Unusual, deliberate plot
Sometimes the difference between a good movie and a bad movie is a delicate line. The setup in The Pledge is nothing new, starting from one of the longest running themes of a retiring cop who has one last case to put away.
We know from the outset that this film is trying to be something special. From numerous lingering shots to the choice of angles and the intercutting of scenes, the entire package is meant to keep the tension building.
The plot is likewise very patient as well, forgoing many of the usual trappings found in your usual script. The eventual ending is as unique as it is ironic, and in fact unfinished, and yet there is a sense of resolution there, that we found the right place to stop.
Jack Nicholson brings a certain depth to the character of Jerry Black. He lives mostly in the moments between dialog where the traces of his true motivations makes themselves known.
Where The Pledge is most interesting is in its presentation of some key moral choices. And that's the key point. Drop that side of the film, and you've got something nicely shot that won't really hold your interest. These guys threw the dice on several non-standard choices in this film, and came up with a winner.
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