Sleepers

 
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  • Dealing With Child Abuse: Can "Street" Revenege Or Manipulating Legal/Authorative Systems Help The Abused?
    Because films are frequently the closest contact people have with certain subjects, one must look at how this film approaches a very real and socially escalating problem: "child abuse" (as well as the acknowledged, but never dealt with "spousal" and "familial abuses") and the consequences of such "abuse." Let me state for the record that even though I have taught numerous classes on this subject, and frequently in disagreement with my peers, I find it repulsive that we as a society and nation belittle reality with the term "abuse." It is my belief that there is nothing "abusive" about another person assaulting or terrorizing another person, and that it is demeaning, stigmatizing, stereotyping, and trivializing to say it is "abuse." Moreover, I would argue that it is a consequence of not recognizing that the story in the film is about assault and battery, and the terrorizing--not "abuse"-- of children (and others), that the makers and stars of the film were unsure how to present the story in more poignant and dramatic fashion.

    Despite one's position ("abuse" versus assault/terrorism) on the subject mater of the story, the script and theme of the film--which really is more about how to "deal" with the effects of such actions--can only be described as cynical and pessimistic at best; and, more realistically, illegal/morally corrupt and vigilantism. Because, as far as I am concerned, what the film is about, when the movie ends, is that revenge is sweeter than either the victim's health or justice, let alone how to realistically deal with the problem. That is, the film condones the notion that the "best" thing one can do as a victim is break the law themselves, exacting revenge on their perpetrators while maintaining the illusion they and others see: that nothing ever happened to them. The failure of such an approach is alluded to at the end of the movie--two of the boys (victims) get killed acting out just as they were treated, and the two other boys become (depressed) lost and lonely in society. BUT I question how evident this is to most viewers. Indeed, my gut reaction to the film the first time I watched it was: "Yeah, that's how you deal with sicko child predators: kill them!" AND this is the movies "undoing," while it is also what gives the film a feel good dramatic effect on viewers.

    As a society, most people "feel good" when revenge--especially when concealed in the imagery of "justice"--is the conclusion of the story. So what if the prosecutor broke numerous laws to lose the case; that a priest committed perjury (which is acceptable, apparently, since the president can do so without consequences); two "hardened" criminals--who essentially admitted to killing the guard (Kevin Bacon's character)--are found "innocent" of murder; and another man/guard is killed "street" style by a drug lord? In a society that refuses to acknowledge the true nature of "abuse," and therefore coddles said criminals (as well as allowing so called "abuse" to be used as an excuse for the victim's own criminal actions), people--myself at times, as well--need an outlet to feel like something is being done.

    Movies (and other media) such as "Sleepers" provide that relief; and in doing so, I think, conceive a dramatic and satisfying exposure to one of our greatest threats to social order, in the movie "Sleepers." As such, this allows the viewer to empathize with the characters and theme of "Sleeper," and come away satisfied or really liking the movie. I think "Sleepers" also allows the viewer to (incorrectly) believe that the problem is not as bad as it is, and that it is being dealt with by others. As such, "Sleepers" essentially provides the viewer a sense that "Yes, 'abuse' is out there, but it is being dealt with by "someone" else; so who cares?"

    However, it also keeps the viewer from asking more important questions: Does such revenge help the victims? Does such revenge help prevent the problem? Why are we as individuals so willing to view such violence and crime as nothing more than "abuse?" How is child assault and terrorism (aka "abuse") effecting other people, in addition to the victims and perpetrators--that is, to what degree has this problem disrupted/destroyed families, relationships, jobs, beliefs, and other socio-cultural aspects of our lives?

    I purchased this movie based on two factors: the amazing cast and other reviews praising how well the film was made, glossing over the subject matter. Unfortunately, the cast--for the most part--gave mediocre performances relative to their past portrayals in other films; although, collectively, they did well enough to keep the drama moving forward. As such, "Sleepers" is an average movie, with an amazing cast of stars who, on the face of it, give solid performances; but really just "walk" their way through their scenes, being themselves. But, then again, an average performance by Robert Deniro or Dustin Hoffman is often superior to a really great performance my lesser actors.

    Update--1 July 2008: If this review was not helpful to you, I would appreciate learning the reason(s) so I can improve my reviews. My goal is to provide help to potential buyers, not get into any arguments. So, if you only disagree with my opinion, could you please say so in the comments and not indicate that the review was not helpful. Thanks. ...more info
  • Does our society protect the innocent?
    Most viewers seem to grasp the horrific nature of the sadistic torture the little boys underwent in this story. Whether it is verbatim "true" or not, the point is that such occurences are unfortunately not as rare as some would like to imagine. When the law fails to protect children from such monstrous behavior, and cold, premeditated sadism and perversion is allowed to continue, the children are permanently damaged.

    The trial scene is compelling and Dustin Hoffman is excellent in his role as are all the others, including Robert Diniro as the fatherly Priest. The songs are there to remind us that these children, after all, had a life and a friendship that could not taken from them.

