Sleepers
  • Sleepers
  • Sleepers

Sleepers

5.0 7
Director: Barry Levinson

Cast: Barry Levinson, Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Billy Crudup

     
 

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Barry Levinson directed this crime drama based on a controversial bestseller. Jason Patrick stars as Lorenzo, a New York reporter more commonly called "Shakes," a nickname courtesy of his three childhood pals from Hell's Kitchen -- Michael (Brad Pitt), John (Ron Eldard), and Tommy (Billy Crudup). As kids, all four were sent to reform school after accidentally killing… See more details below

Overview

Barry Levinson directed this crime drama based on a controversial bestseller. Jason Patrick stars as Lorenzo, a New York reporter more commonly called "Shakes," a nickname courtesy of his three childhood pals from Hell's Kitchen -- Michael (Brad Pitt), John (Ron Eldard), and Tommy (Billy Crudup). As kids, all four were sent to reform school after accidentally killing someone during a cruel prank. There, the boys were raped and beaten by several guards, including Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon), a fact that they've kept secret into adulthood. Michael is now a rising star in the district attorney's office, while John and Tommy are founders of the Irish gang the Westies. When Nokes walks into John and Tommy's hangout, they kill him in cold blood and go on trial, defended by a drug-addicted lawyer (Dustin Hoffman). Michael and Shakes conspire with childhood friend Carol (Minnie Driver) and local priest Father Bobby (Robert DeNiro) to free their friends and get even with the surviving guards. Based on a true story chronicled by Lorenzo Carcaterra in his novel of the same name, Sleepers stirred controversy when the veracity of the book was challenged by reporters who could find no documentation of the events described.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Barry Levinson's Sleepers courted controversy for a number of reasons. Not only was there uncertainty as to whether the purportedly true story really happened, but the Catholic Church also frowned upon one of its major plot points: a priest's struggle over whether or not to lie under oath to protect a pair of vigilantes who have clearly committed murder. If these issues prompted more people to see the film, that's just as well, because it contains some interesting elements beyond those listed above. One is that it convincingly details the struggle of a prosecutor (Brad Pitt) to intentionally botch his case, but subtly enough that it doesn't draw suspicion. Never mind that Levinson doesn't explain why no one makes the connection between Pitt and the two defendants (Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup), who were his childhood friends -- the courtroom scenes are deft enough to excuse the plot hole. Levinson returns to familiar territory in the film's earlier scenes, giving an assured portrait of life in big city ethnic neighborhoods in the 1960s. New York stands in for his native Baltimore, where many Levinson films are set, but the same issues of coming of age in an insular working-class community are explored. There are no outstanding performances, outside of Robert De Niro as the conflicted priest, but the all-star ensemble makes for a solid piece of entertainment with serious issues, some of them more familiar than others, at its core.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/02/2011
UPC:
0883929180059
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:28:00
Sales rank:
11,465

Special Features

Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Bacon Sean Nokes
Robert De Niro Father Bobby
Billy Crudup Tommy Marcano
Dustin Hoffman Danny Snyder
Bruno Kirby Shakes' Father
Jason Patric Lorenzo, a.k.a. Shakes
Vittorio Gassman King Benny
Brad Pitt Michael
Minnie Driver Carol
Ron Eldard John
Brad Renfro Young Michael Sullivan
Wendell Pierce Little Caesar
Aida Turturro Mrs Salinas
Terry Kinney Ferguson
Jonathan Tucker Young Tommy
Frank Medrano Fat Mancho
Peter Appel Boyfriend
William Butler Juanito
Jeffrey Donovan Addison
Saverio Guerra 2nd Man
Ben Hammer Judge Weisman
Michael P. Moran Juvenile Judge
James Pickens Marlboro
Larry Romano 1st Man
Tom Signorelli Confession Man
John Slattery Fred Carlson
Henry Stram Prison Doctor
Joe Urla Carson
Geoffrey Widgor Young John Riley
Eugene Byrd Rizzo
Joe Perrino Young Shakes
Dash Mihok K.C.

Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Michael Ballhaus Cinematographer
Louis Di Giaimo Casting
Peter Giuliano Executive Producer
Steve Golin Producer
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
Stu Linder Editor
Allan Mason Musical Direction/Supervision
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Kristi Zea Production Designer

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