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Director Christopher Nolan follows up his breakthrough sophomore film Memento with this remake of a stylish Norwegian thriller. Al Pacino stars as Detective Will Dormer, a Los Angeles Police Department legend who temporarily escapes an internal affairs investigation that may ruin his career by traveling to Nightmute, AK, the remote site of a murder that has the local authorities flummoxed. Along with his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), and the small town's wide-eyed rookie investigator, Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), the exhausted Dormer probes the brutal slaying of a teenage girl who… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film represents a triumph of atmosphere over a none-too-mysterious mystery. Which is to say that Nolan makes you feel the end-of-the-earth bleakness of his setting, makes you feel the way it can discombobulate people once they internalize it."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Nolan uses visual pyrotechnics to pump up the tension and add to Pacino's sense of disorientation, but the feeling he evokes isn't as forlorn, creepy, or ambiguous as in the original (though the mountain wilderness is just as forbidding)."
‑ Ted Shen, Chicago Reader
"Christopher Nolan's Insomnia adds 11 minutes to the Norwegian movie of the same name and manages to make everything that was fleeting and tantalizing in the original weighty, literal and dull."
‑ Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun
"Christopher Nolan's follow-up to Memento is just as taut and ambiguous as its predecessor and -- arguably -- features better performances from its leading me"
‑ , Total Film
"Part mystery, part moral dilemma, but all seductively intriguing."
‑ Anita Schmaltz, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"With a run-of-the-mill bad-guy actor playing chief suspect Walter Finch, the movie might have tipped too far Pacino's way. But Robin Williams is a shockingly effective counterweight."
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"This one is nowhere near as original -- it's a flawed remake of a fine first feature from Norway -- but Insomnia still stands on its own as a thriller with brains and scenic beauty."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"A smart, intricately constructed thriller, the film has far more on its mind than just who done it."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"This skilfully directed psychodrama from Christopher Nolan proves that hit European movies can be remade successfully."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"As Pacino endures day after day without a wink of sleep, Insomnia skillfully turns the screws, delving further into his troubled mind as it's haunted by past and present sins, as well as deceptive visions that seem to bleed out of his conscience."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Scene by scene, screenwriter Hillary Seitz follows director Erik Skjoldbjaerg's original closely, but this remake deepens and improves upon the Norwegian film by giving Dormer a more complex relationship with Eckhart."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
"A dark and fidgety picture from Christopher Nolan, who made such a splash with Memento."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"Not as audacious as Memento, Christopher Nolan's first studio feature is nevertheless a confident and intelligent thriller that demonstrates a canny ability to fuse his own concerns with guilt, subjective experience and narrative to a mainstream package."
‑ , Film4
"Christopher Nolan, the promising writer-director behind Following and Memento, makes an elegant and assured transfer to big-budget, star-driven film-making with Insomnia."
‑ Mike Goodridge, Screen International
"A startlingly good thriller wrapped around a morality tale."
‑ Stephen Humphries, Christian Science Monitor
More reviews for Insomnia on Rotten Tomatoes

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