Sean Penn’s third film as a director is a psychological murder mystery in which the central character is at once investigator, possible suspect, and angst-ridden carrier of the world’s woes, and damned if Penn doesn’t draw you inside this labyrinth of existential murk. When the mutilated body of an 8-year-old girl is found in the Nevada snow, Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson), a weary, just-retired homicide detective, stays on the case. Nicholson gives a haunting and ravaged performance, and Penn shows real flair — for visual suspense, for holding his actors in the throes of slow-motion breakdown. Yet as the film slides from the intriguing to the contrived, the events acquire a metaphysical vagueness.
Genre: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; Starring: Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright, Benicio Del Toro, Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Harry Dean Stanton; Director: Sean Penn; Author: Jerzy Kromolowski, Mary Olsen-Kromolowski; Producer (group): Clyde is Hungry Productions, Franchise Pictures, Morgan Creek Productions; Release Date Wide: 01/19/2001; Runtime (in minutes): 124; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Warner Bros.
Posted February 9 2001 — 12:00 AM EST
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