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Based on 18 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Edward Guthmann San Francisco Chronicle

    Some scenes ramble and go on too long, dialogue occasionally turns awkward and adolescent, and the film threatens to collapse from its own unchecked anger. show more

  • 50
    Mike Clark USA Today

    The movie is repetitious in some ways and superficial in others. But though Penn doesn't always seem to know where he's going, his movie doesn't altogether miss its destination. [15 Nov 1995, Pg.05.D] show more

  • 75
    TV Guide

    His emphasis on acting is welcome at a time when shallow, smirkingly self-referential performances threaten to become the Hollywood norm, but the film's slack pacing and narrative indiscipline undermine its intensity. show more

  • 63
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    What is good about this film is very good, but there are too many side trips, in both the plot and the emotions, for the film to draw us in fully. show more

  • 63
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    The problem with The Crossing Guard is not the premise or core theme, but the manner in which director Sean Penn breathes life into the story. This film is horribly unfocused. show more

  • 50
    Barbara Shulgasser San Francisco Examiner

    So while at times, Penn's film is moving and insightful about the way the heart survives tragedy, at other times it seems to have been made by a gifted schizophrenic who thinks that weird behavior is perfectly normal. show more

  • 38
    Rick Groen The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    The result is a curious mix - a picture that simultaneously seems meanderingly loose, affording the cast plenty of performing space, and suffocatingly tight, choking off the audience from any interpretive engagement. show more

  • 40
    Angie Errigo Empire

    Although there are some great moments (one for Nicholson recalling the toast scene of "Five Easy Pieces"), Penn's intentions lose their way. show more

  • 75
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston give mature performances as the bereaved parents, and David Morse brings an offbeat touch to the basically decent man who traumatized their lives. show more

  • 67
    Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

    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). show more

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