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  • True or's still worth the time...
    The debate over whether or not this film portrays actual events is really moot to me, for even if the events portrayed were as faux as an episode of `Law & Order' they would still hold a very powerful message in their hands. Adapted from Lorenzo Carcaterra's novel/memoir of the same name, `Sleepers' claims to be an accounting of Lorenzo's life as a child, being sent to a juvenile detention home at a young age with three friends and being repeatedly abused by the guards until their release.

    Ten years later and these four friends are reunited with the guard that ruined their lives. Sean Nokes (Bacon) shows up at a local diner where two of the molested, Tommy (Crudup) and John (Eldard), are taking a couple drinks. After recognizing this man they kill him in cold blood, and of course are then arrested for it. That's when the other two boys, Lorenzo (Patrick) and Michael (Pitt) decide to make their case. Michael is a high profile prosecutor who takes the case AGAINST his friends in an attempt to turn the tables on the detention center the boys where abused in.

    What makes this film so compelling is the brilliant acting on the parts of Pitt and Patrick as well as Bacon in all his sadistic pleasure, but to me it was De Niro who plays the boys priest Father Bobby and serves as their only real friend who moved me the most. You could see all the pain in his eyes as he heard what these boys, these boys whom he loved and cared about, had to go through. Minnie Driver also delivered a stand out performance as long time friend and lover to the boys, as well as Dustin Hoffman (always brilliant) as the accused shabby lawyer.

    True or false, `Sleepers' is still a gripping courtroom drama that is sure to have you at the edge of your seat for its entire duration....more info
  • Great movie!!!
    It is a sad story, but wow it is a great movie with awesome actors!!!...more info
  • Sleepers - No film to fall asleep
    Sleepers is a film about friendship, honesty, justice and violence. Actors like Brad Pitt, Jason Patrick, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffmann and Kevin Bacon on their tops show how life can be destroyed by action in affect.
    The story sets in Hell Kitchen, New Yorks violent quarter in the sixties. Four boys live a joyfull life until one hot summer day changes their lives completely. A man gets seriously hurt as the four guys play a prank. The teenagers are send to a Detention Center where they experience torture and sexual abuse comitted by the wards. Of course the boys suffer even as grown ups this physical and emotional injure and as two of them accidently meet one of their oppressors they take deadly revenge. As the two are send to trail the old stricks of friendship are newly bound and the other two, one of them a lawyer, try everthing to get the two frienda free. A cruel fight against the wounds of the past begins.
    The movie is dominated by flashbacks which show the crimes against the boys at the Detention Center and give the movie sort of mysterious deep.
    The story is told by Shakes, one of the boys, who also wrote the same named novel which is said to be based on real happenings.
    All in all Sleepers is an emotional, exciting film which shows the cruel reality of law and the ways of late justice.

    (Claudia Becker, Claudia Pries, Janina Huljus, Marscha Uredat) ...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
  • "How deep is deep?! - Sleepers!"
    The movie "Sleepers" is based on a novel and tells the story of four boys who grow up in Hell's Kitchen, a part of New York, where crime is a normal daily act.
    As they commit a prank when they are still young they are sentenced to spend a few months in a detention center. This punishment changes their whole lives because they are sexually abused and later two of them even become murderers.
    Brad Pitt, who plays one of the four main characters, gives a convincing performance because you can really feel what it must be like for the boys to live a normal life although they have been abused.
    One actor plays the role of the boy who comments on the whole story. Like Brad Pitt he also gives a detailed inside of the deep feelings of an abused boy who is trying to live a normal life.
    Other famous actors in the movie are Dustin Hoffmann, who portrays convincingly the role of a drug addicted and alcoholic lawyer, and Robert DeNiro who gives a strong impression of a Father who seems to be the only person whom the boys can deeply trust.
    The feelings are supported by different camera techniques such as many close-ups of the characters' faces and a lot of flashbacks which underline the cruel memories of the boys.
    If it has one fail it is that sometimes there are too many cuts which follow each other too fast.
    The trial at the end of the movie seems to be too long and gives the viewer an impression of boredom.
    All in all the story conveys a sense of depression. So the movie as a whole may not be for everyone, but you cannot walk away from it without being impressed by the deepness of the story.

