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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
The Pledge: Your views
Jack Nicholson, Aaron Eckhart and Sam Shepherd
The Pledge is the third film that Penn has directed
The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn, is a thriller starring Jack Nicholson as a cop who is just about to retire before he becomes embroiled in one last investigation - a gruesome child murder case.

It won praise at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, although it was a flop at the US box office.

"It is far more accomplished than Penn's previous pictures, and is further bolstered by Jack Nicholson's terrific, tortured central performance," wrote the BBC's Caroline Westbrook.

So what did you think? Is this just another whodunnit film or an original complex thriller? What do you think of the high profile cast? Is Sean Penn better on the other side of the camera?

HAVE YOUR SAY

An excellent movie. Among the best I have seen recently.
Arthur Nogueira, Canada

Good plot, good movie, but I walked away disappointed. Poor ending.
George Whitney, USA

I thought it was a great flick. Full of twists that kept the viewer guessing until the end.
Sheryl Giarritta, USA

This is the most depressing movie that I have seen in a long while. I see little point in creating a story about how fate disrupts a man's quest for redemption. The acting is reasonably well done. To save money while being similarly entertained, simply hit your thumb with a hammer. These kind of accidents happen all the time, but while call it art and charge folks to watch?
PS, USA

In North America this movie has been available for some time. I found Nicholson's performance riveting and endearing. The story however, left a lot to be desired. The ending is without a moral compass. Typical of Hollywood to resort to anti-male bias to give this kind of ending. By the way, my female partner found it wanting in this respect, too.
Michael J Sullivan, Canada


This is a fantastic piece of work, the characters, plot and script are intriguing, full-bodied and edgy

Sharon, South Africa
It is fantastic if you appreciate fine acting and can handle a far from cookie-cutter ending. It will never do well with the general public because, quite frankly, it is too intelligent. It is a wonderful comment on the lack of resolution that surrounds so much of the world we live in. Penn does a great job with Jack's character and Jack, as expected, is amazing.
James, USA (English)

Good movie. Tries too hard with kitschy camera techniques though - why the slow motion on a petrol pump? Please. I also found the mental decline of Jack Nicholson's character quite unbelievable. Perhaps it is the way it is portrayed but it just doesn't seem to fit well with the storyline. It appears that they couldn't think of a better way to end the movie. But there is a wonderful twist at the end. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie!
S. Bremner, Bosnia

This is a fantastic piece of work, the characters, plot and script are intriguing, full-bodied and edgy. I think it flopped in the States because of its twisted ending and uncomfortable conclusion. Which is handled perfectly, by the way. Wow! Wonderful movie. Sean Penn is equally talented in front of, as well as behind the camera.
Sharon, South Africa

This film is garbage. I watched it on video and almost fell asleep. I was determined to stick it out until the end in case something exciting happened - it never did! I guess it is supposed to be very deep and meaningful but it is just boring. Don't waste your time or money on it.
JB, USA


The 'clever twist' ending massively disappoints the audience

Mark Scott, USA
I saw this film last week at a special preview. Although the two hours did drag in parts, the middle section of the film flowed very smoothly and I like the cinematic feel Penn gave to the look of the film with long dissolves, pans and extending the length of shots beyond a reasonable length.

Don't want to spoil it for people but the ending was disappointing and very sad. Not a bad film but if you want Hollywood action, then watch a Tom Cruise film.
Tom, UK

Only a mediocrity like Penn could take a story as compelling as this, an actor as talented as Nicholson - and still produce a pretentious bore that waffles between being a failed thriller and an exercise in egocentric artistry. Sean, it isn't too late. A sequel to Fast Times at Ridgemont High might do wonders for your inner muse.
Robert del Valle, USA

The Pledge is a fine film until the last fifteen minutes where the 'clever twist' ending massively disappoints the audience.
Mark Scott, USA (British)

I saw this the other day on DVD. It was an outstanding piece of work by all those involved, including Penn's wife, Robin. Like most of Penn's work, this is dark, deep and engaging and it does not always leave you with a sense of resolution, satisfaction or ending.

