The Crossing Guard (1995) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
77 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A Haunting, Strange Tale Of Forgiveness
ccthemovieman-110 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A strange movie. That's what I thought when I first saw this a decade ago. It was one of those films I thought about a couple of days later and couldn't get out of my head for a short while. When I saw it again a few years ago I almost had the same reaction.

What's different about this film is the message: forgiveness. That's really what it's about and it's done in a touching way even though most of the characters in here are anything but nice, sentimental people.

If you can enjoy a good character-development story and not get too dismayed by a depressing scene or two this movie will reward you with some intangibles that are hard to describe unless you've seen this.

Jack Nicholson, David Morse, Angelica Huston and Robin Wright make for an interesting foursome, I'll say that. Nicholson, particularly, impressed me with an untypically-subdued role for him. (Note: The profanity and nudity in here was totally unnecessary and the film would have been better without it. The story was powerful enough on its own.)

If you don't like this movie, I would understand that, too. It's not an easy film to like. It will either haunt you or put you to sleep. It haunted me.
40 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A powerful and compelling story, filmed well and with some great performances.
PyrolyticCarbon18 April 2003
A powerful and compelling story, filmed well and with some great performances.

Sean Penn seems to have managed to level the actors here, with David Morse, Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson putting in great performances and none of them stealing the scenes from the other. I found this very surprising as I expected Nicholson to flood the screen, as he so often does with such little difficulty.

However, the emotion between Huston and Nicholson in the latter half of the film during the coffee shop scene is so powerful to watch. Huston is such a wonderful actress, and Nicholson shows some emotional depth that I haven't seen before, or rather, not felt with his performance before.

The story is written and planned extremely well, with tension rising slowly and almost imperceptibly, until the final day. I found myself caught from the opening scenes of the counselling session cut with the drunken, partying Nicholson, right through to the pivotal moments of the main characters lives.

It is a fantastic way to address this subject. To examine it from both sides, and keep each side with its own sympathies and understandings. Cleverly your sympathies and hatred are swapped throughout the story.

I hope there's more to come like this.
36 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's hard to find a film with stars this big and the end result being this bad!
planktonrules11 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
"The Crossing Guard" is a film that earned back one tenth of its cost...and although it's possible it's still a good movie, such a statistic pretty much says the picture was bad...really bad. And, this is a case where the earnings clearly WERE an indication that the film really wasn't well made, which is amazing considering it stars Jack Nicholson.

The story is about the release of a man from prison after he served a sentence for vehicular homicide while he was driving drunk. The murdered child's father (Nicholson) has planned on murdering the ex-con when he's released.

While the idea of the film could have worked well, there are just so many problems which make the movie a chore to even finish, especially because the more you watch the worse it gets. And, when I say bad.... I mean monumentally bad, offensive and really dumb.

The first problem is that the dead girl's father (Nicholson) is shown as a thoroughly unlikable jerk. To illustrate that, there are many scenes of the guy going to strip clubs (which seemed VERY gratuitous) and really muddles the plot. He also gets into fights, slaps around his ex-wife and is about only relatable if you are Atilla the Hun!

In contrast, the drunk killer is shown is a completely different light. He feels bad about what he's done....bad, bad, bad. Now he doesn't do anything to actually HELP anyone (such as working to help victims or volunteering to help the disadvantaged)...but he REALLY feels bad about what he's done. I did NOT find this endearing....but a bit annoying.

And then there's the end...which goes on and on and on. First, it really makes no sense. It begins with Nicholson's character pulling a gun on the ex-con...and the con points a rifle in return. So what does the ex-con do? He DROPS his rifle and runs! And, you then are treated to what seems like a mini-marathon with Nicholson chasing him all over town. Nicholson never seemed like the athletic type, but here it's just ridiculous given his age (58). But the worst is the final confrontation scene...which just HAPPENS to be on the grave of the dead child!! Subtle, it is not!!

