Light Sleeper
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Paul Schrader's brilliant study of another alienated urban denizen skirting the borderline of madness stars Willem Dafoe as John Le Tour, a rich, upscale drug dealer for Manhattan professionals -- "White drugs for white people," as he puts it. John is a recovering addict and for him it's the perfect job, as he can relate completely with the self-absorbed eccentrics he services. But when his boss Ann (Susan Sarandon) tells John that she is planning to abandon the drug business for herbal cosmetics, John's life is thrown into disarray. With no future plans, he sees black… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A superb Dafoe contributes crucially to the degree of success the film achieves."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"In film after film, for year after year, Paul Schrader has been telling this story in one way or another, but never with more humanity than this time."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A personal, melancholy tale of the midlife crisis of drug dealers in New York, Light Sleeper is done in a detached, ascetic, semi-successful Bressonian style but well acted by Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Dark, fluid, well-acted, and stark crime thriller."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"For me, Light Sleeper comes the closest to capturing on film the ethos of Lou Reed's musical opus "Street Hassle," one of the most eloquent urban visions of our time."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Schrader certainly has his finger on the pulse of the times, and the universally strong performances do ample justice to his sensitive ear for dialogue."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Artistically self-indulgent, if beautifully acted, "Light Sleeper" isn't aimed at audiences with a hunger for conventional entertainment and upbeat endings -- for Schrader this is an improvement."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Any walk down NYC streets with Paul Schrader is worth taking"
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"A poignant drama about a person who looks everywhere for saving grace except right in front of him."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"At its best, "Light Sleeper" is merely theoretical. Most of the time, though, it is artificial and laughably unbelievable. Even the dark, gritty Manhattan locations don't add authenticity."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
""Sleeper" is wonderful, vintage fare from the man who scripted "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," and directed his own screenplays for "American Gigolo," "Mishima" and others."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"One of my favorite Dafoe perfomances. Sarandon is the drug dealer and Dafoe is her salesman. Nightcrawlers have never been captured better; look for David Spade in a great cameo."
‑ Jonathan W. Hickman, Entertainment Insiders
""Light Sleeper" shows writer-director Paul Schrader's character-development skills in full bloom."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for Light Sleeper on Rotten Tomatoes