'Sleepers' is a good 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 De Niro). Especially he has a very important role. 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 De Niro, 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, with 147 minutes a little too long maybe. He finds the right way to tell this sad story, with a perfect set-up and with interesting courtroom scenes in the second part. That is sort of an achievement since we know the whole thing is scripted there. 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. John Williams' score is great. We feel it, but it never distracts from the story. 'Sleepers' is most definitely worth watching.
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Crime / Drama / Thriller
After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Thirteen years later, they get their chance for revenge.
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April 12, 2019