Overall, a horribly written and directed picture (both by Sean Penn). Penn is a fine actor, but here he clearly appears out of his league....and the film is interminably dull, badly constructed and ridiculous.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Outstanding Film!
CurtisGrindahl15 April 2004
I puzzle at those reviewers criticizing this film, which to my mind is a tour de force. Of course, I do volunteer work with dying folks and help train aspiring grief counselors to deal with the traumas that life all too often brings us. I can only assume that those who so quickly dismiss this powerful meditation on grief and remorse have yet to experience these real life emotions. Something by Schwarzenegger may be more to their taste, or one of the ubiquitous comic book recreations we encounter most summers with cardboard characters and pseudo emotions.

Sean Penn is plumbing much deeper regions of the human psyche, and doing so with actors of rare talent, fully capable of sharing with us their heart rending vulnerabilities. Few actors have the courage to go to the places these actors visit as they face suffering almost too great to bear. I'm reminded of the more recent Mystic River for which Sean Penn received an Academy award for best actor, a movie that explores equally traumatizing events. It was heartening to watch the joy with which this award was greeted by his fellow professionals who have long acknowledged this man's genius both in front of and behind the camera. This movie deserves a much wider audience of discriminating movie viewers.
31 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not very effective at all.
MovieAddict201627 September 2005
Sean Penn directs Jack Nicholson in this story of a man who swears to avenge his daughter's death by killing the drunk driver who struck her.

The movie opens up with Nicholson's character being a sleazy guy in a strip club and instantly we don't care very much about him, because he treats everyone like crap and doesn't really seem to have much depth. I'm all for unlikeable characters, but not when they're totally unredeemable and of no interest to the audience.

The rest of the plot seems very back-and-forth..."I'm going to kill him!" "Wait, I can't kill him." "I'm going to kill him!" "But I shouldn't kill him." When he finally makes up his mind the movie has already lost a lot of its momentum and derails way too early.
15 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Vengeance on the Rocks
wes-connors5 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Unhappily divorced jeweler Jack Nicholson (as Freddy Gale) learns the drunk driver held responsible for the death of his daughter has been released from prison. Swearing and shouting, Mr. Nicholson visits his happily re-married wife Anjelica Huston (as Mary) and announces he intends to kill newly free, but guilt-ridden David Morse (as John Booth). Nicholson finds Mr. Morse living in a trailer on his parents' property and aims his gun - but the weapon malfunctions. Nicholson's verbal blue-streak wakes Morse from his sleep. Morse asks for two, but Nicholson gives him three days to live. By then, that gun should be fixed...

Morse admits, "It only hurts the first time," when describing his sexual activity in prison, then he hooks up with beautiful Robin Wright (as Jojo). She will hook up with writer/director Sean Penn, behind-the-scenes...

Nicholson's Freddy continues to get drunk and pick-up arousing strippers. There is an eye-opening look at topless Pricilla Barnes (as Verna), who holds up well against the younger beauties. After the three days, Nicholson goes to kill Morse again. There is irony in the fact that Nicholson is most likely a drunk driver who wasn't as unlucky as the one who struck down his daughter. This is obvious from the beginning, but it may be intended as a big reveal. There are big, competent names attached to "The Crossing Guard" who are big and competent throughout; yet, you may never completely forget who they are and what you're watching.

****** The Crossing Guard (9/10/95) Sean Penn ~ Jack Nicholson, David Morse, Robin Wright, Anjelica Huston
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Too Liberal And Certainly Confused
Theo Robertson24 April 2003
I don`t think much of Sean Penn as an actor , his OTT performance in CASUALTIES OF WAR almost ruined the entire film for me and it wasn`t only that film that Penn yanked my chain , but despite this I can`t help noticing that he does have some talent behind the camera . He`s not flawless of course and his flaws are plain to see in his later film THE PLEDGE but I found THE CROSSING GUARD to be both very moody and very moving with some truly great acting on display . It does suffer from one deep flaw - Penn`s script

The problem is how the two protagonists are written . Freddy Gales daughter is killed by drunk driver John Booth so guess which character THE CROSSING GUARD portrays in a sympathetic light ? That`s right , the one who killed the girl ! I won`t go as far to say that Penn has painted Booth as the real victim , but why on earth does he paint Freddy as being such a harsh character ? He`s vulgar , always in a drunken state and when it comes to women his attitude is disgusting , in fact he`s a dirty old man and there`s nothing to prove it`s caused by the reaction to the death of his daughter . He is the opposite of Booth who is shown as a different character whose spell in prison has changed him into a profound man able to contribute to society . I see so the man bereaved by the criminal is actually the bad guy ? I`m not sure if this is what Penn is saying because the message is somewhat confused .

