Pledge, The

Rated 3.0 Jack Nicholson finds himself in another film directed by Sean Penn (after The Crossing Guard), and the results are a mixed bag. Penn opts for an odd, slow pacing in his otherwise good-looking films that gets aggravating at times. Still, that doesn’t lessen the power of Nicholson’s performance as a Reno cop, who pledges to the grieving mother of a young murder victim that he will find her killer. The movie works as a decent murder mystery, and Nicholson is never bad to watch. Penn just needs to pick up the pace a bit. His ability to capture good performances is apparent, but he needs a re-edit to clean up some pacing difficulties. It’s often just too ponderous.