    Julia B., Alexandra T., Andrea S., Moritz G., Melanie P. ...more info
  • Sleeper
  • Intense.
    Sleepers is an unsettling drama featuring an all-star cast. The best performance in the film is Brad Pitt, this role proved he's more than a pretty face. Jason Patric is also terrific here, very under-rated actor. The film deals with abuse, and nothing graphic is shown but you are fully aware about did happen to these boys when they were teens. Great film from a great director, check it out!...more info
  • True story or not, great movie.
    The members of an all-star cast in Sleepers give an excellent performance in this disturbing film about the lives of four men adversely affected by the horrors of their childhood. Some have said the story is true, some say it is not. Whether or not the incidents portrayed in the film actually took place doesn't take away from their power on the big screen. The four friends take charge as adults to exact vengeance on those guilty of their abuse as youths. That empowerment, even if the film is not based on an actual event, is a strengthening and vindicating shout for viewers who have found themselves in the place of those four boys. And for viewers who have never been in those unfortunate situations, the film creates enough reality to draw empathetic support from this audience. Sleepers is an important film and a well-produced one. The writing, editing, acting and directing are top-notch. Any viewer's attention will remain fixed throughout the movie....more info
  • The tragic way out of hell
    The society drama "Sleepers" from Barry Levinson tells the spectacular story of four boys (Brad Pitt and Jason Patric i.a.),
    who grow up in a violent neighbourhood, called Hell's Kitchen. After a simple prank, which goes wrong, their lives change completely. They are sentenced to Wilkinson School for Boys where horrible incidents happen. 15 years later in a new life, they decide to take revenge...
    The story is based on the book with the same title, but it is not settled if it is really autobiographical. Worth mentioning are the well chosen camera techniques, which reflect the people's
    feelings and the dramatic events. Because of these effects you can identify with the characters. The presentation of several characters is well done by Robert de Niro, who characterizes the priest "Father Bobby" and also the ward "Sean Nokes" is very well performed by Kevin Bacon, who conveys the malignance in a special way. The only aspect, which has to be critizised is the difficult story, which is hard to follow at some stages. With this masterpiece Levinson proves his talent by creating a realistic atmosphere and keeping up tension during the whole film.
    This film is worth being nominated for an "Oscar" !

    Written by : Andreas, Simone, Dina from the GBG School in Germany, Remscheid ...more info
  • A film to remain in your collection..
    Sleepers is not the right name for this movie, as sleep is the least thing these boys got. Four boys who try to have some fun in New York's, Hell's Kitchen, are now caught in the legal system for a prank gone terrible wrong. The boy's action lands them into a reform school, a reform school with sick and twisted guards who use young boys as slaves and pieces of enjoyment and pleasure. With no detail or piece of action from the reform school missing, this seems to be the hardest part of the movie to watch.

    Jason Patric, and Brad Pitt, lead lives of today's norms, one a journalist and the other a lawyer. Two of their other friends lead lives of gangsters and hard-core street bangers. In an act of fate and karma, the two gangsters recognize their former sadistic guard eating at a local restaurant, and quickly take their anger out on him as their revenge.

    Faced with a murder case, the prosecuting attorney (Brad Pitt), and the journalist, working together with their former father-like figure, and priest, Robert Deniro, get ready to turn the case around against the guards of the reform school. With everyone's lives and careers aside, they keep their lifelong friendship alive.

    Sleepers is one of those movies that you pick up by chance, but it will always remain in your DVD collection once you do pick it 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
  • Saw it in the movie theater when it came out
    One of the best movies I have ever seen. A superb cast, Robert DeNito shines through even though he has a rather small part. The story is poignant. And even though at the end,the boys did get their revenge, you realize that they have been scarred for life anyway....more info
  • Powerfully Moving, But...
    If you tell me a story and make it clear from the start that it's fiction, I'll take it for what it is: fiction. But if you tell me a story and claim that it's true, and I find out that it's not true or its truth is questionable, I'll take that against you. Fair enough, I'm sure you'll agree.

    Given that framework, the controversy surrounding Sleepers makes rating this entry difficult. The film is based on a book (a first-person account by Lorenzo Carcaterra) that purports to be based on a true story, a claim we have to factor in. But numerous critics have thrown a huge shadow of doubt on the truthfulness of this claim, a counter-claim we also have to factor in.