But despite this serious flaw I`d like to see more films directed by Sean Penn , just as long as the producer keeps him away from a word processor
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not every movie needs to explode on screen.
Guillaume_Fayot7 April 2004
Those posters who yearn for action, action, and yet more action should rate the movies they are most fond of and leave those with depth and feeling the hell alone. Guys you are about as deep as a puddle in the street.

Sean Penn did an incredible writing and directing job. He assembled an all-star cast and directed them with such skill that no one performance overshadows another, yet all of them are powerful and provocative. It's really great to see David Morse in yet another fine performance. This guy is totally under-rated. Jack Nicholson is, as always, at his finest. Anjelica Huston turns in another powerful performance. It was also good to see Priscilla Barnes after many long years doing a credible, no excellent, portrayal of the "bad girl" with a soul.

If you want to see a film that actually has some depth see this one.
17 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
THETAFAIR28 June 2015
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.
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Occasionally powerful melodrama
moonspinner5518 September 2006
Sean Penn wrote, co-produced and directed this strong drama about a conflicted Los Angeles businessman intent on nailing the drunk driver who killed his daughter. In the lead, Jack Nicholson is appropriately somber, displaying no over-the-top theatrics as he visits the parolee just sprung from jail, giving him three days of freedom before his death. Sub-plots detract from the main narrative, with Robin Wright a colorless love-interest for convict David Morse and Anjelica Huston lost in a confusingly-written role as Nicholson's ex-wife. Frequent trips to the local strip club muddy the focus of the piece, however the emotional showdown between the two men is wisely examined, heartfelt and exceptionally well-acted. **1/2 from ****
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An emotionally and morally clichéd script wastes good actors and good direction
bob the moo13 April 2004
It has been five years since Freddie and Mary's young daughter was killed by a drunk driver and they have both been dealing with it in their own ways. Mary has moved on with a new husband and her other children, while Freddie has collapsed in on himself with a glut of drinks and strippers. However now that the killer, John Booth, has been released Freddie has focus and aims to kill him in revenge. However nothing is that simple.

Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and David Morse are pretty much going to be worth a look as they are all pretty intense actors when given the material to work with. In this film Penn is the writer and director and, unfortunately, he is not as good as writing as he is the other facets of his job. Here the film is pretty good but has one massive problem that it cannot get over - the script. The film is based on clichés that you will have seen before. This itself is not a problem as, although the characters are familiar, it's what you do with them that counts - not their basic descriptions.

However the film doesn't actually do much with these basic characters and, what it does, is confused and clichéd as much as the basics are! The `message' of the film will be different for everyone so I won't go into that but suffice to say that the characters are never really explained and it is impossible to really feel for any of them. They drift aimlessly for an hour or so just `feeling' in a story that borders on the dull, before something happens that has any meaning - and even then you could see it coming. The script wants to be deep and meaningful, and it appears to have fooled several people on this site, but really it is hollow and really lacking in anything close to engagement.

It is even more tragic when you see the potential that the film had. As director, Penn does pretty well with good atmosphere and style. Likewise the cast could have been great but are mostly left to aimlessly drift with a script they can't work with. You can tell Penn is an actor by the way he seems to have been content to let the actor's `explore the space' or, in my terms, do what they want. Morse is a good actor but here he is lumbered with a man who has done all his suffering off camera resulting in him being a bland character with nothing left to explore in front of us. Huston is given nothing of value to do and the inclusion of Robin Wright Penn can surely be nothing but nepotism.

