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The Pledge
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The Pledge

2001
Drama
Crime
2h 4m
Academy Award-winner Jack Nicholson stars as Jerry Black, a Nevada homicide detective who volunteers for one final investigation on the eve of his retirement. He offers his expertise at a compromised crime scene and ends up making a promise to the young victim's mother that will change his life forever. (Warner Brothers)
Your probable score
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The Pledge

2001
Drama
Crime
2h 4m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 50.55% from 1324 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1324)
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Rated 14 Feb 2017
90
92nd
"If Tom Noonan is in a murder mystery chances are Tom Noonan did it. " Me, detective Movie Watcher.
Rated 21 Dec 2010
64
40th
A strange, melancholic film about a meandering descent into madness driven entirely by serendipity and happenstance, resolving for the same reasons the narrative churns. I appreciate the ambiguity in Nicholson's motivations, and the brilliant acting from all involved (Rourke's cameo is amazingly realized). Unfortunately, even Chris Menges can't salvage some bizarre directorial flourishes by Penn, who's best working with the actors, not the camera.
Rated 12 Dec 2022
67
53rd
Like a pledge drive to save the arts, runs out of steam before it should.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
83
77th
Haunting, intense, depressing. Great cast.
Rated 28 Feb 2007
90
76th
I seem to like this movie far more than most people.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
8
0th
I hated, hated, hated this movie. So did everyone I went to see it with. I'm sure there are some good performances in here stuck between the fish-cooking scenes and stupid plot. Perhaps the camera work is of a genius level. From professional critic reviews you'd think it's a great movie, but we spent the entire dinner afterwards lambasting this boring, pointless waste of time.
Rated 17 Apr 2016
6
24th
Jack Nicholson is clearly the devil. I don't know what we're waiting for
Rated 08 Jan 2014
61
33rd
I laughed out loud during Benicio's portayal of a retarded man, horribly funny.
Rated 23 Aug 2010
55
36th
Ah, well, it started so well. The first 15 minutes, the line-up with a good murder mystery, a great cast and some - I assumed (rightly) - good acting. But it just gets worse as the movie progresses. Not really exciting in the end, and all psychologically "ill" passages are not cool. The story fell through in the end as well. All in all I was just left disappointed all over in the end, I think. But how does Sean Penn talk so many good actors into playing his supporting roles?
Rated 20 Mar 2009
90
86th
One of those movies that was released in the Jan/Feb nether zone because nobody thought it would make any money. Perhaps this is too bleak and too grownup for normal people. I found it highly absorbing from start to finish. Be advised that this is *not* the cop thriller that the trailer makes it look like
Rated 06 Jan 2008
65
53rd
Incredibly depressing: this movie sucks you into it's own tortured world, then drops you without really answering any questions or providing any satisfaction.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
56th
Sean Penn makes this a sort-of anti-thriller, creating events more for character study than for thrills, and Nicholson does play the part of a man on the edge as well as anyone in the history of cinema.
Rated 26 Sep 2015
68
32nd
The first half is good, with some unusual and creative editing choices, and Nicholson is determined and steely throughout the entire film. Yet the second half reveals the film has run out of steam, it doesn't end up anywhere particular exciting, and the plot twist at the end was a bit silly. Still a worthwhile film for those into depressing crime-dramas or films with great performances by Jack Nicholson (I'm into both).
Rated 04 Sep 2012
70
19th
Viewed September 3, 2012. Never really connected with this one. Sean Penn seems like more of an actors director. All of the performances are great especially Mickey Rourke and of course Jack, the exception being Benicio Del Toro who is pretty bad. With the camera, he's a bit clumsy and some of his flourishes are just off-putting.
Rated 20 Oct 2012
48
12th
i gave this movie a rating that barely makes it halfway through because this is a genre where so many exciting things have been done. Nothing special to be said about this movie. Its quite the usual affair in terms of the progress of the plots and the climax. It is a watchable film period.
Rated 01 Aug 2013
5
73rd
"there are such devils." penn openly references M and anticipates the 10x more distressing KEANE, analogising audience and protagonist by frustrating his genre expectations along with ours, implicating our urge to exploit in the pursuit of knowledge, adrenaline and catharsis. he's a tad hackneyed but mostly lets the material breathe, anxiety and sorrow blooming with the seasons. the cast is so nuts that whoever submitted this never got around to tom -definitely not a child molester- noonan.
Rated 23 Aug 2013
2
46th
[Partial]
Rated 11 Sep 2013
88
36th
Loved Jack in this very dramatic role.
Rated 03 Dec 2013
12
2nd
There's a point early on where Nicholson describes the black car of the person he thinks is the culprit, we have presumably seen the crime unfold & the car we see is red. It was at this point I hoped the film was going to be Nicholson trying to solve this crime through a deteriorating grip of reality, his colleagues slowly distancing themselves & he ends up like the mother from Requiem OAD..So, I wrote that 1/4 through the film & TP delivers, in a broken way, with Penn's over-direction in tow
Rated 24 Jan 2014
40
32nd
Jack Nicholson plays a former police detective haunted by horrific images from unsolved pedophile murder cases. On the eve of retirement he makes a solemn promise to track down the predator. He subverts his life to setup a situation to catch the man, but it's at the expense of his own happiness and the safety of those he loves most. Ultimately he is defeated by circumstances. I really hated the lack of a satisfying ending.
Rated 11 Aug 2014
95
92nd
