The Pledge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Pledge Reviews

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
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.
March 22, 2002
Ultimately, the payoffs just aren't there, either psychologically or dramatically.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 7, 2001
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 1, 2001
A fierce, fragmented, downbeat film.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
January 19, 2001
A movie of impressive performances and intriguing visuals that are worth the effort needed to let the tale roll out.
January 19, 2001
It's the rare -- and rewarding -- police drama that cares more for character than plot.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 19, 2001
A moving and unmannered motion picture -- a convincing portrait of a man at the end of his rope.
January 19, 2001
Penn as director shows how he can turn an ordinary movie scene -- how many times have we seen a jailhouse interrogation? -- into something inventively, thrillingly singular.
January 19, 2001
Those looking for a 'feel-good' movie are advised to go elsewhere -- unless watching artists working near their peak leaves you soaring.
January 19, 2001
The performance, and the movie, remind us why Nicholson matters.
January 19, 2001
[A] beautifully made bummer.
January 19, 2001
A gripping, disturbing and deeply intelligent drama.
January 19, 2001
It is understatement to say that Nicholson does some of the finest work of his career here.
January 19, 2001
I'll wager you won't see a better performance by a veteran American actor over the next 11 months.
January 19, 2001
Dark and disturbing but thoroughly involving. It sets off depth charges of the psyche.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 19, 2001
It has all the right credentials, so why is it such a muddled mess?
January 19, 2001
Just when you're about to lose patience, something honest or credible happens.
January 19, 2001
In its dark, relentless, devastatingly ironic way, The Pledge is an exhilarating movie, partly because it isn't afraid to be genuinely challenging.
January 19, 2001
Not a film for all tastes, but it's a considerable artistic achievement.
January 19, 2001
Penn and Nicholson take risks with the material and elevate the movie to another, unanticipated, haunting level.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 19, 2001
Not a pleasant film, but it is deeply, scarily rewarding.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
January 19, 2001
Penn's direction is given to flat, self-conscious realism. He has no feel for pacing, no cunning, no natural flow.
January 18, 2001
It understands the relativism of right and wrong and takes a kind of perverse pleasure in reminding us that there are some things we'll never know.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 18, 2001
Jack Nicholson passes on the ham, delivering a subtle, weighted performance that neatly complements Sean Penn's growing confidence as a director.
Read More | Original Score: 75/100
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
January 18, 2001
Much of the film's power is in the worn gravity of watching 'Jack Nicholson' as he treads through a particularly obsessive and difficult character.
January 18, 2001
Yes, it's grim, but if you don't need your plots sugar-coated, this film about life-change, obsession and keeping your word is an existential winner.
January 18, 2001
Damned if Penn doesn't draw you inside this labyrinth of existential murk.
Full Review | Original Score: B
January 18, 2001
Thanks to a superb central performance by Nicholson as detective Black, it's a film that compels, thrills and ends up coming very close to tragedy.
January 18, 2001
Drags us through dark places, without convincing us it's a journey worth taking.
Read More | Original Score: C-
January 9, 2001
Jack Nicholson more than delivers the goods in his portrayal of a retired policeman thoroughly obsessed by his last murder case.
January 9, 2001
Absorbing dramatically and deeply committed to the acting processes of star Jack Nicholson and the raft of impressive players supporting him.
January 1, 2000
The Pledge will cause many viewers to walk out of the theaters grumbling, since there is no traditional closure. But the way in which things turn out seems right for the material and the manner in which Penn has chosen to present it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
Though at times it threatens to meander off, Penn's movie fulfills its destiny as an alienated fable of justice and luck.