88

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
In its dark, relentless, devastatingly ironic way, The Pledge is an exhilarating movie, partly because it isn't afraid to be genuinely challenging.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Penn and Nicholson take risks with the material and elevate the movie to another, unanticipated, haunting level.
Full Review
80

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
In crafting a fierce, fragmented, downbeat film about a character who makes the wrong decision as a man by being right as a cop, Penn flies in the face of what sells in Hollywood. Godspeed.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
It is understatement to say that Nicholson does some of the finest work of his career here, easily equaling "The Shining" for gargoyle monstrousness and "As Good as It Gets" for tortured humanism.
Full Review
75

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
Jack Nicholson in a performance that ranks among his best, yet leaves you feeling unfulfilled as never before.
Full Review
75

Mr. Showbiz

By Larry Terenzi
Works best as a mood piece — the mood, however, is grim.
Full Review
75

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Penn is a true talent, but there's just enough languid pretension to The Pledge to make you wonder if he's ultimately more interested in parading his promise as a director than in fulfilling it.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
The movie wouldn't be imaginable without its commanding star. Nicholson is in virtually every scene underplaying to great effect
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Bob Graham
Sets off depth charges of the psyche.
Full Review
60

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
The problem isn't a lack of substance, and certainly not a dearth of talent, but a shortage of fun.
Full Review
71 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.