Sleepers (1996)

As adolescents, four boys sent to a reformatory were raped and tortured by guards there. Now grown men, two of them spot the sadistic head guard and murder him. Now the four friends -- including a journalist and an assistant D.A. -- plan an… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 25, 1997
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

It is all legally preposterous. But Levinson is a slick craftsman, his actors are insinuatingly real, and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus casts a disarmingly believable light on these proceedings.

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Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle

At times the images are agonizing to behold, men in their most desperate, hateful depths preying on children. The film, exceptional on many counts, ultimately is sad in a hopeless, haunting way.

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

Views the gray tones of good and evil and what lengths people are willing to go through to re-claim the dignity they lost as children.

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David Stratton

If audiences aren't bothered by this disturbing subtext, there's a lot to enjoy in this impeccably structured, handsomely produced saga.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Idealized? You bet. That's why the loss of this world must be avenged with the same broad strokes that you'd expect from the Count of Monte Cristo.

John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis's more than a bit disconcerting to see how the narrative makes serious wrongdoers sympathetic. Therefore, a qualified success.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Levinson has done nothing to sift the half-truths from the melodrama...

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

In craft terms alone, Sleepers is considerably better than average filmmaking, but it's difficult to take this film as seriously as it takes itself.

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

Despite it all, just try to take your eyes off this movie: skillfully crafted by Levinson, Sleepers is eminently watchable, deeply emotional, and populated with top acting talent. [Blu-ray]

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More reviews for Sleepers

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Alex roy
Well crafted drama, Sleepers manages to tackle a revenge style story with the right mix of drama that is aided by a great cast of talented actors. I thought… More
Melvin White
Lorenzo: There are no clear pictures of the sexual abuse we endured. I buried it as deep as it can possibly go.  "When friendship runs deeper than… More
Mark Walker
After the massive box-office flop of "Toys" in 1992 and the overlooked, straight to dvd, "Jimmy Hollywood", director Barry Levinson seemed… More
Jens S.
Emotionally overwhelming drama about four kids whose life is thrown off track during their visit to a reform school, where they are abused and tortured. The… More
Lucas Martins
Barry Levinson's tense drama, with great cast become a breathtaking and moving cinematography adaptation of the controversial bestseller.
Apeneck Fletcher
4 ghetto hoodlums ruin some innocent lives and are shocked when they get their comeuppances. Ahh, but the road to revenge (and that's what this film is… More