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No consensus yet.
All Critics (28)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (21)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (1)
though Penn doesn't always seem to know where he's going, his movie doesn't altogether miss its destination.
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.
So-so character study directed by Sean Penn, featuring Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright.
Thoroughly uneven yet mostly compelling...
I came to value the clumsy moments in which Penn seemed to be groping for truth and meaning along with the characters.
Moving, unpredictable and psychologically complex.
Deep, dark and memorable.
Haunting character study by Nicholson in a grim, effective film.
Sober, serious and rough. Nicholson's in rare form.
Wonderful drama about loss with powerful performances
Offers a penetrating look at the unsettling dynamics of grief and guilt.
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.
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.
Great casting/acting. Good story idea but could probably have been executed better.
Just fine drama of a jeweler is shredded by grief after his young daughter is killed by a drunk driver. He resolutely tells his estranged wife that he plans to shoot the culprit now that he has been released from prison. It's an unpleasant but riveting story about strained moral responsibility, the licking of emotional wounds, the contradictions of masculinity, and the tragic cracks into which whole families can tumble.
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