Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized; over 10 years later, they get their chance for revenge.



(book), (screenplay)
1,990 ( 51)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, love and betrayal.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth and in the process he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A police officer uncovers the real identity of his house-guest, an I.R.A. terrorist in hiding.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Margaret Colin
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong
Spy Game (2001)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former U.S. intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
The Mexican (2001)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man tries to transport an ancient gun called The Mexican, believed to carry a curse, back across the border, while his girlfriend pressures him to give up his criminal ways.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas
The Score (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando


Cast overview, first billed only:


Four boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen play a prank that leads to an old man getting hurt. Sentenced to no less than one year in the Wilkenson Center in upstate New York, the four friends are changed by the beating, humiliation and sexual abuse by the guards sworn to protect them. Thirteen years later and a chance meeting lead to a chance for revenge against the Wilkenson Center and the guards. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When friendship runs deeper than blood See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, graphic violence and two scenes of strong sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la calle  »

Box Office


$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,305,745 (USA) (18 October 1996)


$53,300,852 (USA) (24 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one time Sandra Bullock was attached to play Carol. See more »


The amount of blood on Michael's face during the scene in the Wilkinson lunchroom. See more »


[first lines]
Lorenzo: This is a true story about friendship that runs deeper than blood. This is my story and that of the only three friends in my life that truely mattered. Two of them were killers who never made it past the age of 30. The other's a non-practicing attorney living with the pain of his past - too afraid to let it go, never confronting its horror. I'm the only one who can speak for them, and the children we were.
See more »


References The Count of Monte Cristo (1956) See more »


Good Vibrations
Performed by The Beach Boys
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Under license from EMI-Capitol Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

4 childhood friends set out for petty prank that changes their lives forever.
4 January 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Sleepers," is a captivating, taut, ride. It's well-crafted visually and storywise, keeping my attention from the first plot point to the last, which is hard to do, as I see dozens of movies each week. I can't believe I missed this back in '96. It must have been the pedestrian title, but at any rate, the performances were top-notch and the story, both intriguing and heart-wrenching. One seemingly harmless lifting of a hot dog, places four lives in a juvenile system that rips their promise apart. Wow. Who cares if the story is true, the movie is entertaining and a fun ride!

49 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My favorite Dustin Hoffman role! MovieMinx67
What exactly are those 'football ticket stumps' that the father shows? scotty999
question about ralph fuergeson arunsah
I didn't understand the prosecution oliverfennell
A question that may be answered in the book risky-russian
Best child actor? thalia_poet
Discuss Sleepers (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page