Overall there is a good film in here somewhere, but this is not it. The big names gather around a script that eventually lets them down by being far too dull and simplistic (and confused at the same time!) and never really engages.
7 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely under-rated classic Nicholson film
Robert_duder2 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Now I must start by saying that personally I vehemently dislike Sean Penn. I think his ego is so enormous that it almost always oozes out of his performances making them dripping with sarcasm and over acted scenes. He has done some good films both recently and in the past but overall he thinks he is far better than he is. However it wasn't until the credits rolled on The Crossing Guard that I knew Mr. Sean Penn himself had directed and wrote this powerful film and kudos to him because he did an incredible job. The Crossing Guard is gritty, dark, bleak, a sad and depressing look into grief and death that will not bring you to tears but rather horror at how deep grief can take someone. That someone that we see gives such a powerful performance that I might go so far as to say that it is one of his best performances if not THEE best to date. Penn must known something about grief and the dark place a human can go because he captures the emotion like no other film I have ever seen and perhaps he owes a big part of that to his cast. I am still completely confused by the title...I mean I get that The Crossing Guard watches Nicholson's character as he almost makes his kill but other than that I don't make the connection. But title aside this is a must see film!!

Jack Nicholson plays Freddy Gale, the completely distraught, hopelessly depressed and lost father of a young girl killed by a drunk driver that spiraled his life into hopelessness. He lost his wife, his two sons who now know his ex-wife's new husband as "Dad." He's got questionable business practices running a seed Jewellery store, and his only friends and hang out are in a strip joint. Gale is such an intriguing and incredibly depthy and emotional character. I have never seen Nicholson embrace a character like this and take the film goer on such an incredible ride of emotions. This is a Nicholson MUST SEE performance and he should have been praised to no end for this role. It's under rated and his best and he's done some incredible work. The role of Freddie Gale is like this fragile bomb that is falling apart and ready to explode at any moment which is a suspenseful character to say the least. Anjelica Huston brilliantly plays Freddie's ex-wife Mary whom still cares for her ex-husband but has tried to piece her life back together after the death of their daughter. Huston and Nicholson's scenes together are stunning and her character is a showing of grief from a completely different perspective but just as interesting. She is very good in this performance and Golden Globe nominated which is deserved but a sham considering Nicholson was shut out. The incredible David Morse rounds out the main cast as the man who killed their daughter John Booth. Booth has now just been released from prison and must try to fit into society all the while dealing with his own guilt and grief for the murder he committed. He is equally as emotional and depthy as any of the other characters and once again shows another side of grief to the story.

I can't speak enough about the absolute brilliance of this film. It captures pain and emotion like no other film I've ever seen and brilliantly and perfectly shows it from three very different angles and each one just as powerful as the next although we are seeing the story through the eyes of the completely devastated and angry Freddy Gale. The tone of the film is so depressing and brings you through such a range of emotions it's almost hard to bear. I definitely don't recommend this film to anyone who has lost someone recently because it's a tough film to watch but important and so powerful. An absolute classic that is not treated like one...a rare and stunning piece of cinema. 10/10
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
When will we get over things?
lee_eisenberg16 April 2006
When "The Crossing Guard" came out, it seemed like we'd heard for years that Sean Penn was worthless and just got in a bunch of fights. We turned out to be wrong. He's as great a director as an actor. The movie casts Jack Nicholson as Freddy Gale, out to get drunk driver John Booth (David Morse), who accidentally killed his daughter. Over the course of the movie, we see how Freddy's life is damaged not only by his daughter's death, but how he has never talked to anyone about this. Moreover, Freddy has never gone to his daughter's grave, but John has. Everything comes to a head at the end. Maybe I wouldn't call this the ultimate masterpiece, but it is worth seeing. Also starring Anjelica Huston, Robin Wright Penn and Piper Laurie.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
tedg29 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Two men, one running from death, the other advancing toward it. The meet and exchange roles.

Two powerful, explosive actors (Nicholson and Huston) and two controlled, technical actors (Morse and Wright Penn). Two off-screen relationships both stressed and introspective: one goes forward (Sean and Robin), one does not (Jack and Angelica). Two dancers: one has a child at home; one is a child -- both seek fathers.

Sex and love; awakening and alcoholism -- but these are old. Jewelry put on and clothes taken off. Literal and virtual prisons. Buses and boats. Robin and Verna as dancers. Slow motion in vision and slow awakenings.