    There is no question that Sleepers is a powerfully moving story. It draws you in and never lets you go. It works admirably hard at character development and depth. Few other films succeed at making us feel a certain compassion for two apparently cold-blooded murderers. Or understand why a priest would lie under oath. Or condone a District Attorney's breach of ethics when he takes a case with the intention of losing. Director Barry Levinson's compassionate handling of a very sensitive and complex subject matter is indeed remarkable, matched only by the ensemble cast's performances.

    But we have to go back to that question of veracity. Carcaterra stands by his story, and he's pretty much out on a limb alone on that. On the other hand, the critics (and we're not talking here about the literary type) are legion. That naturally makes us lean more towards the doubters' side. But can we say with absolute certainty that they're right? Or that Carcaterra is right, for that matter?

    The fact is, that burning question will probably continue to do just that -- burn -- for the rest of our lives. And that is unfortunate. If the book and the movie never made this "based on a true story" claim, I would give it five stars without batting an eyelash. But because I simply cannot go along with the school of thought that says, "whether it's true or not is irrelevant, just enjoy the movie," I have to take away one star. The four remaining are for the sheer power of a compellingly-told, albeit controversial story....more info

  • Outstanding
    With a gripping story, augmented by the moral and ethical dilemmas of a lawyer, a journalist, and a priest, Barry Levinson's SLEEPERS is heart-pounding drama at its finest. Set in New York's Hell's Kitchen--with all of its subsequent turbulence and socioeconomic dysfunction--this film tells the story of four boys, four lifelong pals, who are sadistically brutalized in a reform school and carry the scars into their adult lives.

    It comes as no surprise that two of the four embark on a problematic life of crime; it comes as even less of a surprise that when a former reform school guard is seen eating in a diner the two men extract a brutal and bloody revenge.

    At this point SLEEPERS embarks on a breathless course of twists and turns, with one underlying, consistent theme: the unbroken bond of friendship. With their friends on trial for murder, the other two men, a prosecuting attorney (Brad Pitt) and a journalist (Jason Patric) put their careers and reputations on the line to exonerate the defendants--who are indeed guilty of murder--and to malign the former guard who was killed. The stage is set for courtroom drama that is literally spellbinding.

    Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, and Minnie Driver are exceptional in this film, but the cast is trumped by two "oldtimers," Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. Hoffman plays an alcoholic defense attorney in over his head for the trial, while De Niro--as a loving priest who has been a father figure to all four of the boys--faces a titanic decision as he is called to testify as an important witness. The acting is compelling and absorbing, and so is the story. SLEEPERS is about as good as a drama can get.
    --D. Mikels...more info

  • about this sleepers......
    I have bought a copy of this DVD and have watched them...hee hee...and what I can say is that this is like a film that shoed revenge which uses gun to kill. There is not much of a rich stor inside this DVD nnd is recommended to those whom are interested in this genre of film.....

    Review by:

    Ang Poon Kah
    PhD (Prof) in political science from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in Neuroscience from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in Technology from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in Security System from Cambridge University and NUS
    PhD (Prof) in Computer from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in film from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in Business from Cambridge University and NUS.
    PhD (Prof) in Electronics Engineering from Cambridge University and NUS.
    Bachelor degree in computer studies from Techco University
    Zakkers film director
    ...more info
  • sleepres

