The Pledge

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38

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User Reviews

  1. EbonK.
    Aug 20, 2001
    1
    Long, boring, bummer. It's perhaps the worst thing Jack Nicholson has ever done. This movie is a "bait and switch" with no more than a few minutes of total screen time for Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave and Sam Shepard who all just have small cameos. Sean Penn as a director must have been smoking marijuana the whole time. It's just a slow moving low down drag with a pointless ending.
  2. JohnW.
    Jan 23, 2001
    3
    Too slowly paced; disturbing on any number of levels; an endless cycle of disassociated "suspense-building" scenes which, like clockwork, culminate either in exactly what you expect or exactly what you don't expect. At the end you're just guessing "heads or tails" as to what will happen, with the outcomes incapable of being predicted but instead left merely to the whim of the Too slowly paced; disturbing on any number of levels; an endless cycle of disassociated "suspense-building" scenes which, like clockwork, culminate either in exactly what you expect or exactly what you don't expect. At the end you're just guessing "heads or tails" as to what will happen, with the outcomes incapable of being predicted but instead left merely to the whim of the directing/writing crew. Good acting, sure, but that's about it. Collapse
  3. Fernando
    Oct 21, 2002
    8
    Good movie. Well directed, great preformance from Our Jack. Hi chance you'll hate it tho cos it's so damn slow. Snails on valium crawling through treacle move faster. But this doesn't make it a bad movie, just one with negligible mass appeal. You are not the yardstick. You are not definitive You are one person among six billion. Taste is relative; quality is absolute. Good movie. Well directed, great preformance from Our Jack. Hi chance you'll hate it tho cos it's so damn slow. Snails on valium crawling through treacle move faster. But this doesn't make it a bad movie, just one with negligible mass appeal. You are not the yardstick. You are not definitive You are one person among six billion. Taste is relative; quality is absolute. Remember that. Expand
  4. DonL.
    Jul 5, 2001
    9
    A thought-provoking, troubling movie that offers compelling, albeit depressing, viewing. Wonderful performances abound, and Nicholson is fantastic as a man searching for, but never reaching, redemption.
  5. MikeL.
    Aug 25, 2001
    6
    Such a good story and brilliant pacing/mood creation made for a great movie until the end was such a bummer that I was sorry I rented it. Movies can have bad endings when it makes sense or makes you think, but in this case, the only thing I was left thinking was, "why did they do that?"
  6. PatC.
    Jan 7, 2004
    6
    Starts off taking us into unexplored territory, but then wanders off into its own authenticity.
  7. DennisM.
    Feb 11, 2001
    6
    Long. Liked the ending.
  8. FriedO.
    Feb 9, 2001
    8
    Clearly not a film that the average couch-potato will understand. Touches upon the deeply spiritual questions of self-trust, duty, love, and "what evil lurks in the heart of mankind." Beautifully filmed and acted. What more can you ask for?
  9. JohnH.
    Dec 29, 2001
    4
    Even though it tries to seem deep the story is both simple anf forseeable. Exellent acting from almost all actors and nice pictureesque shots and thick atmosphere in most scenes.
  10. AJM.
    Jan 25, 2001
    10
    The Pledge is with out a doubt one of Nicholson's finest....This film will bring great recognition to Penn's directorial talents....A must see!!!!!
  11. RyanM.
    Jun 21, 2001
    7
    This film is boring and unsatisfying, but in some strange way it pulls you and you seem to stay interested.
  12. AaronS.
    Dec 31, 2002
    5
    Was going great until the heinous ending, which totally "f"-ed up an otherwise brilliant picture. Terrific acting.
  13. Aug 28, 2014
    6
    I can understand why The Pledge is oft-overlooked in Nicholson's career. He gives an above-average performance, backed by decent direction from Sean Penn.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 75
    Works best as a mood piece — the mood, however, is grim.
  2. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    75
    A rare thriller - and a rare American film - that centers on both dramatic and moral issues, crises of conscience. And thanks to a superb central performance by Nicholson as detective Black, it's a film that compels, thrills and ends up coming very close to tragedy.
  3. 40
    Just a bad movie, with more bits of good acting and flashes of director's invention than you get in most bad movies.