In the Egoyan tradition of character-driven symmetries. This is worth watching if only because Penn understands how to place talented actors in motion in folded spaces. All else is irrelevant in this case.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great talent wasted thanks to weak script
Tito-820 June 1999
This film should have been good. It has a potentially great plot, and the first few scenes are very good. Then, it simply falls apart, and the main plot is basically ignored for much of the remainder of the movie. I also found the ending to be somewhat disappointing, although it was nice to see the focus back on the central storyline. The acting was certainly good, as you would expect in a Jack Nicholson movie, but the real tragedy is that David Morse was absolutely wasted. He was outstanding, but he rarely had anything to work with. What a disappointment.
14 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A must see film
glentom11 May 2004
I won't elaborate on the positive comments here, for they are right on the mark.

This is a poetic adventure into the dark side of human events gone wrong, and the affect tragedy can have on a family.

As to the negative reviewers I can only say you have little patience.

This is such a sad movie, so be prepared to cry.

The acting is magnificent! My only criticism is with the editing. It could be shorter, and I would like to see several scenes left out and some more left in.

At least for me it was mesmerizing. 9/10
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent, Touching Movie
jmorrison-229 March 2002
A fine movie, with excellent performances by Nicholson and Morse.

The unspoken and stoic pain endured by David Morse's character is effectively portrayed by Morse. His character tries to go on, putting one foot in front of the other, hoping for some kind of normalcy to return to his life, trying to live with his responsibility for an endless, unspeakable tragedy. I really appreciate the treatment of this situation by Sean Penn, and the actors involved. It is just too easy to demonize people without stopping for a second and realizing "There but for the grace of god..." There is a truth to that statement that too many today refuse to acknowledge.

Jack Nicholson is exceptional, although he overdoes it in a couple of scenes. However, his painful self-hate, and his own sink into despair is apparent.

The end is very touching and sad, yet hopeful. Some may see it as contrived, but even if it was, it was effective. It's interesting that the man most responsible for the little girl's death, may be the one who saves the life of her father.

A message of hope comes out of an unimaginable tragedy. This little girl will live on in these men's hearts forever.

Another very nice job by Sean Penn.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
unconvincing and phony
rupie7 January 2013
I have to take exception to what seems the be the majority view that this is an excellent film. The whole thing is contrived and phony. Throughout, there are innumerable points in the action where people do things and behave in ways completely contrary to what real people would do. The dialogue, too, is contrived. And one could have asked some more subtlety. As it is, it is clear from the get go that the vengeful father is the "bad" guy and the repentant killer is the "good" guy. Things are rarely so black and white. There is one scene further on in the film where Nicholson's character, in a conversation with his ex-wife, portrays some genuine grief and pain, but his portrayal up to that point completely belies that. And the many observations by viewers about the excessive and gratuitous nudity are on the mark. The completely contrived and unbelievable ending brings to mind Oscar Wilde's quote that "one would have to have a heart of stone not to dissolve into tears ...of laughter."

Sean Penn should stick to his day job of acting and stay away from writing and directing.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Revenge turns to obsession.
michaelRokeefe20 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Pathetic, disjointed and slow. Written and directed by Sean Penn, this film's focus is on Freddy Gale(Jack Nicholson), who's daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Gale mistakenly thinks the best thing for the family is abandon them and vow to murder the guy who did it. Gale is a shady jeweler that has turned himself into a whore-mongering drunk. And growing is his obsession with John Booth(David Morse), the driver that killed his little girl. Booth finishes doing time for the crime and moves into the basement of his parent's home. Freddy Gale is in countdown mode to commit murder...murder Booth. My favorite scene is Gale and Booth playing cat and mouse on a city bus...Booth running for his life and Gale with gun in hand. Also in the cast are: Anjelica Huston, Piper Laurie, Robbie Robertson and Robin Wright Penn.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sappy, predictable, and tiresome
ndrapela4 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to find a Jack Nicholson movie where he acts so poorly that it bothers the viewer. But here is the needle in the haystack.

Nicholson's performance is overacted, uninspired, and adolescent. And as if that wasn't bad enough, Anjelica Huston seems to follow suit! It's almost as if there was a bad-acting virus on the set.

