75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Edward Guthmann
Some scenes ramble and go on too long, dialogue occasionally turns awkward and adolescent, and the film threatens to collapse from its own unchecked anger.
Full Review
75

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston give mature performances as the bereaved parents, and David Morse brings an offbeat touch to the basically decent man who traumatized their lives.
Full Review
75

TV Guide

His emphasis on acting is welcome at a time when shallow, smirkingly self-referential performances threaten to become the Hollywood norm, but the film's slack pacing and narrative indiscipline undermine its intensity.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The Crossing Guard is a work of talent and, on occasion, raw passion, but it's also a willed exercise in purgative alienation (imagine "Death Wish" remade by Michelangelo Antonioni).
Full Review
63

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The problem with The Crossing Guard is not the premise or core theme, but the manner in which director Sean Penn breathes life into the story. This film is horribly unfocused.
Full Review
63

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
What is good about this film is very good, but there are too many side trips, in both the plot and the emotions, for the film to draw us in fully.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Examiner

By Barbara Shulgasser
So while at times, Penn's film is moving and insightful about the way the heart survives tragedy, at other times it seems to have been made by a gifted schizophrenic who thinks that weird behavior is perfectly normal.
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50

USA Today

By Mike Clark
The movie is repetitious in some ways and superficial in others. But though Penn doesn't always seem to know where he's going, his movie doesn't altogether miss its destination. [15 Nov 1995, Pg.05.D]
Full Review
40

Empire

By Angie Errigo
Although there are some great moments (one for Nicholson recalling the toast scene of "Five Easy Pieces"), Penn's intentions lose their way.
Full Review
38

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
The result is a curious mix - a picture that simultaneously seems meanderingly loose, affording the cast plenty of performing space, and suffocatingly tight, choking off the audience from any interpretive engagement.
Full Review
46 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.