Douglas Curran
EW Staff
November 14, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Pledge

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
124 minutes
Wide Release Date
01/19/01
performer
Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright, Benicio Del Toro, Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Harry Dean Stanton
director
Sean Penn
Producers
Clyde is Hungry Productions, Franchise Pictures, Morgan Creek Productions
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Jerzy Kromolowski, Mary Olsen-Kromolowski
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B

If you’re seeking relief from the ”here today gone by recess” teen stars, look no further than the seasoned cast that Penn has assembled for this drama (freely adapted from the novel by Swiss author Friedrich Duerrenmatt) about a retired Reno homicide detective obsessed with the unsolved killing of a little girl. Along with Nicholson (reuniting with Penn after 1995’s ”The Crossing Guard”), there’s Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Sam Shepard, and Harry Dean Stanton. ”There was no time for rehearsal,” says Eckhart (”Erin Brockovich”), who plays Nicholson’s ex partner. ”Sean gets people he wants to be around, who he knows can step up to the plate.”

But even with such a pensive posse, it wasn’t all moodiness all the time — surprising considering the Vancouver shoot was plagued with weather problems. ”I thought Sean [was always going to be sitting] with his face in his lap, brooding,” says Eckhart. ”Never, ever. When you get Sean in the environment that he loves, he’s as relaxed as you’ll ever see him…. I’m not saying everyone was making balloon animals, but when you got your work done, you could talk and laugh.” GOOD SIGN Did we mention that cast? THEN AGAIN If the film’s anything like ”The Crossing Guard,” it could be a major bummer.

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