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 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 »

NURSE BETTY

" Nurse Betty takes a case of amnesia and spins into an irresistible mixture of sadness and hilarity. At it's giddiest peaks the movie, directed by Neil LaBute ( Your Friends and Neighbours, MIFF ... 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 »

HIGH FIDELITY

Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Grifters) teams with John Cusack to bring Nick Hornsby's hysterical bestseller to the screen. Cusack is Rob, an eternal teenager approaching 30. In the ... More »

TAPE

Independent American filmmaker Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Waking Life) again demonstrates his filmmaking prowess with a one-room claustrophobic drama. This low-tech, digitally shot ... More »

GEORGE WASHINGTON

"This hypnotic, poignant and richy imaginative work actually uses the 'I cannot tell a lie' folklore of America's first President as an ironic counterpoint to a stylised tale of lost youth in the ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director