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Sleepers (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  18 October 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 147,547 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 249 user | 69 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Wigdor ...


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 Albert@SaveKoalas.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Four friends have made a mistake that will change their lives forever. 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
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Did You Know?


In the end of the movie they sing the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song "Walk Like a Man". In the scene where Shakes is in Carol's home (at around 1h 17 mins) he is picking up a record from the shaft of that same single. See more »


The flag of Greece being displayed on the hot dog cart when the boys try to steal it was only adopted by Greece in 1978. At the time of the movie, the flag of Greece was made of a single white cross on blue background. 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 Invisible Man (1933) See more »


I'll Never Stop Loving You
Performed by Doris Day
Written by Sammy Cahn and Nicholas Brodszky
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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!

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