The Pledge

Rated 3.0

Sean Penn’s directorial projects keep getting darker. Jack Nicholson stars as a retiring Reno cop obsessed with finding the killer of a little girl. The obsession grows as he buys a rural gas station in the vicinity of a similar crime and befriends a barmaid (Robin Penn Wright) whose daughter resembles the two victims. Nicholson’s haunted performance and Penn’s moody direction keep the more contrived elements at bay as familiar faces (Sam Shepard, Vanessa Redgrave, Benicio Del Toro, Mickey Rourke) pop up in small roles.