***½/**** Image A- Sound A-
starring Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren
screenplay by Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson Kromolowski, based on the novel by Fredrich Durrenmatt
directed by Sean Penn
by Bill Chambers The Pledge implicates anyone and everyone, especially its viewers. There are critics who like to remain situated on a high horse looking down at the movies: that group loathed The Pledge, because it knocked the saddle out from under them. Their reviews are full of defensive posturing, refusing to deal with the film head-on, denouncing exploitation before deciding on whom or what is being exploited. It's easy to call The Pledge "sick," for instance, because of the moment where Jack Nicholson's Jerry Black sifts through crime-scene photographs of slain children and, because the camera is over his shoulder, so do we.