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Barry Levinson directed this crime drama based on a controversial bestseller. Jason Patrick stars as Lorenzo, a New York reporter more commonly called "Shakes," a nickname courtesy of his three childhood pals from Hell's Kitchen -- Michael (Brad Pitt), John (Ron Eldard), and Tommy (Billy Crudup). As kids, all four were sent to reform school after accidentally killing someone during a cruel prank. There, the boys were raped and beaten by several guards, including Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon), a fact that they've kept secret into adulthood. Michael is now a rising star in the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"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."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"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."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Powerful story of child abuse. Not for kids."
‑ Carly Kocurek, Common Sense Media
"One thing you will not being doing after seeing this dark, yet beautifully written film, is sleeping."
‑ Kevin McCarthy, BDK Reviews
"If audiences aren't bothered by this disturbing subtext, there's a lot to enjoy in this impeccably structured, handsomely produced saga."
‑ David Stratton, Variety
"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."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"'s more than a bit disconcerting to see how the narrative makes serious wrongdoers sympathetic. Therefore, a qualified success."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Boasting a glorious multi-generational cast (De Niro, Hoffman, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric), Levinson's tale of sexual abuse and revenge is just decent, lacking dramatic energy and relying too much on voice-over narration and conventional courtroom procedures"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Disturbing and powerful"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"Levinson has done nothing to sift the half-truths from the melodrama..."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"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."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"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]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Disturbing, but compelling and provocative."
‑ , Film4
"Brad Pitt and Jason Patric are, sorry to say, far overshadowed by their more mature colleagues. Neither has any real presence, in my mind, especially Pitt, whose star power is far greater than his acting ability."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
More reviews for Sleepers on Rotten Tomatoes

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