Somber meditation starts as a cop story and coils into subjective obsession and personal mission. It gives Jack one of his paramount roles. The story has the rudiments of a crime thriller---cops, suspects, fatalities, evidence---but ultimately it's a character study, and in Detective Jerry Black, Nicholson crafts a character we can't turn away from en route to the dusk of his compulsion.
Rated 23 Aug 2012
73
33rd
Started off real strong but just made some very strange plot choices with very little payoff at the end. However, it was nice to see Jack in a more subdued quiet role, and he did the most he could. Have we ever seen him with just a moustache? Nice performance as well by Robin Wright Penn and other cameos throughout including Benicio Del Toro, Mickey Rourke, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
14th
Artistically decent, but too short to accomplish its overall goal.
Rated 02 Mar 2007
55
49th
Not one of Jacks best.
Rated 11 May 2017
51
4th
Tech Scores: Directing 6 Screenplay 6 Cinematography 5 Editing 5 Acting 6 Sound Design & Music Score 6 Other Techs 6 Overall Scores: Whole Movie 6 Myself 5 WoW 0
Rated 03 Apr 2018
60
39th
bir de nick nolte olsaymış ağır abilerin toplandığı film olarak rahatlıkla anılabilirmiş. penn, elindeki materyali daha iyi kullanabilirmiş izlenimini sürekli veriyorsa da oyuncular haricinde özel bir şey aramayınca iyi bir seyirlik olarak işliyor.
Rated 08 Jun 2019
68
66th
About the dangers of obsession/compulsion. Black's motivations remain curiously ambiguous, and Nicholson delivers a relatively restrained, grossly overlooked late career performance that anchors the film when Penn occasionally loses control of the pace and tone. Overall, it can't compete with Feher's Twilight, which chillingly casts the character's doubts and frustrations against a cold indifferent universe with a formal complexity and precision that is beyond Penn's capabilities.
Rated 19 Oct 2020
4
42nd
Spoilers. Ending spoilers. Coincidence after coincidence after coincidence until one of the most unsatisfying conclusions I've seen. This is like a ruined handjob. Also, the camera work was no good. Sean Penn likes to hold the camera real far back but zoomed in close to everyone's face so you can't see shit. Despite that, I think a good movie is buried in here. The performances are spot on, and the motivational zig zags kept me intrigued in the 2nd half. It's too bad we never got the big payoff.
Rated 09 Jan 2021
75
71st
Watched movie from DVD as i got interest for Sean Penn's filmmaking abilities. And he did well. Movie is very strong and sad. The best is the mode what Penn is maintaining from start to end. This is nicely supported by musical score.
Rated 27 Apr 2021
86
91st
This film has a great performance by Jack Nicholson, the rest of the ensemble cast also do good work here. The script is great and it keeps you guessing to a surprising end. Overall I highly recommend this film.
Rated 19 Jul 2022
71
61st
A solid thriller that is better than its total lack of reputation might imply. It's a little "of its time" and the performances are split between being great and being a little over-the-top (this might be the first time I didn't love a Benicio Del Toro performance), but there's more complexity here than at first meets the eye, and it has a fantastic ending.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
55
20th
Pedestrian by the numbers. At least Jack didn't chew the scenery
Rated 08 Apr 2009
86
51st
Entertaining film with Nicholson in an interesting role.
Rated 23 Feb 2008
76
51st
I don't know, but something about american movie with an imposed sad-end [(C) by me ;)] is like an europen movie with imposed happy end, just not good.
Rated 08 Mar 2008
20
7th
After floundering around with "look at me Ma! I'm directing a film!" shots and little actor showcases the picture gets down to business about being a nasty little thriller. A great ending on a picture that takes a long time to find it's way.
Rated 10 Apr 2008
50
42nd
Jackie gets stood up.
Rated 13 Jul 2008
86
87th
Hell of depressing.
Rated 23 Sep 2008
53
11th
It was just not my cup of tea.
Rated 12 Feb 2009
75
85th
In which Mickey Rourke shows up for about two minutes and permanently obliterates anyone's chances of ever looking like a decent actor by comparison.
Rated 25 Feb 2009
80
86th
Sometimes slow pacing burns with excruciating, and almost unbearable, intensity. Penn's remake of the equally great German original 'It Happened in Broad Daylight' (1958) is paced in this way. It's the sort of experience that will either entice you or bore you silly.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
70
63rd
strong work
Rated 03 Apr 2009
60
17th
Ich liebe Jack Nicholson und auch nur deßhalb hat der Film so viele Punkte bekommen. Ein anderer Hauptdarsteller hätte die eher langweilige Rolle gnadenlos versiebt, da bin ich mir sicher. Schauspielerisch Top, Filmisch Flop.
Rated 21 Apr 2012
81
77th
Sean Penn seems to direct for performances. The technical aspects are pretty standard fare, but Nicholson and the assortment of cameos shine. Suspenseful in its own right, but, ultimately, The Pledge is a depressing look at a downward spiral.
Rated 19 Feb 2010
85
90th
Good off-beat film. The story is a bit formulaic, but acting is good.
Rated 30 Mar 2010
82
52nd
This movie is worth seeing for an exceptionally nuanced, subdued Jack Nicholson performance. Benicio Del Toro is also very fine--as usual--in his small part. Penn is a fine director of actors, but--like many actor-directors--has trouble knowing where to end a scene. Consequently, the movie lacks structure and force.
Rated 24 Aug 2007
75
75th
Good
Rated 13 Sep 2010
36
41st
#00s(e)#, story, casting.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
66
51st
Worth seeing but overall the great acting overshadows the fairly weak story.
Rated 16 Feb 2007
23
2nd
It's the twist that cripples this movie. And it'll never walk again.
Rated 27 Dec 2010
14
12th
One of those movies that they want to make have a sad ending and it really just ends up nonsensical.
Rated 20 Mar 2011
70
76th
Great film with a great cast, just wish the ending was different.
Rated 04 Jan 2012
71
47th
More of a character study in obsession than a thriller, this downbeat film features a great cast on good form, but was sabotaged by weak direction in depicting the protagonist's mental breakdown.

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