Skip to main content

THE PLEDGE

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Sean Penn

"The Pledge is by far the finest of the three films that Sean Penn has directed It infuses almost every image with a mixture of sorrow and dread. Set in Nevada, its portrait of the West is of a shabby modern-day frontier civilization planted in a landscape of ominous beauty. The air crackles with a barely suppressed violence "—New York Times

Jack Nicholson is Jerry Black, an exhausted cop in his 60s who just wants to go fishing. Only hours before his retirement, he becomes obsessed when a child's body is discovered in the mountains by a teenage snowmobiler.

Magnificently understated, Nicholson's performance evokes the volatile, frightening place where male rage, fear, grief, loneliness and a warped sense of honour converge and explode. A formidable supporting cast includes appearances by Benicio Del Toro. Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Sam Shepard and Harry Dean Stanton Screened in Official Competition. Cannes 2001

'The Pledge provides Jack Nicholson with one of his best roles in years. He shows us a man who has embarked on a terrifying and lonely quest into the unknown places of his mind."—Chicago Sun-Times

See also...

THE TAO OF STEVE

Ten years after graduation, Dex has gained a few pounds. Friends who come across him at a college reunion wonder what became of the chopper ridin' lady killer they remember from University. But make ... More »

WHAT HAPPENED TO TULLY

"Anchored by fine performances, delicate narrative development and an overall tenderness, this picture unfolds beautifully...This life on the farm drama is a potent addition to cinema's recent ... More »

THE FLUFFER

Many worker have an "and other duties as directed" clause in their employment contract. Most don't expect it will entail oral sex. Naive country boy Sean heads to Hollywood planning on a career as a ... More »

WANDERLUST

Struggling to hold together her train-wreck family, Kelley tracks down her drifter brother to a seedy, remote island off Chile and discovers him living with a ragged group of expatriates. He reacts ... More »

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT

Space is a lonely town. For Samuel Curtis—loner, interplanetary trader, rocket cowboy—it can be a very dangerous place. In Cory McAbee's outrageous galactic western. Curtis has taken on ... More »

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS

Before Night Falls is based on the memoirs of exiled Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas—an artist struggling as a homosexual in post-revolutionary Cuba and forced to smuggle his ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director