Penn is definitely as good as he is behind the camera as he is in front of it. I look forward to his future work, where he will no doubt continue to bring outstanding cast, screenplays and content together.
Damien, USA


I was very disappointed to see such an accomplished actor like Jack Nicholson in an awful movie like this

Patti Brown, USA
Predictable, filled with clichés, marginal acting from a has-been cast, too many cut-to-seagulls-flying. Stay home Sean.
Mark, USA

A compelling drama, well acted for the most part. The climax was not well orchestrated, and certain portions begged more thoughtful editing.
Ken Miller, USA

Sean Penn should definitely stay on the other side of the camera. While some of the points he was trying to make were obvious, most of them were not, thus leaving the viewer to wonder. I was very disappointed to see such an accomplished actor like Jack Nicholson in an awful movie like this.
Pattie Brown, USA

I thought this was a great movie. Jack Nicholson was superb as a man possessed. And that ending........WOW!
Ray McD, Boston, USA

Let me tell you about this movie. I would not recommend anyone to put a penny on it. Do not even see it for free. Yes, it is a thriller but goes East. Sean Penn is a good director but this film is zero. I am sorry for those who have spent any money on it.
Ibrahim Zreik, USA

I thought the film was a complete joy to watch. The acting was absolutely top notch, especially the scenes with Nicholson and Mirren and Nicholson and Redgrave. I can only think that the original and ambiguous ending didn't sit well with the popular American viewing public. I am sorry for them, but I loved it!
David Kane, USA


Quite possibly one of the best films I have ever seen

John, USA
Did Sean Penn run out of money before the film finished? What a dreadful finish to a promising film.
Greg Taylor, British Virgin Islands

I saw the movie a few months ago. I was really disappointed and thought that this was a waste of money.
Jack Van Der Galg, USA

Quite possibly one of the best films I have ever seen. Excellent acting, and this movie asks some very difficult questions along the line of "Does the end justify the means?"
John, USA

Jack never disappoints.
Turel, UK

This is a great movie. I think Sean Penn did a great job directing it. This movie is quite a unique thriller film, which I think is intellgent. The high profile cast is another plus. Sean Penn should really continue to be an actor/director, cause he is good at both.
Timmy, Canada

I watched it last week and thought it was great! Jack gives a convincing performance and the overall feel of the movie is somewhat eerie. The wonderful twist at the end is totally unpredictable and is a nice touch. The movie has a nice pace and left me feeling good and spooked! Jack fans will love it.
Dan, USA

Saw the film, it was extremely slow and in my opinion was a remake of a film starring Richard E Grant called The Cold Light Of Day, which was better.
Dventure, USA


It is the biggest overrated load of rubbish ever

Chris Rose, UK
I saw this movie a few days ago without knowing anything about it. Whilst it appeared to follow a fairly predictable script in the beginning (retiring cop is lured to solve one more murder case) it quickly revealed itself not to be a conventional thriller at all, despite keeping several of the conventions of the genre. Instead, it was a masterful study of the mental disintegration of one man, who allows his obession to ruin his life and jeopardise that of others.

Whilst the photography captured Nevada's rugged beauty it also conveyed a sense that among the local rural population and all its eccentricities "anything could happen", like the senseless murders of little girls.

Slow at times, I found it very worthwhile viewing, especially because of Nicholson's moving performance, though strong supporting characters (Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave) were disappointingly limited (apart from an unrecognisable Benicio del Toro).

The very un-Hollywood (European?), open ending was a treat I had not expected and made the tragedy of Nicholson's character all the more poignant. It's a movie whose mood will stay with you after you leave the cinema. A treat.
Germana, UK

I saw this film when it was released in America. It is the biggest overrated load of rubbish ever. You could watch the first and last ten minutes and see the whole film as nothing of any interest happens inbetween. You end up not caring about any of the many players as the development and interaction of them is so wooden. Save your time and do something more worthwhile instead.
Chris Rose, UK

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