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THE SUSPECT CONFESSED TO THE MURDER, THEN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE.CASE CLOSED? NOT FOR HOMICIDE COP JERRY BLACK. HE HAS HIS OWN INSTINCTS ABOUT THE CRIME. AND EVEN THOUGH HE'S READY TO BEGINA GONE-FISHIN' RETIREMENT, HE PROMISED THE VICTIM'S FAMILY HE'D FIND THE KILLER.
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Unfortunately, Nicholsen is too old and bloated to summon the necessary energy to carry his weight - joke.
As for the movie, it never really finds its rhythm and seems uncomfortable in the small, and smaller, settings.
The film begins as a police story and then becomes a story of one man and his personal issues. Jack Nicholson, Detective Jerry Black, is a good policeman who on the eve of his retirement is brought into a grisly crime of a young girl who is murdered. It is thought that the killer is found and that answers this crime. However, Jack Nicholson's character does not believe this man was the murderer and goes on to find clues to solve this mystery. At the beginning of the film, he 'pledges' to the mother of the first murdered child that he will finds the killer. Jerry goes to such extremes as to buy an isolated gas station in the midst of the wilds of Nevada. He has found that the killer has a pattern, and he thinks that this town is near the area where the killer may next strike. A telling scene, is when Jerry visits a psychiatrist, played by Helen Mirren. He wants assitance in drawing out clues from a drawing the murdered child drew. What happens is that the psychiatrist is able too draw out Jerry, and the first signs appear that something is not right.
This is not a simple story, but a very complicated look into the mind of a good man who has problems. The film is gripping and the characters are so intricate and nvolved that we are drawn in as more than just viewers. The photography is beautiful and the back areas of Nevada are shown in all its glory. In the closing credits I found that the film was shot in Canada, and that was a disappointment. Jack Nicholson delivers the role of his life and once again shows us what this type of ability can give to a film. I am surprised I had never heard of this film until recently. I would urge everyone to view it.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 01-25-12
As Good As It Gets
Top international reviews
Jack Nicholson gives an outstanding performance as Jerry Black, a retired Nevada police detective who has given a pledge to a mother, that he will find the killer of her little girl.
This is one of these films that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
An unpredictable ending but the killer gets his just desserts and will not kill again.
Great entertainment and the third film that was directed by Sean Penn.
Sean Penn's fourth film was ' Into The Wild ' - another terrific film.
Very Highly Recommended film.
Along the way he (Jack Nicholson) meets a young woman with a daughter of a similar age to the dead girl. When he buys a gas station they move in with him and he becomes ultra-protective towards the child but in an error of judgement he uses her as bait to trap his key suspect but his plan goes badly awry.
Claustrophobic thriller with low-key atmosphere but, as ever, Jack doesn't disappoint in delivering a compelling performance.
He can act if given the chance.