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Sleepers

"Four friends have made a mistake that will change their lives forever."

R 1996-10-18 Crime 2hr 27m

Two gangsters seek revenge on the state jail worker who during their stay at a youth prison sexually abused them. A sensational court hearing takes place to charge him for the crimes.

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Storyline

Two gangsters seek revenge on the state jail worker who during their stay at a youth prison sexually abused them. A sensational court hearing takes place to charge him for the crimes.

  • Released
    1996-10-18
  • Revenue
    $165,600,000
  • Budget
    $44,000,000
  • Runtime
    2hr 27m
  • Genre
    Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Status
    Released
  • Language
    English
  • imdb-logo
    7.5
  • Production
    Propaganda Films, Baltimore Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Crew

Barry Levinson
Director
Barry Levinson
Screenplay
Steve Golin
Producer

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Cast

Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon

Sean Nokes
Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro

Father Bobby
Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

Danny Snyder
Jason Patric

Jason Patric

Lorenzo 'Shakes' Carcaterra
Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Michael Sullivan
Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro

Young Michael Sullivan
Minnie Driver

Minnie Driver

Carol Martinez
Billy Crudup

Billy Crudup

Tommy Marcano
Ron Eldard

Ron Eldard

John Reilly
Terry Kinney

Terry Kinney

Ralph Ferguson
Bruno Kirby

Bruno Kirby

Shakes' Father
Frank Medrano

Frank Medrano

Fat Mancho
Joe Perrino

Joe Perrino

Young Lorenzo 'Shakes' Carcaterra
Geoffrey Wigdor

Geoffrey Wigdor

Young John Reilly
Jonathan Tucker

Jonathan Tucker

Young Tommy Marcano
Peter Appel

Peter Appel

Boyfriend
Joseph Attanasio

Joseph Attanasio

Male Juror (as Joe Attanasio)
Gerry Becker

Gerry Becker

Forensics Expert
Pasquale Cajano

Pasquale Cajano

Superintendent
George Georgiadis

George Georgiadis

Hot Dog Vendor
Paul Herman

Paul Herman

Court Bailiff
Ruth Maleczech

Ruth Maleczech

Woman at Subway Station
Danny Mastrogiorgio

Danny Mastrogiorgio

Nick Davenport
Mary B. McCann

Mary B. McCann

Sister Carolyn (as Mary McCann)
Mick O'Rourke

Mick O'Rourke

Man in Tub
Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Little Caesar
Sean Patrick Reilly

Sean Patrick Reilly

Young King Benny
Peter Rini

Peter Rini

Frank Magciccio
Tom Signorelli

Tom Signorelli

Confessional Man
Patrick Tull

Patrick Tull

Jerry the Bartender
Aida Turturro

Aida Turturro

Mrs. Salinas
James Rosin

James Rosin

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Videos and Photos

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Movie Reviews

Reviews for Sleepers
reviewer avatar

A Review by Wuchak 7

Written by Wuchak on 2018-12-17

***Justifiable execution and justifiable lying*** “Sleepers” (1991) starts out as a coming-of-age film about four boys in 1966-1967 from ... read more

***Justifiable execution and justifiable lying*** “Sleepers” (1991) starts out as a coming-of-age film about four boys in 1966-1967 from Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, and then morphs into a juvenile prison picture, which covers the first hour. The rest of the movie is a crime tragedy turned courtroom drama, taking place 13 years later in the early 80s. Jason Patric plays the adult version of Shakes, the main protagonist and narrator, while Brad Pitt plays his attorney friend, Michael. When their other two buds, John and Tommy, are taken into custody for murder they hatch a plan to get them off for understandable reasons. Robert De Niro plays their Catholic pastor and father-figure while Dustin Hoffman appears as the dubious defense attorney. Kevin Bacon is on hand as a perverse guard at the boys’ reformatory. In an eye-rolling knee-jerk response, liberal critics have dissed the film as “homophobic” when this isn’t the case at all. For verification, if the victims at the reformatory were girls the baseless criticism wouldn’t even be mentioned. It is not about gender; it is about children and the monstrous abuse of authority for selfish purposes. The film NEVER criticizes what two adults CHOOSE to do behind closed doors. In tone and theme, “Sleepers” is similar to the heralded “Mystic River” (2003), but more episodic in nature and therefore not as dramatically compelling. Yet it’s a poignant crime drama. Some have panned the movie on the grounds that it justifies revenge murder, but it more clearly supports the idea of just execution when legal authorities have failed and allowed gross corruption to continue. Another moral issue revolves around lying. Is it ever right to lie for the sake of justice? In other words, is lying ever justifiable? Of course it is; at least on rare occasions. For instance, in the bible the midwives lied to Pharaoh in order to save Hebrew infants and are commended for fearing God (Exodus 1:15-21). Rahab also lied to save the two Hebrew spies in Jericho and her actions are hailed in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith chapter. During WW2, if Nazi authorities came to your door looking for hidden Jews, would you say “Yes, I cannot lie; they are hiding in the attic”? Of course you wouldn’t. The script by director Barry Levinson was based on a book by Lorenzo Carcaterra, which is supposedly a true story. Although New York authorities have denied its authenticity, they have good reason to do so. Whether or not every jot & tittle is accurate is irrelevant; stories LIKE IT have happened. The film runs 2 hours, 27 minutes and was shot in New York City & surrounding areas (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers, Hoboken) and Fairfield Hills Hospital, Newtown, Connecticut (Wilkinson School for Boys). ADDITIONAL CAST: Minnie Driver plays the guys’ friend from their youth while Vittorio Gassman is on hand as a nonchalant mob leader in Hell’s Kitchen. GRADE: B

reviewer avatar

A Review by AstroNoud 8

Written by AstroNoud on 2022-02-26

‘Sleepers’ uses a disturbing and unnecessary narration to tell its controversial revenge story, but the rich characters and great actors eas... read more

‘Sleepers’ uses a disturbing and unnecessary narration to tell its controversial revenge story, but the rich characters and great actors easily make up for that. 8/10

Read Full Review (The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewer.)
A Review by Wuchak

***Justifiable execution and justifiable lying*** “Sleepers” (1991) starts out as a coming-of-age film about four boys in 1966-1967 from Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, and then morphs into a juvenile prison picture, which covers the first ho...

reviewer avatar

A Review by Wuchak 7

Written by Wuchak on 2018-12-17

***Justifiable execution and justifiable lying*** “Sleepers” (1991) starts out as a coming-of-age film about four boys in 1966-1967 from Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, and then morphs into a juvenile p...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by AstroNoud 8

Written by AstroNoud on 2022-02-26

‘Sleepers’ uses a disturbing and unnecessary narration to tell its controversial revenge story, but the rich characters and great actors easily make up for that. 8/10...

read more