching this film it was how cardboard cutout everything seemed. 

Freddy is a divorced, alcoholic jeweler who has never been able to get over the death of his daughter Emily. Emily was killed by a drunk driver years earlier and Freddy and his then wife Mary end up separating not too long afterwards. Freddy and Mary had two boys together too, but Freddy hasn't been around them much, especially since Mary had gotten a new husband. When the drunk driver is released from prison, Freddy goes to him and tells him he has three years to live. We learn through events that John Booth(the drunk driver) is not a bad guy, and that he is very sorry for what he did. After watching the film for an hour, you'll actually like John and hate Freddy. 

The performances were so-so. Jack Nicholson has been much, much better, but he isn't bad. I expected a lot more from him, and this movie, based off of Penn and Nicholson's other work, The Pledge, which was a masterpiece. David Morse is also just okay as John Booth. The women probably give the best performances in the film; those being Anjelica Huston and Robin Wright.

Obviously when you see Sean Penn's name and Jack Nicholson's name, expectations are going to be high. This isn't at all a terrible movie, but it is more bland then you would like. There's a few scenes that make the movie worth watching, but I wouldn't ever say this a must see film. In fact, if you're going to skip any of Sean Penn's directorial outings, make it this one. Overall, I was disappointed with this film as a whole. It could have and should have been so much better.
August 7, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A film I?ve been wanting to see for a while but perhaps my expectations were set too high. The story was slow moving. The performances were average and iddn?t really come up a level even towards the end.

True story????
January 19, 2010
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

Sean Penn is as good a director as he is an actor. Jack Nicholson & David Morse are fantastic in this powerful and touching drama!
September 22, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Great casting/acting. Good story idea but could probably have been executed better.
September 10, 2007
FireStormStudios

Super Reviewer

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