The second film written and directed by Sean Penn is, like his first, The Indian Runner (1991), a self-conscious anthem to macho despair — it’s yet another tale of two men torn (and bound together) by violence. Jack Nicholson gives a powerful performance as Freddy Gale, a Los Angeles jewelry-store owner who has been living in hell ever since his 7-year-old daughter was killed by a drunken driver. To lance the boil of his rage, he becomes obsessed with murdering the man responsible, a young blue-collar hulk (David Morse) who has served six years for manslaughter and emerges from prison so racked with guilt that he actually wants Freddy to kill him. Penn orchestrates a mood of brooding naturalistic languor that owes much to the psychodramatic cinema of the early ’70s, and he shows a rare gift for working with actors. He coaxes a soul-torn grief out of Nicholson that’s shocking to behold, and Morse, who suggests a burlier version of Jon Voight, has a gentle-giant melancholy that borders on grace. 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). What’s more, so many of the film’s details — late-night whiskey binges, fistfights, scenes set at a grimy strip club — echo Penn’s own infamous tabloid antics that, at times, he seems to be flirting with a kind of guttersnipe chic.
The Crossing Guard The second film written and directed by Sean Penn is, like his first, The Indian Runner (1991), a self-conscious anthem to macho despair —...The Crossing GuardDramaDavid Rabe, Sean PennR The second film written and directed by Sean Penn is, like his first, The Indian Runner (1991), a self-conscious anthem to macho despair —...1995-11-24
Genre: Drama; Starring: Anjelica Huston, Jack Nicholson; Director: Sean Penn; Author: David Rabe, Sean Penn; MPAA Rating: R
Posted January 17 2015 — 11:46 AM EST
- 'The Legend of Zelda' for Wii U delayed
- Kit Harington fights terrorism in 'Spooks: The Greater Good' trailer
- Billie Joe Armstrong musical 'These Paper Bullets!' coming to LA, NYC
- 'It Follows': The story behind the score
- Nick Jonas talks hosting the 2015 Kids' Choice Awards, his new image and that Kanye West cover
- Ben Stiller's little-known punk rocker past comes to light
- 'Grey's Anatomy': 10 years, 20 defining moments
- 'Batman v. Superman' character portraits: Like the looks?
- 'American Crime Story' cast: Think each actor looks the part?
- Double trouble: Movie/TV characters who fight themselves
- Patricia Field on 5 costume gigs before she got 'Younger'
- Katy Perry, Kenny & Taylor, Josh Peck and More!