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The Pledge

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Sean Penn directed this Jack Nicholson vehicle about detective Jerry Black (Nicholson), who, on the eve of his retirement, promises the mother of a murdered young girl that he'll catch the killer. When Black refuses to believe the forced confession of a simple-minded suspect (Benicio Del Toro), his old colleagues on the force see him as a guy who can't let go of his job and the case is closed. Driven by his promise, Black embarks on a solo investigation that indicates the murderer will strike again. Prime Suspect's Helen Mirren stars as a doctor who works with Black on the case, while Robin Wright Penn (Penn's real-life partner) plays Lori, a battered wife and mother who moves in with Black for protection, ultimately giving the detective a sense of family he never had. The heavyweight cast also includes Vanessa Redgrave, Sam Shepard, Micky Rourke and Harry Dean Stanton. Rated R.

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