    The result is not a morally bankrupt or confusing moral stance, as some seem to suggest, but rather a second look at a society that must be re-evaluated and judged for its own, often-times arbitrary judgements and horribly misguided decisions that do not honor basic human rights of its most vulnerable citizens....more info
  • One of THE best movies that you will ever see
    I have seen this movie so many times since it first came out, i hvae no idea what the number is. This is an amazingly depressing yet wonderful story based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's experiences with his 3 friends from childhood to adulthood. Like I said, I have seen this movie countless times and it never fails to make me cry. It's such a sensitive subject that is dealt with very well. These boys (the ones still living are around 40+ years old) went through SO much being abused, sexually and physically by sadistic, sick guards. Kevin Bacon plays the main guard who later gets what he deserves by John and Tommy. Joe Perrino and Jason Patric as Lorenzo "Shakes" Carcaterra were both wonderful as the younger and older Shakes. Joe Perrino did exceptionally well, beyond what most child actors perform. He made you feel the pain that Shakes had to go through, as did Jason Patric. Jason Patric was also chilling with the narraration. Brad Renfro and Brad Pitt play Michael Sullivan, the ringleader, who later becomes an attorney. He, along with Shakes who is a reporter, rig the trial of John Reilly (Geoffrey Wigdor and Ron Eldard) and Tommy Marcano (Jonathan Tucker and Billy Crudup). The movie is about their horrific childhood experiences at the prison for boys and how they get revenge on the guards who tortured and raped them when they were little boys. It's a very moving story, and theres controversy as to whether or not it's true. I believe this story, but it doesn't matter if it's true or not..It's still a beautifully chilling movie and everyone should see it. The book is extremely good, well written and like the movie, will make you cry. Again, I've seen this movie countless times, own it on dvd and vhs and I watch it every time it comes on TV. It is that good......more info
  • EXCELLENT MOVIE/Guaranteed to shed a tear!!!
    Sleepers brings to the screen the story of four boys from Hell's Kitchen, N.Y., in the late 60's, who end up at Wilkinson School for Boys, where they are systematically and repeatedly abused by several of the prison guards.
    It is a film about human relations, hope, and second chances, but most importantly about trust, innocence, friendship, divine justice, and inner strength.
    All the actors, (Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon and Dustin Hoffman among others) without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)! Very well written and very well presented, the movie is without a doubt guaranteed to provide more than just a few tears. Consequently, it is an entertaining film that can be watched over and over again.
    The film is simple enough, but does a great job of describing people's every day lives and the problems they face. It just goes to show that simplicity is often far better than complexity, when trying to present issues of a human nature.
    I strongly disagree with the "official reviewer," Jeff Shannon, about the film's "dubious emphasis on homophobic revenge." No further comment is needed...
    The setting, the plot, the dialogues and the music are all wonderful!
    In short, Sleepers is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection!...more info
  • Great Movie, DVD leaves out authenticity
    The movie is fantastic and I picked it up for ten bucks cause I love the acting, and how they systematically get their revenge. Its not in a Stallone or Schwarzenegger Im-going-to-shoot-everyone-dead-who-ticked-me-off kind of way. They use the court system, mobsters, and corruption to their advantage.

    What disappointed me, is that in the theatrical release, they have a short text at the beginning of the movie detailing what a Sleeper is, and some text at then end before the credits roll stating something to the effect that "...the [Court] has no record that such a trial ever took place and no record of sex abuse in the Boys school (yada yada) Lorenzo Carcaterras stands buy his story." These texts are left out.

    Why???

    Was it so controversial that they decided to take it out of the DVD release? I know that sounds silly to complain, but when you read info like that, it gives the movie more mystery, authenticity, character. You know this is someone's story who claims its true even if its not. If someone watched this version, even if they knew about the book, would think the book and movie may be 100% fiction, instead of it being allegedly based off true events.

    I dunno...was a little bummed by this as it lacks that punch to it. But it was nice to watch the fantastic acting, engaging story, and climax to the end. I am just bummed that this was cut out. ...more info
  • Get The VHS Version
    If you want to see this great movie without having to get up after one hour to turn the DVD over, then get the VHS version!! This ... disc (typical of many Warner Brothers DVDs!!) is mono layered, and they don't tell you on the DVD case.Why would anybody want a 2-sided DVD ?? The movie is only 148 minutes long, and there aren't bonuses included on the DVD, so go figure!! ......more info
  • Last 30 min of movie is miising. Pirated junk
    The last 30 min of the movie is missing. Do not shop from this vendor. ...more info
  • Yawn!
    Most people only write reviews of movies they really like. But for this movie, I disliked it so much, I felt the need to warn others before they decide what they want to rent.

    How do you make a movie about pedophilia boring? Ask Berry Levinson. Of course, if I'd have known he directed it, I wouldn't have rented it, because I've hated all his movies. All his movies have the following problems, including Sleepers:

    -Inappropriately happy 60's music blaring during most of the film.

    -Unbelievable "pranks" that make you doubt the story and the story teller.
    -Long boring scenes that go nowhere and don't seem to have a purpose.
    -People with obnoxiously fake New York accents.
    -All the women are merely objects or props for the "cool" males to play with.

    The only redeeming quality to this film was that Brad Renfro was in it....more info

  • Sleepers (1996)
    Director: Barry Levinson
    Cast: Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Vittorio Gassman, Minnie Driver, Ron Eldard.
    Running Time: 147 minutes
    Rated R language, graphic violence and two scenes of strong sexual content.

    "Sleepers" is an extremely disturbing, effective film existing out of two parts. The first part is a drama that involves four young teenagers in the sixties, Hell's Kitchen, New York. They make a stupid mistake that sends them to a reformatory, the Wilkinson home for boys. Here they are sexually abused by the guards including Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon). The second parts is about the revenge the four boys have when they are grown up. If you do not want to know what they're plan is, read no further.

    Two of the boys, John (Ron Eldard) and Tommy (Billy Crudup), have become killers and one day, 1981, they see Nokes in a restaurant. They walk up to him, shoot him, and leave. The District Attorney who handles their case is Michael (Brad Pitt), one of the four. He has asked for the case, not to win, but to lose. It is time for revenge. Together with Shakes (Jason Patric), the narrator of the story, they come up with a plan to expose events at Wilkinson. Key figures here are John and Tommy's lawyer Snyder (Dustin Hoffman), the girl they all like Carol (Minnie Driver), the Mafia boss from the neighborhood King Benny (Vittorio Gassman), and a priest who has been friends with the four forever, Father Bobby (Robert DeNiro).

    The first part is very good with four kid actors who are not annoying and a Bacon who is close to pure evil. The way they set up the story is very good as well. We learn to know the kids, King Benny, Father Bobby, the neighborhood. We feel we understand how things work in Hell's Kitchen which is pretty important to make events plausible when the kids have grown up. The second part is not as good but as least as interesting. There are more question we could ask here, but fine actors like DeNiro, Hoffman, Pitt and Patric know how to create believable characters. Although what they do might not be the right thing, we somehow hope they pull it off. Director Barry Levinson has made a good film, yet with nearly two-and-a-half hours of film, "Sleepers" is perhaps a little drawn out. He finds the right way to tell this sad story, with a perfect set-up and with interesting courtroom scenes in the second part. The star power probably does the rest. Hoffman and De Niro are great as always, Bacon is perfectly creepy, Pitt, Patric and Driver are effective, and John Williams' score is great. "Sleepers" is most definitely worth watching, but only if you are able to stomach some of the horrors of abuse that erupt from its seams. ...more info
  • Saw this when it first came out in 93' and decided to share
    "SLEEPERS" HAS TO BE ONE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! It is filled with so much emotion that will carry you for years to come. The plot could be a little offensive to some and rumors of the alleged pseudo story should not keep you from experiencing this magnificent masterpiece.