    this is great movie it have great actor every body deserve thumb up...more info
  • Good Flick despite Pitt
    DeNiro was awesome as always. Good surprises. Very entertaining and makes you think. Excellent cast. Brad Pitt doesn't ruin it but kept me from giving this a 5....more info
  • The Best, Silliest, Saddest, and Most Heart-breaking Movie
    I can't put into words how to describe this movie. The best way is in the title for this review. "Sleepers" is about four boys growing up in 'Hell's Kitchen' (New York) during the '60s.The four boys, Lorenzo, aka Shakes, Michael, John, and Tommy, pull a prank on a man who sells hot-dogs for a living. The prank goes terribly wrong. I don't want to give too much information about how and what happened for them to be sent away. But they are sent away, to a reform school for boys. There they are brutalized in every way imaginable and unimaginable. They endure repeated rapes, beatings, torture, and in one part they had to eat off the floor. This movie just breaks my heart every time I see it. I've even got the book. I really urge anyone who loves this movie, to read the book also if you haven't already. A warning though, it's even more graphic than the movie itself. Both, the movie and book, literally made me sob. It was hard to imagine how these boys' lives were stolen from them and how gruesome it was. I have seen this movie about 5-7 times since I saw it first a little less than a year ago. It still makes me cry. But with peformances by Dusin Hoffman and Robert de Niro it kind lifted my spirits. People say that this is not a true story even though there is enought evidence, for me, to say that it is in fact true. I truly don't know what else to say other than this is a masterpiece and a true heart breaker....more info
  • Excellent film with a great cast
    Sleepers is a deeply disturbing movie, and is difficult to watch at times, only because of its touchy subject matter. While the incidents that take place are never witnessed by the viewer, they are implied, but are necessary for the foundation of the whole movie. Whether this story is true or not, the storyline is gripping and is a good follow up to the novel 'A safe place' which would have also made a good movie. The all star cast is what will entice most viewers. With the like of Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt, Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Jason Patric and Bruno Kirby - it is hard not to be impressed by each and everyone of their performances. Kevin Bacon is outstanding as a sadistic guard at a juvenile detention center.
    The story revolves around four boys growing up in Hells kitchen and the first half of the movie focuses on them growing up and doing their time in Wilkinsons home for boys. It is then after this we fast forward 13 years when they have all grown up and fate will have them facing their demons for the first time. Barry Levinson directs a powerful drama with an excellent music score, great dialogue and excellent pictures. The sound is also good in 5:1 surround. The DVD is lacking special features unfortunately, as you only get a trailer. A behind the scenes featurette or interviews with the stars would have been much aprreciated.
    Overall, this movie tells a very good story, one than will leave a lasting effect on you, for better or worse....more info
  • Excellent story, excellent actors!
    I loved this movie! As hard as some parts were to watch, it grabbed ahold of me and didn't let go from beginning to end. I have NO idea where this idea of "homophobic revenge" came from though. Personally I don't think it had anything to do with pedophilia or homosexuality....I think it had to do with power and control. The reviewers who said the boys were out for homophobic revenge....I wonder what they would have called it if it had been young girls or woman getting raped and beat and abused in an institution instead of boys? Anyways, this isn't a movie for people out for something light or fun, this is a movie to make you think and feel, and you WILL feel....more info
  • Entertaining well made film about a difficult subject
    This film deals with a topic that continually arises in our culture, the sexual molestation of children by adults in authority positions. In some ways the film compliments the more contemporary film "Mysterious Skin" which deals with a similar theme. I will first discuss an overall assessment of the film and then return to the theme of sexual molestation and the long path to recovery from sexual molestation.

    As a dramatic engaging film, this product is very good. The acting of Robert DeNero, Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Minnie Driver, Billy Crudup, Brad Pitt, and Dustin Hoffman is super. DeNero is wonderful as the priest put in an ethical dilemna. Jason Patric holds the second half of the film together as the most psychologically sound of the victims. Kevin Bacon is creepy and realistic as the sadistic molester. Dustin Hoffman is a rare talent as he plays an incompetent alcoholic drug addicted second rate lawyer. Also note that the child actors were very good also. The plot is well developed and engaging, especially the division of the film into childhood and adulthood experiences. The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas is also used as a unifying theme of imprisonment, escape, planned revenge, and redemption from pain. The cinematography was very good (notice the camera angels and techniques used on the city streets, the courtroom, and especially in the youth facility) and sound track (with serious almost tragic overtones) are first rate. Overall the film gets 5 out of 5 points.

    The theme of sexual molestation of children by adults is a difficult and disturbing topic. In this film, 4 boys are molested, with two emerging as angry killers and two emerging with intact emotional stability. Brad Pitt plays the young lawyer who uses the court room to unearth the sexual crimes committed by several guards in the correctional facility. Jason Patric however plays the victim with the the strongest emotional stability and who is capable of developing loving relationships and moving forward with his life. Revenge was the theme that holds the second half of the film together, carefully plotted and executed by two of the victims, impulsively and self defeating by the other two.

    A fine film worthy of your time....more info
  • Very happy
    I was very happy with my purchase of this DVD and the timeliness of its delivery....more info