The Crossing Guard - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crossing Guard Reviews

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½ March 25, 2016
Sean Penn's second directorial performance deserves recognition. Somewhat unknown film with established actors is actually good.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2016
Kind of a mixed bag when it comes to this movie, honestly. While I do think Sean Penn had a handle on mood and how to just let actors be actors, I just don't think that he had as much of a handle on storytelling as he might have believed. This, of course, can all be excused by the fact that, I believe, this was Sean Penn's first feature film as a director. I just don't think the film ever really comes together as well as it should as it relates to narrative, even though it does feature excellent performances from Jack Nicholson, David Morse and Anjelica Huston. I think the approach of telling the story from both sides, from Freddy's inability to properly grieve from his daughter's death at the hand of a drunk driver and John's guilt in having killed a little girl due to his irresponsibility, is a really smart choice. I'm not saying that John's guilt of killing this girl is greater than Freddy's grief, but I think it was very important for the film to also show John's side, just to show that he is, in fact, a human with very serious guilt issues about what he did and that's he's not a monster. So the film, essentially, deals with Freddy's and John's own separate journeys for acceptance, love, what have you in the days leading up to when Freddy plans to kill John. The problem in Freddy's side of the film is that his grieving process is pretty much exactly what you'd expect, he drinks away his sorrows, has sex with strippers half his age. I'm not saying that it wasn't interesting, I'm just saying that it's what you expect so, therefore, it isn't really as satisfying as it might be. The best part of Freddy's moments are when he interacts with his now ex-wife, in Anjelica Huston. These are the scenes that are a little more thoughtful and explores how a seemingly great couple can disintegrate after such a horrific experience. Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston are great here and, really, these are some of the best scenes of the film. Jack's scenes with David Morse are also a highlight. Though, to be fair, they only have a couple of them. John's half of the film is a little more interesting than Freddy's but I think that, again, they go the route that is expected instead of throwing in a curveball. I will admit that the last several minutes of the film are very poignant and well-done. It's just that the rest of the film doesn't come together that well, even though the elements are there. This still ends up being a good movie, but one that you would think would be better given the quality of acting that is involved. I don't think there's anything that you really need to see here in terms of narrative, but if you want to see great acting then this is highly recommended, can't really recommend it for anything else.
½ December 31, 2015
powerful with strong ending
August 24, 2015
i thought it was a prety good jack nicholson movie
½ August 22, 2015
Great cast. A little self important.
June 29, 2015
Huston is such a horrid actress, this is so heavy handed and forced that i couldnt get past the second quarter
April 23, 2015
The actors elevate this to must watch performances if not the movie.
March 17, 2015
powerful stuff directed by bad boy sean penn.
March 7, 2015
*Spoilers* A powerful film yet not in the way I wanted at least in the long run. I think most of us wanted to see the drunk driver get killed, but we didn't. Nevertheless its quite sentimental and sad in its own way, and unique. Worth a watch.
½ March 3, 2015
Well hello boys and girls. "The Crossing Guard" directed by Sean Penn is okay at best, the first hour is intriguing, but then the movie loses it's pace and gets dis interesting after a while watching Jack Nicholson sulk over the loss of his daughter when we are waiting for him to seek revenge against David Morse(Who is the star of this film) the man who has just been let out of prison after killing Nicholson's daughter in a drunk driving accident. I will give it to Sean Penn though even though I believe it is his first feature film that he does have surprisingly good taste in music, especially some really good Springsteen tracks that give the movie it's tone, but unfortunately it's not enough to keep the viewer interested in my opinion.
½ March 3, 2015
Well hello boys and girls. "The Crossing Guard" directed by Sean Penn is okay at best, the first hour is intriguing, but then the movie loses it's pace and gets dis interesting after a while watching Jack Nicholson sulk over the loss of his daughter when we are waiting for him to seek revenge against David Morse(Who is the star of this film) the man who has just been let out of prison after killing Nicholson's daughter in a drunk driving accident. I will give it to Sean Penn though even though I believe it is his first feature film that he does have surprisingly good taste in music, especially some really good Springsteen tracks that give the movie it's tone, but unfortunately it's not enough to keep the viewer interested in my opinion.
January 7, 2015
An intense and superbly acted study of two men dealing with anguished burdens of grief and rage, on the one hand, and grief and crushing guilt, on there other. The ending was perfect.
October 18, 2014
The pacing is a little off, but the performances in this film are great. The story is great and sets Jack Nicholson up for some explosive scenes. Sean Penn does a good job in both the writing and directing aspects. This is a hidden gem you may not know about. Watch it.
½ October 15, 2014
The second film from actor Sean Penn feels like the work of John Cassavetes and like that great director Penn allows his actors to develop there roles and give inn Jack Nicholson's case brilliant performances.
Nicholson plays Freddy Gale a low rent jeweller who spends his time carousing in strips clubs with his drunken friends and stripper partners.
Freddy only has one mission in life and that's to kill John Booth the man who killed his daughter in a drunk driving accident.
Booth has just been released from prison for the crime and Freddy is packing a gun and looking to settle the score.
The film really works thanks to the performances Nicholson is great as a grieving man on the edge who has nothing left to live for after losing his daughter and his wife as a result of Booths act.
David Morse is great as Booth trying to piece his life back together all too aware of the crime on his conscience.
Angelica Huston is also excellent as Freddy's ex wife who is coping and dealing with her grief in her own way and sees Freddy as nothing more than a drunken failure.
Penn directs with an assured touch and as I said before the elements of John Cassavtes shine through the piece.
August 5, 2014
Despite the big name cast and director this has largely the feel of a TV melodrama. Interesting enough to pass the time but is still lacking in many aspects.
July 6, 2014
A top heavy movie, with loads of talent that fails to deliver anything memorable.
½ July 4, 2014
Its heavy subject matter and examination of a vengeful father make Sean Penn's 'The Crossing Guard' great late night entertainment.
½ May 31, 2014
Felt a bit too melodramatic and had a very dated "80s feel" (despite being made in 1995!)
May 30, 2014
wow ummm just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a great movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie......i think that jack nicholson, david morse, anjelica huston, robin wright, piper laurie, play good roles/parts thorughout this movie......i think that the director of this drama movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch.........i think that jack nicholson was fantastic thorughout this movie.......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that Joe Viterelli (.R.I.P.), was great throughout this movie........its got good fight scenes thorughout this movie......i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch but its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch.......i think that Richard C. Sarafian (.R.I.P.), was brilliant thorughout this movie.....i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch but its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch it is such a really well directed/written/acted movie 2 watch its such a brilliant movie 2 watch........i think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......
½ May 19, 2014
A very interesting film. The plot has its areas of dullness, but the film as a whole improved as the plot progressed. Jack Nicholson and Angelica Huston's talents are showcased very well in this film. Nicholson portrays a crazed man with a clear reason. The soundtrack of the film was a wonderful addition to the film. The characters were well structured, and went through a very clear arc as the film progressed. The script is written quite well, and the plot progresses nicely in the end. David Morse plays his role very well. The camera work is nothing spectacular, but it allows the audience to focus on some beautifully constructed characters. Nicholson shines in one of his most emotive, powerful, and empathetic roles that he has played in his career.
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