    This is a movie not to be missed! All characters are unique in their own way, but also connecting in their aspirations. The four young boys deliver a performance of innocense that make you want to reach in and give your life to them. When they grow old, the shattered innocense is still evident in their faces, demeanors, and even action. They have more determination to finally seek the revenge they so yearned for and not even arrogant revenge - sweet revenge. Revenge that no one I know would feel differently about. I guarantee the characters feelings will soon be transformed into your own. One of Brad Pitt's greatest movies; Jason Patrick's tender quality; Billy Crudup's first encounter with serious acting before "Almost Famous"; Ron Eldered is great with remaining inner turmoil; All four young stars are excellent also with one of Brad Renfro's best movies; Robert De Niro's talent never fails as the boy's priest trying to set their lives in the right direction; Also one of Minnie Drivers' gentle performances. The acting and musical direction connect to bring you scenes that are just plain - beautiful.

    Barry Levinson creates such scenes to enliven the passion you never knew you had. The movie ends and begins with the four friends who were succumbed to sexual, physical, and verbal abuse winning a dance competition. Additionally, with some narraration that will catch your intuition with deliberate interest. Throught the movie, you follow the agony associated with losing the innocense that once made the value of your life. You follow Shakes, John, Tommy, and Michael through a journey of once achieving the one thing that can alleviate some pain of their experiences - revenge.

    I implore you to take the time to watch this movie and read the book (because it can even be much better than the movie if one can believe that) and i promise you won't miss out on life - you might gain realizations and insight into your own.

    HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Guaranteed to reveal inner emotions and connect with the characters on a level beyond your expectations. Read the book ... Watch the movie ... and it will remain one of your greates experiences ever. Guaranteed. GO NOW...I PROMISE!...more info

  • WHAT A CRAZY TWIST!
    I WASNT TOO SURE IF I WAS GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE BUT ITS A WONDERFUL MOVIE. THE STORY HAD A CRAZY TWIST AND I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THIS MOVIE WOULD BE THIS INTENSE. ITS GREAT I WOULD RECOMEND EVERYONE TO SEE IT, BUT THIS IS NOT A FAMILY MOVIE UNLESS THE CHILDREN ARE OLDER!...more info
  • Sleepers
    This chilling story of sexual torture and rape rings true to me.
    I also endured sexual abuse in an all female boarding school.
    In my opinion, no one would fabricate this abuse history for entertainment purposes or financial gain. Whether the trial took place as it is depicted or not, is irrelevant to me. Whether the revenge was a Fantasy or Reality is a moot point; it makes an abuse survivor/victim feel vindicated as he or she views it. The neighborhood ambience portrayed of Hell's Kitchen seems startlingly accurate. I recommend it highly as an educational tool to illustrate the unimaginable horror and permanent, invisible scars inflicted by pedophilia. ...more info
  • Unbelieveable!!!!!
    I don't know how to feel about this movie. I was reluctant to watch it at first because I had heard about some of the controversial things that happened in the movie. When I finally saw it for myself, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Even though there is friction about whether the horrfic things in this movie took place or not I still found it disturbing. I liked it don't get me wrong, but the movie doesn't really pick up until the four boys get shipped off to reform school. After they got there is when the nightmare really begins. I was totally disgusted when I saw how harshly Kevin Bacon was acting(I didn't know he had it in him). I felt so sad for the boys that I couldn't help but cry. After that, I got mad because I just didn't understand how or why people can be that cruel to children that they are suppose to be guarding and protecting. I could'nt believe they actually beat Rizzo to death (even though they didn't show the actual beating). That's the reason I loved it so much when Kevin Bacon got what he deserved. My heart raced through this whole movie. I just couldn't believe how Kevin Bacon just enjoyed and relished in the power he had over those young boys (not to leave out the rest of his ... pals as well). I guess Nokes (Bacon) just stood out the most to me because he was just plain sick. I must say that if this story was in fact true that the whole entire cast made me feel the pain of the people this sadistic trauma really happened to....more info
  • This movie will make you think....
    Sleepers is a very powerful and disturbing movie. It chronicles the life of four boys growing up in "Hell's Kitchen", New York in the 1960s. It is told through the eyes of one of the boys, "Shakes" (Joe Perrino). Hell's Kitchen was a very rough place to grow up. However, a strict code of honour existed, and crimes against the person were not tolerated. A central character in this human drama was the parish priest, Father Bobby (Robert De Niro), a no-nonsense rough-and-ready representative of God.
    The four boys - Shakes, Michael , John and Thomas - are inseparable, and they all get up to the usual adolescent hijinks, until one day something goes horribly wrong and they find themselves sentenced to incarceration at the Wilkinson Home for Boys. The Home is a brutal place, with physical, mental and sexual abuse almost a matter of routine, particularly by a foursome of guards headed by Nokes (Kevin Bacon).
    Their time passes, and the four are released. They grow up, but their lives are forever damaged. One day, the adult John and Thomas happen across Nokes in a bar, a seemingly perfect setup for revenge.
    Sleepers will disturb you. The imagery is often very graphic, and the subject matter is unpleasant. The movie takes a no nonsense and no glamour approach to its subject matter. The acting is absolutely top notch, and a superb ensemble cast make this story all the more dramatic and tragic.
    ...more info
  • Not your usual childhood growing pains
    Sometimes compassionate but mostly hard, riveting. True story of late `60s Hells Kitchen kids, whose horseplay takes an unexpected turn, resulting in reform school, where they are abused. Ultimately a tale of intricate revenge--and devastation. A must.
    ...more info
  • Excellent!
    This is one of the best movies I have ever seen, despite the fact that its story is shocking and some viewers will not like it. I recommend it, but bear in mind that it is not for everyone....more info
  • So many missteps
    Man, with this cast you really could have blown the roof off the house. I mean, all the national treasures of acting are here -- except for Kevin Spacey, Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, John Travolta, Tim Allen and Carlos Mencia.

    The kids were really annoying, right? How many astonished close-ups of them were we gonna get? Get over it. Big deal, a prison guard did some bad things to you. They acted like it didn't happen to everyone.

    Dustin Hoffman is a national gem. He get so into character that sometimes he forgets to get back into Dustin. At least, that's all I can think -- because I saw him in Manhattan and I kept yelling, "Hey Dustin, want to go get a hot cocoa and some Buggles (crunchy corn snacks)?" But he acted as if he didn't hear me -- must of been deep into his character, yes?


