A police chief about to retire pledges to help a woman find her daughter's killer. Based on a story by Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
Sean Penn's grimly powerful third film, adapted from a book by Friedrich Durrenmatt, reunites him with Jack Nicholson, who starred in his 1995 film, "The Crossing Guard," and who seems to be almost an alter ego. Here the actor plays a Nevada policeman on the eve of retirement who pledges to the parents of a young girl found raped and murdered that he will find her killer. His quest becomes an obsession. Penn and Nicholson (in a brilliant, understated performance) plumb the soul of this lonely, brooding protagonist whose mood is echoed by the ominously beautiful Western landscape. -- Stephen Holden
2001-01-19 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of The Pledge