The Crossing Guard (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A bereaved father attempts to reconcile himself to his grief after a drunk driver kills his seven-year-old daughter in this dark drama. The film opens with a group therapy session. Later Freddy Gale, a jeweler, and his ex-wife Mary are seen having dinner. After reminiscing about their lives before their daughter's death, Freddy shares with her his plan to murder their daughter's killer, John Booth, who is just about to be released from prison. Soon after John's release, Freddy spends an evening … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Sean Penn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 16, 1999
Miramax - Official Site


as Freddy Gale

as John Booth

as Helen Booth

as Stuart Booth

as Bobby

as Sunny Ventura

as Jake Hanson

as Joe at Bar

as Woman in Shop

as Jefferey

as Asian Man

as Little Asian Girl

as Woman on Bus

as Crossing Guard

as Herself

as Swinger

as Bus Passenger #1

as Bus Passenger's Moth...

as Jefferey

as Freddy's Chicana

as Peter's Guest #1

as Jefferey's Boyfriend

as Piano Player

as Deputy Sheriff

as Little Girl
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Crossing Guard

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13)

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

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 9, 2009

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

March 22, 2008

Thoroughly uneven yet mostly compelling...

Full Review… | November 11, 2007
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.

Full Review… | January 13, 2007

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.

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????

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


Great casting/acting. Good story idea but could probably have been executed better.

Jon Lantz

Super Reviewer

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