    ...more info
  • A feel good movie.
    This movie is depressing, dark and a real eye-opener. Good cast, and good court-room drama. A strong cast and solid performances make this movie a must watch....more info
  • Dealing With Child Abuse: Can "Street" Revenege Or Manipulating Legal/Authorative Systems Help The Abused?
    Because films are frequently the closest contact people have with certain subjects, one must look at how this film approaches a very real and socially escalating problem: "child abuse" (as well as the acknowledged, but never dealt with "spousal" and "familial abuses") and the consequences of such "abuse." Let me state for the record that even though I have taught numerous classes on this subject, and frequently in disagreement with my peers, I find it repulsive that we as a society and nation belittle reality with the term "abuse." It is my belief that there is nothing "abusive" about another person assaulting or terrorizing another person, and that it is demeaning, stigmatizing, stereotyping, and trivializing to say it is "abuse." Moreover, I would argue that it is a consequence of not recognizing that the story in the film is about assault and battery, and the terrorizing--not "abuse"-- of children (and others), that the makers and stars of the film were unsure how to present the story in more poignant and dramatic fashion.

    Despite one's position ("abuse" versus assault/terrorism) on the subject mater of the story, the script and theme of the film--which really is more about how to "deal" with the effects of such actions--can only be described as cynical and pessimistic at best; and, more realistically, illegal/morally corrupt and vigilantism. Because, as far as I am concerned, what the film is about, when the movie ends, is that revenge is sweeter than either the victim's health or justice, let alone how to realistically deal with the problem. That is, the film condones the notion that the "best" thing one can do as a victim is break the law themselves, exacting revenge on their perpetrators while maintaining the illusion they and others see: that nothing ever happened to them. The failure of such an approach is alluded to at the end of the movie--two of the boys (victims) get killed acting out just as they were treated, and the two other boys become (depressed) lost and lonely in society. BUT I question how evident this is to most viewers. Indeed, my gut reaction to the film the first time I watched it was: "Yeah, that's how you deal with sicko child predators: kill them!" AND this is the movies "undoing," while it is also what gives the film a feel good dramatic effect on viewers.

    As a society, most people "feel good" when revenge--especially when concealed in the imagery of "justice"--is the conclusion of the story. So what if the prosecutor broke numerous laws to lose the case; that a priest committed perjury (which is acceptable, apparently, since the president can do so without consequences); two "hardened" criminals--who essentially admitted to killing the guard (Kevin Bacon's character)--are found "innocent" of murder; and another man/guard is killed "street" style by a drug lord? In a society that refuses to acknowledge the true nature of "abuse," and therefore coddles said criminals (as well as allowing so called "abuse" to be used as an excuse for the victim's own criminal actions), people--myself at times, as well--need an outlet to feel like something is being done.

    Movies (and other media) such as "Sleepers" provide that relief; and in doing so, I think, conceive a dramatic and satisfying exposure to one of our greatest threats to social order, in the movie "Sleepers." As such, this allows the viewer to empathize with the characters and theme of "Sleeper," and come away satisfied or really liking the movie. I think "Sleepers" also allows the viewer to (incorrectly) believe that the problem is not as bad as it is, and that it is being dealt with by others. As such, "Sleepers" essentially provides the viewer a sense that "Yes, 'abuse' is out there, but it is being dealt with by "someone" else; so who cares?"

    However, it also keeps the viewer from asking more important questions: Does such revenge help the victims? Does such revenge help prevent the problem? Why are we as individuals so willing to view such violence and crime as nothing more than "abuse?" How is child assault and terrorism (aka "abuse") effecting other people, in addition to the victims and perpetrators--that is, to what degree has this problem disrupted/destroyed families, relationships, jobs, beliefs, and other socio-cultural aspects of our lives?

    I purchased this movie based on two factors: the amazing cast and other reviews praising how well the film was made, glossing over the subject matter. Unfortunately, the cast--for the most part--gave mediocre performances relative to their past portrayals in other films; although, collectively, they did well enough to keep the drama moving forward. As such, "Sleepers" is an average movie, with an amazing cast of stars who, on the face of it, give solid performances; but really just "walk" their way through their scenes, being themselves. But, then again, an average performance by Robert Deniro or Dustin Hoffman is often superior to a really great performance my lesser actors.

    Update--1 July 2008: If this review was not helpful to you, I would appreciate learning the reason(s) so I can improve my reviews. My goal is to provide help to potential buyers, not get into any arguments. So, if you only disagree with my opinion, could you please say so in the comments and not indicate that the review was not helpful. Thanks. ...more info
  • goosebumps
    Not Just A Story But A True ForTell Of Courage And Friendship.
    This movie has gone straight throught my Heart and nerves leaving me with goosebumps. To Watch shuch a unbelievable true story but with a horrible concept is gripping. You cant help but watch it again and again. This story of true friendship will leave you thinkin of the true meaning of life. How it is not just somestuff that happens in life but true fellings that do matter. I can only urge you to see this movie and its incradible story. It will have you mezmarized as you see things you never thought possible come alive in front of your eyes. It will leave you in tears.This is only my opinion. You have to decide for yourself. I can only say you will never see life the same way again....more info
  • Great movie!!!
    It is a sad story, but wow it is a great movie with awesome actors!!!...more info
  • Epic tale of revenge and payback that raises moral questions
    Sleepers is a long, well-crafted tale about four reform school friends who grow up in the hell of repeated sexual abuse and sodomy at the hands of a group of depraved guards. As adults, a chance for revenge on their childhood tormentors is presented. The movie grapples with moral issues surrounding revenge--is vigilante-style justice acceptable when there is no way to pursue a legal course of justice? Should people in the public trust (a prosecuting attorney, a priest) lie to achieve their ends if they hold the moral higher ground? Some have claimed the mafia-style justice in the film is flawed. Whether you agree with the course of action taken by these neighborhood boys or not, the film is a powerful tale and a great starting point for debate about justice and revenge....more info
  • DVD Sleepers
    I had previously viewed this movie several years ago. It was a favorite back then and it is today. I had forgotten the excellent cast and since Minnie Driver is my all time, number one, top of the list, female actresses, it is a DVD that I will treasure and watch again and again over my remaining years. Who can forget the roles played by Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Kevein Bacon, Jason Priestly, etc, etc, etc. An excellent movie that did not get the media attention that it deserved....more info
  • Homophobic Garbage
    Before I begin, let me state that in no way do I condone child abuse nor do I excuse adults who sexually victimize children. But neither do I condone vigilante-style justice. This author of the book and the makers of this film seem to be of the opinion that sexual predators deserve to die a violent death, and that their killers should be allowed to get away with it. The picture disturbed me greatly for its lack of a sense of true justice, as well as the cheap exploitation and ignorance that the script espoused. I couldn't have been more shocked if this film had condoned mob lynching, genocide, serial killing - or child abuse, for that matter. Morally wrong is morally wrong, and the defense of vigilantism is morally wrong.