However one actor who had apparently been vaccinated was David Morse. This is probably the one and only bright spot in the movie. Morse is fantastic. His portrayal of John Booth is convincing, multi-dimensional, and consistent. It is twice as amazing that Morse was able to pull off such an impressive job when one considers that he had to play off the pitiful Nicholson. Robin Wright did give Morse at least something to work with as her performance was fairly good, although hampered by the story...

..which brings us to the worst aspect of the movie--the screenplay. Imagine a story called, "The hammer hits the nail," where viewers are forced to watch an ultra-slo-mo of a hammer coming down on a nail, periodically broken up by sporadic, unnecessary banter, and you have this in a nutshell. The story is painfully predictable, and morbidly slow-moving. One walks away saying, "That was it? But I already knew that." The actual story should only take about 5 minutes. The rest is filler. And bad filler.

The climax of the movie (if one can call it that) is a pathetically unrealistic chase scene where the out-of-shape, 50-something, smoking alcoholic character played by Nicholson out runs the young, muscular and fit Morse over a distance of some 3 miles or so (although it seems like 20 miles to the viewer). Nothing is given away by this description however, since most viewers already know how a movie like this will end.

The title of the film, "The Crossing Guard" is of course irrelevant to all but self-described film experts who have infinite time and desire to conjure up the "real" meaning of films and teach them to the rest of us. However, it most likely refers to the tragic failure of a talent-guard to catch this script before it made it to production.
18 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
craftsmanship of the film is top-notch
winner553 June 2007
Sean Peen directed Jack Nicholson in what I consider his last truly exceptional performances, this film and "The Promise". This is film is somewhat more accessible than the other, and has an ending that can almost be called 'upbeat'.

This is an odd film; none of the characters are very likable, but by the end, we find something to like in every one of them; or at least forgive.

Penn gives Nicholson, as a father of a manslaughter victim, plenty of opportunity to over-act and chew the scenery, which he takes advantage of on occasion. Yet this actually works for the film, because his character is in such despair, he teeters on the edge of insanity.

How he at last works his way back to the land of the living is what the ending is all about. The crossing that is guarded is that of the River Styx; and learning that no one ever returns from this is what the film is all about.

By the way, the craftsmanship of the film is top-notch, - very surprising from a directer who, at that time, had worked behind the camera very rarely.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Awfully weak
Varlaam4 April 1999
Sometimes good, sometimes bad actor Sean Penn proves that he can be a bad writer and bad director as well, in this bogus impression of a European art film. Hé, Monsieur Penn, Euro films are thoughtful, not somnolent.

The impossibly cute Kari Wuhrer does an imitation of Shirley Temple in one of her all-too-brief scenes towards the end of the film. She even performs her own song, entitled "Freddy and Mia". She is très mignonne, definitely. Signor Penn, perhaps you could make a film devoted to her oh so appealing character. Other than Kari, the movie's highlight is a short fragment from the rare Jewel song, "Emily".

"The Crossing Guard" is dedicated to Bukowski, an appropriate nod given the predilections of the Nicholson character.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
great work by Sean Penn
blanche-210 July 2000
Sean Penn is obviously as talented a director and writer as he is an actor. This is a powerful film, if a little too self-consciously "artistic" in parts and unnecessarily dense in others. Wonderful acting and a great story of how obsession and a need for revenge hurts the avenger the most. Jack Nicholson is fabulous as an angry man who has lost the ability to feel anything but hate.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A real stretch of a script........
merklekranz8 August 2008
Unfortunately some fine acting by Jack Nicholson is badly wasted due to a script that stretches credibility to the extreme. The first problem is the numerous t&a scenes that do nothing to enhance anything other than Jack Nicholson's ego. Second, there are scenes that are totally unbelievable, and the ending seems nothing more than audience manipulation. Third, there is very little character development other than Jack Nicholson, and Angelica Huston's part should have had far more importance. Fourth, the title "The Crossing Guard" is way off base, giving no hint that the main theme of the film is redemption, and forgiveness. Not recommended. - MERK
6 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed