The Crossing Guard


Action / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 54%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 11989


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April 01, 2012 at 11:50 AM



Robin Wright as Jojo
Jack Nicholson as Freddy Gale
Kellita Smith as Tanya
700.98 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 0 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by THETAFAIR 4 / 10


Wonderfully talented actors, and a director I imagine talented as well. But both the actor's indulgence and the director indulging them is stultifying. Seemingly left to their own devices they create scenes with few sparks and much tedium. Nicholson, Morse, Huston and the other have ability to burn, yet they fizzle with false restraint.The actors are obviously improvising in many scenes yet their behavior often seems contrived and illogical. The director, attempts to create a reality of life with ancillary actors surrounding the leading characters,yet those scenes within scenes seem forced and intrusive. One should care about the three major characters caught up in a truly tragic event, yet it's generally "ho-hum" because they are caught "acting" in most every scene. With such great talents, this film was truly disappointing.

Reviewed by videorama-759-859391 8 / 10

Don't cross past this one

In one way, I actually see The Crossing Guard as a nifty orchestrated masterpiece with a simple plot and a very believability of story and situations, with some almost too real moments, if you can grasp that. The movie has a very real life scenario, yet simple, potent dialogue, where the film is left to the real and flawed characters to drive it. It's the way the story is manipulated by the two mains understandable intentions, and I felt this all through the movie. Loss is a horrible thing, and this is what has driven a womanizing/seedy jeweller Freddy, (Nicholson, great as always) onto a path of alcoholic destruction. The day has finally arrived, when the man, John Booth (Morse, in one of his best ever performances) who accidentally ran down his daughter, is coming out of the pen. This is the day he's been dreaming about, where he has vowed to kill this guy, with a frightening determination, and Jack has the gun to prove it. He even gives Booth a prior three day warning, what's about to ensue, that death is near, where this makes for Booth's uneasiness, and handling of his situation. Booth, who's dirty unshaven look, reminds of Kiefer's ex con one in An Eye For An Eye. Booth is not a bad man. He's polite, courteous, well spoken, and loves his adoptive parents, as frankly says "more than anything in the world". A funny conversation between the three in the car, when coming home from the pen, where a few expletives are freely dropped, leads you to momentarily think they're not your ordinary family. Nicholson's frank revelation to his ex wife (Huston, who does the role solid) with the line, that he's gonna kill Booth, is one of my favourite bits, where it's unintentionally funny, but you do feel, especially in the first viewing that it's a much more serious situation. Booth's one real savour is a girl (Robing Wright Penn) at a party, where, she even feels out of his reach, with his self punishing, she being the only one he told about Jack's nasty little visit. He even crashes her place, his first words to her "Define Guilt". What kind of was annoying, a little bit, was the continuing switch of scenes between Booth and friends, and Jack and his lady friends. He's even doing a much younger girl, Mia, an unrecognizable Kari Wuhrer, where she became a little known, in the years that followed. Sean Penn, of course, better actor than director (I mean he's a great director, but his acting quality is so high) makes good films with real stories. It becomes real fun, knowing what the next move of the two will be, Booth kind of accepting of his murderous fate, where Jack's fate becomes increasingly dangerous, as in the last fifteen minutes of the film, which are electric. The film had an ending I really appreciated, and admired, and again was believable. It made sense, as nearly everything else in the film does too. Yes, there are kind of some over the over the top or unbelievable moment's like Morse's decisions to protect himself, playing cowboy, but this is a good movie and a good drama, thanks to real characters with real and believable motivations. Underrated, yeah, definitely, where I felt that with The Indian Runner. A few cool great slo mo shots of Jack exiting a few bars, strip clubs, whatever. What I like about Penn, is he doesn't get experimental or over indulge with his films. Bruce Springsteen's soundtrack is dynamite. The gay Asian who works at his jeweller is, a cute and funny touch too. Watch for John Savage's great cameo at the start.

Reviewed by DarthVoorhees 5 / 10

Nicholson and intriguing set-up can't save this empty thriller

I liked 'The Pledge' a great deal and so I checked out Nicholson's first collaboration with Sean Penn. It initially looked like it could have been an under the radar film in Nicholson's filmography. The premise sounded extremely intriguing. Nicholson stars as a grieving alcoholic father who has waited for his daughter's killer to get out of jail so he can murder him. David Morse, an incredibly underrated character actor, plays the depressed ex-con who feels a great deal of guilt.

It never lives up to any expectations. The film has an interesting idea but Penn's screenplay is padded beyond allowing coherence. He plays his cards too fast. Nicholson's character encounters the killer in the first twenty minutes and so there's nothing the build up to. Most of the film is moody shots of Nicholson drinking in seedy strip clubs.

That being said there are two wonderfully acted scenes which almost make up for the film's faults. There's a scene where Nicholson character completely breaks down and bawls to Anjelica Huston who is playing his wife. It is outstanding. It may be the most vulnerable and hopeless Nicholson has ever been on screen. Morse has a scene where he tries to visit the grave of the little girl only to see the family visiting it. Morse is a complicated actor. He almost always plays serious heavies but this performance has a lot of intriguing possibilities had the script been better.

It is a fantastic seed for a better movie to be grown from. Penn just wasn't experienced enough as a screenwriter to fully develop it. He was lucky he had Nicholson, Anjelica Huston, and David Morse. In lesser hands this thing would have been a waste.

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