    Some people continue to insist that this film is based on a "true story" even though the author has never presented credible evidence that it's based on fact. Some have suggested that this was a matter of publicity seeking, but I believe that his insistence that it's based on truth is merely a way of lending its unbelievable plot line more credibility. In this film, Kevin Bacon plays a low-life security guard in a Catholic reform school. He and two other guards routinely victimize and intimidate their young charges, forcing themselves on teenage boys in horrendous acts of sexual abuse. Years later, one of their victims spots the Kevin Bacon character in a restaurant and shoots him dead in cold blood. Unfortunately, there's nothing unbelievable about the plot up to this point. Child abusers do exist, and people do kill for revenge. It's what follows next that is so incredible.

    The murder is followed by a cover-up at all levels to protect the murderer. We are asked to believe that, in order to exonerate a killer - a GUILTY killer - a Catholic priest would lie under oath and a prosecutor would throw a capitol murder case, all on the basis of the idea that the "fag" child molester got what was coming to him. Of course, most well-read and enlightened people know that sexual predators who victimize children are almost always heterosexual. And although there is no indication in the film that the Kevin Bacon character is homosexual, many people (probably a majority of people in the US) still wrongly believe that most gay men are child abusers and most child abusers are gay. I believe that this homophobic reasoning underlies the author's conviction that the murderer is justified in his actions; this opinion is further underscored by the fact that the mood of the film when the killer is acquitted is nothing less than celebratory. I also believe that it's one reason why so many people think that a movie in which someone literally gets away with murder is a "great" film.

    For me, this picture was bad in a dozen different ways that I found offensive - the storyline reflects bad logic, bad judgment, bad justice, bad morals, bad lessons and bad drama. All combined, this film annoyed me from the first scene forward. The conclusion that murder can be justified struck me as absolutely barbarian, and I was flabbergasted at the fact that such a distinguished group of fine actors would lend their skills to this bigoted, puerile garbage. The more I watched, the more I got the impression that this film, and the book it was based on, was created only to please homophobic adolescents. If you are the sort of ignorant Neanderthal who would think it's OK to commit murder as long as you're blowing away a "sexual deviate", then this film is for you. If you further believe that murder in the name of revenge is not only defensible but perfectly just, then you will find this film rewarding.

    With all the talk in the news these days about sex abuse victims coming forward to accuse their tormentors, I would have liked this film much more if the boys had simply banded together and accused Bacon and the other guards of the abuse, bringing charges in adulthood for what they suffered as adolescents. Surely if real life victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests can find relief though genuine legal means and have their accusations believed (as so many have done) why not the teens depicted here? A far more satisfying ending would have been for Kevin Bacon (and his cohorts, who escaped any retribution at all, including the vigilante killing) to receive exposure and proper legal punishment.
    ...more info
  • Shocking....A Case for Anarchy!
    Sleepers was one of those movies you can't watch without your dark passions for revenge coming out to haunt you! While in real life it is not wise to seek such horrendous behaviors in the name of 'getting even,' movies may be an appropriate place for mature audiences to vent their feelings of frustration, rebellion, and vengeance. And Sleepers is a movie that will definitely make you want to do that!
    Four young boys called Lorenzo (see other reviews for actor names), Micheal, John and ...They are sent to a corrections institution in 1967 where they meet their guard Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon in a sinister role). ...Eventually the grown John and Tommy, now turned into real, corrupted criminals, kill Nokes in an act of hot-blooded revenge. Michael then becomes the prosecutor in a sneaky move to help them get away with murder...These guards were also beating up and humiliating the boys in the name of "discipline" but were really just insecure and trying to display their authority and power.

    On the other side of the coin, many diverse groups felt that the movie promoted real-life revenge. Perhaps it is better that people can vent their feelings in a movie theater than in real life. Vengeance is a natural human instinct and trying to suppress it by condemning the feeling is ineffective. This movie serves as a release valve for the times in our lives when we get enraged and want to get even.

    The theme of this movie from my opinion is "Strike Back Against The Oppressor." What is the oppressor in real life? I believe it is big government, big business, and paternalistic criminal laws designed to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and persecute victimless crimes. Therefore, in real life Sleepers may not promote violent revenge, but it may promote REBELLION and ANARCHY. Which may be good to some extent....more info

  • Great Movie
    Sleepers will trick you. It begins like a funny coming of age movie. Young boys, most of them who are Altar Boys, in Brooklyn checking out girls, snooping in on other peoples confessions, getting into plenty of mischief and basically just being kids (troublemakers but who wasnt, right) and the movie lets you get a good feel of the characters before anything dramatically changes. It lets you grow to like the boys and lets you get a few laughs in. The story follows Tommy, John, Michael and Lorenzo "Shakes" on their shinanigans until something that was meant to be a prank goes terribly wrong. It takes them to a dark path in a youth correctional facility called "wilkensons home for boys" where they are beaten daily, raped daily and during one point you watch one as he is left for dead in solitary confinement. You watch as the boys lives are forever changed. Sleepers is 2 stories connected by the people involved in the story. Michael grows into a successful lawyer, Shakes grows into a writer , and john and tommy turn into notoriously known hardened criminals. One day John and Tommy find one Sean Nokes (a particulary rememberable abusive guard) and fill him from head to toe with bullets. After years of keeping the horrors of Wilkensons a secret to both friends and family, including their best friend Carol (grown up carol played by Mimi Driver, shes AMAZING in this film) and their life long friend and mentor Father Bobby (Robert Deniro). When John and Tommy are convicted of the murder of sean nokes lorenzo and michael are left with a painful decision, let their friends be possibly put to death or get help, help which will require telling their story. The movie follows the trial and choices that are made. One by one the boys, now men are faced with the question "how far will you go to get your and the ones you loves past at rest." YOULL NEVER FORGET SLEEPERS. YOULL NEVER FORGET ANY CHARACTER IN THIS MOVIE AND YOULL NEVER FORGET THAT THIS IS THE TRUE STORY OF THESE BOYS, THIS REALLY HAPPENED.... (sleepers is based on the true story "sleepers" by Lorenzo Carcatera)...more info
  • Distrubingly intense
    I found this to be an incredibly compelling film, although it took a long time for me to get past the central brutality, and watch it a second and third time. By then, I was hooked.

