Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart, Benicio Del Toro, Helen Mirren, Tom Noonan, Vanessa Redgrave, Patricia Clarkson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Lois Smith, Harry Dean Stanton, P. Aaron Dorval, Michael O'Keefe, Pauline Roberts, Dale Dickey, Françoise Yip
Written by: Jerzy Kromolowski, Mary Olson-Kromolowski, based on a book by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Directed by: Sean Penn
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language
Running Time: 124
Date: 01/09/2001

The Pledge (2001)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Clue the Right Thing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jack Nicholson stars in his first picture since his 1997 Oscar win as a retired detective who can't let go of a case. It's a reminder of Nicholson's work back in the 70's with directors like Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces). He shifts restlessly between fishing for clues and fishing for fish, and falls in with a battered mother (Robin Wright Penn) whose little blonde daughter might be the next target. Director Sean Penn gives the movie a quiet, drifting quality and draws brilliant performances from everyone concerned, including Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke, Helen Mirren, Harry Dean Stanton, and (especially) Benicio Del Toro. The picture stays true to its tone all the way through, and provides a whopper of an ending.

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