    The underlying story is a troubling but familiar one, about young boys growing up in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York. Their lives take them on a huge turn when heir "innocent" prank goes bad. For their crime, they are sentenced to a year in a reform school for troubled boys, ostensibly to keep them from advancing into a life of crime.

    Unfortunately, the institution is populated by not only brutally sadistic fellow inmates but also with guards who take the boys' remaining innocence and traumatize them. The boys leave, but
    years later their paths bring them back across a terrible reminder of their past. The remainder of the film is the turning of the law enforcement system, in which the system itself is shown for what it was, and the way it impacts these individuals.

    One of the bit players, Frank Medrano as a neighborhood tough guy has the most timeless line of the film: "On the street, justice got no price. She's blind where the judge sits. But she ain't blind out here. Out here, the ... got eyes."

    Fabulous performances, even if they were critically not acclaimed. Robert DiNero is terrific as a local priest who never gives up hope for "his boys", even to the point of ommitting perjury for them. Kevin Bacon IS the sadistic guard, and there is real joy at seeing his comeuppance. Brad Pitt and Dustin Hoffman appear as dueling lawyers in the courtroom scene, each giving marvelous and understated performances. Ron Eldard steals his scenes as one of the abused boys, all grown up, who serendipitously discovering Bacon in a restaurant has the best line of the movie when Bacon asks him what he wants. His retort, (which I will not quote, to avoid giving away the
    ending) delivered with deadly quiet, and is nothing short of chilling.

    As another reviewer said, this film is stunning with its insight of boys' institution's and its horrors. It makes one wonder if anyone can ever survive the institution which was supposed to be an alternative to jail for kids.

    Growing up in New York around the same time as the protagonists, and getting into just a tad of trouble myself, I kept thinking "There but for the Grace of God go I".

    That alone was enough to make me say "Damn! What a movie" ...more info

  • Sleepers is an excellent, haunting tale
    Rare is a movie that completely holds your attention for 2 1/2 hours but Sleepers is that movie. Played out by an exceptional ensemble cast (Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Dustin Hoffman, Brad Renfro), it tells the tale of four young Hell's Kitchen boys who after pulling a seamingly harmless prank, are sent to a juvenile facility where they face unspeakable horrors at the hands of ther wardens. This trauma follows 2 of the boys into adulthood where they enter a life of crime. When they take their revenge on a particularly sadistic guard, it's up to the other boys, along with a childhood gal pal and a loving priest to save them. Every performance in this movie makes an indelible impression but the standouts are Deniro as Father Bobby, Frank Medrano as neighborhhod shopowner Fatman, Minnie Driver as Carol and Geoffrey Wigdor as young John. I watch this movie every November(it feels like a Fall time movie) and it never fails to amaze me. It is tense, heartwrenching, touching and at times funny. However the final 5 minutes always hit me where it hurts. When I think of how those kids were robbed of a normal life it sickens me. Sleepers is a phenomenal film that will leave a deep impression....more info
  • Sleepers
    All the actors were great in this movie. It had a lot of drama and was a very sad story for the boys, but I love the ending when they got the bad guys back. Justice!!!...more info
  • EXCEPTIONALLY FINE AND DISTURBING MOVIE
    "Sleepers" is an exceptionally fine and disturbing movie. The cast is superb. Kevin Bacon does a fearsome job in a thoroughly repellent role. Robert De Niro plays a warmly sympathetic, street-knowledgable priest, and Brad Pitt does a very compelling job with his role as a prosecutor who sets up an important payback. Dustin Hoffman could not be better in his portrayal of a disgruntled, unsuccessful defense attorney. And he's nothing to look at in the role. It's one of his finest performances. "Sleepers" is a rewarding, haunting movie....more info
  • The past comes back
    This is an outstanding movie based on a true story
    even though the city of new york denies this ever happened.
    You will not regret viewing this movie, it is a keeper....
    I have viewed it atleast 4 times, and I still get my
    emotions going big time.
    If it had a 10 star rating I would give it that.....
    ...more info
  • Morally bankrupt
    Four friends from the violent New York neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen are sent to a reformatory school where they are beaten and sexually abused by guards. Years later, two of them (Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup), now adults and full-fledged thugs, murder one of their tormentors (Kevin Bacon). This provides an opportunity for the other two, one a public prosecutor (Brad Pitt) and the other a fledgling newspaperman (Jason Patric), to acquit their friends and bring down the other guilty guards.

    Superficially, this is a mostly entertaining, though overlong, film. Morally, however, the film is a mess. Early on, it appears to be critical of the culture of violence in which these events occur. The moral compass of the neighborhood is the scrupulously honest Father Bobby (Robert DeNiro). Yet, when the time for payback arrives, the Mafia mentality takes over, murder is approved, and Father Bobby perjures himself to provide an alibi for "his boys," who are guilty of worse crimes than the abuse that was committed against them. I believe that these characters (with the exception of Father Bobby) might behave this way and a perceptive film about such choices could have been made, but such a film would require some evidence that either the characters or the filmmakers were aware of the moral complexity involved. Instead, Father Bobby leaves the witness stand and disappears conveniently from the film, so we never see how he justifies himself. The reunion of the four friends at the end of the film has an uninterrupted tone of triumph and happiness, without a hint of reflection, regret, or awareness that any moral compromises were made. ...more info
  • sleepres

    this is great movie it have great actor every body deserve thumb up...more info
  • bottom of the barrel
    Like a particularly bad segment of the already-bad Dateline, this snoozefest proves that top talent and production values do not ANYTHING make. Scenes go on forever and the film is incredibly self conscious as to its time period. A mess....more info
  • EXCELLENT movie...
    When i first saw this movie it shcoked me..the movie was so distrubing at times..but than i realized how incredible this movie is..the acting in this movie is sensational...This movie is based on the controversial bestseller sleepers...this movie is based on a true story about four friends ...a prank that goes wrong and how the punishment absolutely doesn't fit the crime..while they are in a dentention center they are abused physically and sexual..all the innoscence they once had was ripped away...they live out there time and move on still haunted by the evils they experineced..still scared of the pain they suffered...till one day two of the boys who are now men murder the man who is responsible for all their nightmares ..then they must all help each other to get them a not guilty verdict for this time the punishment again didn't fit the crime...this movie is a riverting movie...aboutlove, trust, truth, pain, suffering, revenge, peace...JUSTICE......more info
  • A Grabber!! But Not For The Faint Hearted
    This is a movie that deals with the abuse of children in a reform school setting, and the revenge taken by those children when they become adults. In a nutshell, the story involves a childhood prank gone wrong, reform school guards gone sadistic and revenge taken fifteen years later by the boys, grown to manhood. I read Lorenzo Caracaterra's book (which was touted as a true story, but later shown to be no such thing, but still a good read) and here is one case where the movie is better than the book -- by far. The movie is tightly scripted, and although it may, at 2 1/2 hours, seem long, you will not notice the passage of time. The cast demonstrates from the very outset what fine acting is all about. To single out any one performer may not do justice to the entire cast, but Robert DeNiro is superb in the role of the parish priest, who becomes conflicted by his religious beliefs and his wish to help "his boys", grown to adulthood. Although the subject matter involving the reform school guards' sadistic abuse of four boys is troublesome, this is outstanding film making. I have watched it several times and will do so again, because of the compelling story, outstanding acting and superb filming. The DVD quality is excellent and so is the sound. I have never known anyone who did not find "Sleepers" to be anything other than an outstanding movie....more info
  • Big Box Office Draws do not a Great Movie Make...
    I went out and bought this dvd used, for about five dollars. Here are ten - Count `em - (10) observations:

    1. When the Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup characters confront the Kevin Bacon Character in a Hell's Kitchen tavern near the middle of the story, "Sleepers" is absolutely electric. This scene is worth the price of the dvd alone. (Would the two hoods have killed the former reformatory guard in this manner? Probably not, but what is shown makes for better theater, and an easier transition.)

    2. Alas, "Sleepers" does not continue with the same sort of intensity as the above-mentioned murder scene. The story begins and moves along at an even pace, but once the trial of the Eldard and Crudup characters begins, the story becomes more ambiguous and ends rather abruptly.

    3. Which brings us to the foundation and integrity of the film: The story appears to be mostly believable up to the above-mentioned murder. After that, it gets pretty dicey.

    4. Also, the timeline in "Sleepers" is sort of weird. The characters seem to have been born around 1950 - 1952, but are still preteen kids by 1967 or 1968, which, judging from the background music ("Alone Again Or" by Love) appears to be when they were sent to the boy's reformatory. By 1981, which is when the killing of the Bacon Character takes place, they are all supposed to be in their mid-twenties.

    5. A City or County Prosecutor in his mid-twenties, even in New York, is rather rare. Maybe he might have had some type of connection with some alderman or some old Irish Democrat, but if he did, he would never have been sent to the reformatory in the first place. Anyway, Brad Pitt looked like he was about ninteen when this film was made.

    6. Robert DeNiro played himself with his "Regular New York Guy" routine, but his character's motives for lying under oath was too contrived. I'm not saying that a priest would be incapable of doing something like this; After all, beside having dedicated their live to the pursuit of spirituality, priests are human beings as well and vulnerable to the same feelings about situations that we all face from time to time. However, under the given circumstances, this sort of "feel good" ending was slightly unbelievable and too gimmicky.

    7. The popular music sprinkled throughout the soundtrack really does not fit what was happening visually in the film. I was also surprised to find that the soundtrack CD only contained the background music. "Walk Like a Man" by the Four Seasons, which was so prominently used in the film, never made it to the soundtrack CD.

    8. It's hard to believe that so many good actors were assembled for this film. Dustin Hoffman, DeNiro, Minnie Driver, Brad Pitt, Jason Patrick and all the rest of the cast did their part to live up to the billing. This all-star cast was what probably saved "Sleepers". With lesser actors, one wonders what the final outcome would have been.

    9. "Sleepers" is not a bad film, it's just not a great one. This is the sort of thing that happens when you get three or more big box office draws working the same project. The final product appears to be mediocre, because it can't possibly live up to the advance billing.

    10. I wish Levinson had made more of the tavern murder scene throughout the film, i.e. flashbacks, different camera angles, etc. Eldard and Crudup, along with the direction of this scene are simply amazing. They were right on target with their portrayal of two young hoods.

    Bonus comment: Why do directors like Levinson persist in trying to portray old Mafia Dons as wise, stoic old men? Most of these guys would just as soon kill you as look at you...

    ...more info
  • An Eye For An Eye?......
    This review refers to the Warner Bros. DVD edition of "Sleepers".....

    "Sleepers" is a dark and disturbing film. It is one that will leave you thinking about it for some time afterwards. Not only thinking about the film itself, but maybe about the judicial system as we know it as well. It's a story of friendship. It's a story of abuse. It's a story of Revenge!...

    Hell's Kitchen, late 1960's, four young teens on a dare, decide to pull off a horrible prank. Their actions nearly cost a man his life, and another his life's work. The court tries them, and sends them off to the "Wilkinson School for Boys" where they are to be "rehabilitated". Here at the school, they find themselves the victims of the most despicable crimes against human beings one could imagine. The guards, primarly led by Nokes, the most evil of all, cruelly abuse the boys physically, mentally and sexually. Their childhood slips away in those terrifying dark nights, and they make a pact never to discuss it again.

    Fifteen years later, we now see them as adults. The time spent at the Wilkinson School, has left it's mark on these four men.
    Two are bitter, tough, criminal types. One works for a newspaper, and one is a lawyer. All have never forgotten, the wrongs done them, but keep it buried deep inside. Buried deep, until the day Nokes makes the fatal mistake of being in the same restaurant as two of them.As they recognize him, we can feel their anger rising, and they take matters into their own hands.

    An intricate plan is set in motion to now use the system that destroyed their lives, to uncover the horrible crimes committed at the school and to free them from the charges against them. The courtroom scenes are intense and edge of your seat drama that really have you thinking. When Nokes got his due, we felt the satisfaction they did, we definitely empathize with them BUT..is an eye for eye justice? ... Even their Priest, who has stood behind them all these years must put his faith to the test, when he is asked to be apart of the plan.

    Director Barry Levinson, brings us this intense and powerful drama, one that will stay with you for a long time. Performances by such greats as Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Robert Deniro, Jason Patric and Bruno Kirby are intense and realisitic. Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver and young performers Brad Renfro and Joseph Perrino, will touch you as well. A haunting score and excellent camera work add to the powerfulness of the film. It is not a film for everyone though, as I mentioned above some scenes are dark and extremely disturbing.

    The quality of the DVD is excellent. It is presented in widescreen and Dolby Dig 5.1 Surround. The picture is clear, even in the darker scenes and the muscial score, background and dialouge very good. The only problem is having to turn the disc over about half-way through. This is an intense story, not one that should be interrupted. Other than a theatrical trailer, there are no special features. It may be viewed in French and has subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

    For DeNiro fans I would also recommend two more with intense drama
    Heat and The Fan

    Thank you...Laurie...more info
  • Based on a True Story
    Sleepers made headlines even before its release when claims arose that writer Lorenzo Carcaterra had lied about the book being "Based on a True Story." This seems redundant given the BROAD nature of the phrase but never-the-less some cared more about the accuracy of the film than the message that it delivered.

    An all-star cast of Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Dustin Hoffman & Minnie Driver et al each provide a unique piece to the overall picture. De Niro's performance of Father Bobby is very convincing. He is the father figure to a lot of the potentially lost youth in Brooklyn.

    The message of the movie is simple, these things happen to children because the system is a failure. The ending is a metaphor and it is clear...If justice is indeed blind, then those that are failed by the system can have their wrongs righted by beating the system. This is a great movie to say the least.


    ...more info
  • Enjoyable movie, but... enough with the "true story" line!
    Yes, it's a good movie. Yes, "Sleepers" was a good book - BUT bear in mind it was promoted as a "true story" with but one thought in mind: to cause a controversy that would make it a bestseller. Now that everyone whose eyes, ears and brain are operational, knows that "Sleepers" is pure fiction, why does the movie studio still try to market the film as "non fiction"? Watch "Sleepers", by all means, but remember that it's fantasy, not fact....more info
  • Solemn drama gets the all-star treatment
    By virtue of its all-star cast, handsome production values and solemn subject matter, Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" (1996) was clearly intended as a Major Motion Picture from the outset. Based on the harrowing true-life bestseller by journalist Lorenzo Carcaterra - first published in 1995 - book and film describe the appalling fate of four Hell's Kitchen kids (played as children by Joe Perrino, Brad Renfro, Geoffrey Wigdor and Jonathan Tucker) who, in 1967, were sentenced to confinement in the 'Wilkinson Home for Boys' following a near-fatal accident involving a hot dog vending machine which they had stolen as a prank. Inside the reformatory, all four boys are sexually and emotionally abused by a group of sadistic guards led by the sinister Nokes (Kevin Bacon at his slimiest). More than a decade later, traumatized by their experiences, two of the now grown-up boys (Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup) corner Nokes unexpectedly in a local diner and murder him in cold blood. The other members of the group - one a prosecuting attorney (Brad Pitt), the other an aspiring writer and journalist (Jason Patric) - formulate a daring plan to have their friends acquitted, expiose the reformatory's dark secrets, and take revenge on their abusers...

    Such an extraordinary tale was always going to be controversial, of course, and so it proved. Upon release, book and film drew immediate fire from critics who accused author and filmmakers of embellishment and exaggeration, since no records could be found to prove that the trial depicted in the film ever took place within the Manhattan district, or that the Wilkinson Home for Boys ever existed - even though Carcaterra's book (and Levinson's script) makes it clear that most of the names, dates and locations have been changed or fictionalized to protect those involved, and that the records of all children held in institutions like Wilkinson are routinely deleted after seven years. Further scandal ensued when the movie ignited protests from those who believed the story drew unfortunate parallels between pedophilia and homosexuality, thereby reinforcing the worst kind of homophobic stereotype. The point is certainly valid, given Hollywood's shameful mistreatment of gay themes and characters over the years, but "Sleepers" doesn't seek to draw any kind of parallels, unconsciously or otherwise, merely to recreate events described in Carcaterra's book. Besides, monsters are monsters, whoever their victims may be.

    As a movie, "Sleepers" is competent, briskly paced, and beautifully acted by a dream cast of old pro's (including Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman in key roles) and a new generation of rising stars. It's an ensemble piece, and the lack of grandstanding - in favor of narrative momentum - is admirable. But while the film is consistently intelligent and engaging, it's drawbacks are significant: The kids are terrific, especially Perrino, but the adults are burdened by the gravity of the subject matter, and Patric's sombre narration seems a little too laidback at times, lacking warmth or even genuine emotion, while John Williams' rambling score clashes resolutely with the film's epic visual sweep. Also, for obvious reasons, the moviemakers were unable to depict the kind of sexual atrocities outlined in the original book, with unfortunate consequences: Here, Nokes' murder seems more like the result of a petulant outburst by a couple of thugs, rather than the inevitable outcome of horrendous physical abuse. And during the subsequent trial, it defies belief that the prosecution's key witness - a former guard at Wilkinson - would incriminate himself so readily on the stand, as depicted here. That said, however, the movie is still a worthwhile erntry, but the book is better.

    Warner Bros.' region 1 DVD - one of their first releases on this newfangled disc format - runs exactly 147:00 and is spread over two sides in a manner that wouldn't be acceptable today. The glorious Super 35 compositions are preserved in letterbox format (a little overmatted at 2.40:1), anamorphically enhanced, though the 5.1 Dolby soundtrack is fairly subdued, selling the drama without drawing too much attention to itself. There's a trailer and brief cast biographies, along with English captions and subtitles. Missing from this print is a brief intertitle which originally appeared before the closing credits, outlining some of the criticisms levelled against Carcaterra's original account....more info

  • Wonderful movie, excellent transfer, appalling DVD
    I'm not going to go into the details of this movie much. From reading the reviews on this site, you either like it, or you don't. Frankly, I very seldom like any movie made in the last 20 years or so...but this one really grabbed me and kept my attention. All of the actors came across as very believable characters...something sorely lacking in most movies. The boys, especially, played their parts wonderfully.

    The transfer of the film was great...clear, with little grain or other problems. About my only complaint in this area would be the inconsistent sound level. Some sound effects, such as the screaming subway train, would be speaker-rattling with the volume at the proper level for the dialogue.

    The worst problem with this DVD, however, is the fact that it is a "flipper". For a movie of only 2-1/2 hours, this is inexcusable. Not only that, the transitions for the end of one side and the beginning of the other are extremely abrupt. Though I can't remember from seeing the movie in the theatre, it certainly appears something was truncated.

    4 stars for the movie, 4 for the transfer, 1 for the DVD....more info

 

 
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