Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,553 ( 698)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Following (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell
Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
The Game (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed ... See full summary »

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job to work in New York City for a high-end law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen
Doodlebug (1997)
Short | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a ratty flat, a man is on his hands and knees, holding a shoe by its toe, trying to kill a bug of some sort that so far has managed to evade him. He keeps up the chase and whacks at it a... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Jeremy Theobald
Memento (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Serpico (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe
Carlito's Way (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
The Machinist (2004)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Oliver 'Ole' Zemen ...
Pilot
...
...
Chief Nyback
...
Fred Duggar
Larry Holden ...
Farrell
...
Francis
...
Rich
...
Officer #1
Andrew Campbell ...
Officer #2
Paula Shaw ...
Coroner
...
...
Mrs. Connell
...
Edit

Storyline

Sent from the city to investigate the murder of a teenage girl in a small Alaska town, a police detective (Pacino) accidentally shoots his own partner while trying to apprehend a suspect. Instead of admitting his guilt, the detective is given an unexpected alibi, but this "solution" only multiplies the emotional complexity and guilt over his partner's death. He's also still got a murder to solve, in addition to the blackmail and framing of an innocent bystander being orchestrated by the man they were chasing. There's also a local detective (Swank) who is conducting her own personal investigation... of his partner's death. Will it all come crashing down on him? Written by greg Dean Scmitz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't close your eyes. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Insomnia - Schlaflos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,068,419 (USA) (24 May 2002)

Gross:

$67,263,182 (USA) (20 September 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Dormer's name comes from the Spanish word "dormir" - to sleep. See more »

Goofs

When the police officers are waiting for the murderer to return to the cabin for the girl's backpack (Scene 8 on the DVD), they are talking about firearms. One of the Alaska cops says "Yeah that's nice, mine's all plastic save the barrel and firing pin - never rusts. What do you carry down in LA?" In the real world, the only part on his Glock that is plastic is the frame. The barrel, firing pin, trigger components, and SLIDE are all metal. Seeing how the Glock's frame (that's the big part on top) is 100% blued metal, it rusts just as easily as anything else. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hap Eckhart: There's just nothing down there. Nothing. I haven't seen a building in, like, 20 minutes. Look at that.
Will Dormer: We're not on vacation, Hap. Remember?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.83 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Wait for the Sun
Written by Stacy Jones
Performed by American Hi-Fi
Courtesy of Island Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

(Obvious comment -->) This movie kept me wide awake
5 November 2002 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

After `Memento', I - and a lot of others - eagerly awaited to see what Nolan would do next. Could he repeat the success? No. Could he still do a decent movie, a cut above the rest? Yes.

It's all about a killer. A top detective, Dormer (Al Pacino), along with his partner Eckhart (Martin Donavan), is called in to assist in a murder in remote Alaska. They're assisted by the local police officer Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), who is a big fan of Dormer. Well and good. The two detectives have a secret shared between them, which allows for some creative, character building friction. You want a twist? Got it - there's a few. Firstly, there's the whole `insomnia' element - Alaska is in a 24-hour sun period, which Dormer cannot adjust to. Therefore he's constantly awake, and as the hunt continues, getting more and more tired - and more and more likely to mistake. Speaking of mistakes - he makes a big one (which I can't reveal) but which has dramatic consequences (not to mention character introspecting and building). This allows the movie to take a path, which is somewhat unexpected (for a bit), especially when we see how far Dormer is willing to go. It's all let down a bit by a final fifteen minutes which is, if nothing else, too dully Hollywood predictable. Oh well.

So the script's good but not excellent. Certainly not a patch on `Memento' as it has none of its mystery or suspense. It's essentially a cop/bad-guy story with the insomnia twist, and doesn't feature any spectacularly memorable moments. So why is it above average? The performances help for one. Al Pacino is the perfect person to play an insomniac - his drooping eyes are suited to Dormer. Yes he does his usual, appearing to sleep through his roles, but it suits the Dormer character and so he's well chosen. Swank is a bit disappointing - it's not a fault of her acting abilities, but more of a character that seems decidedly under-developed. All we know is that she's a fan of Dormer, but out to prove herself and make a mark. Not original. Robin Williams is of course the most talked about actor here, casting himself against type as a villain. He's remarkably restrained. I normally loathe his `comedy' roles, and kept expecting him to burst into goofy gestures and rambling nonsense, but he keeps himself in, gives himself a quiet dignity, undercut with a credible sense of menace. It'll make his role in `One Hour Photo' interesting to see. His character is also reasonably interesting, let down again by the weak finale.

So how does Nolan, master editor, work out here? He's good. There is a nice repeated image that, like elements of `Memento', only makes full sense later on. There're some great cuts and moments indicating Pacino's extreme fatigue

  • still camera work, sound being drowned out, and so forth. Certainly


Nolan knows how to do his visuals and work with the beautiful Alaskan (and British Columbian) landscape to create stark images (which are, of course, also metaphorical). His use of lighting - a necessity in this movie - is good, and a nice contrast with light being used where dark would normally be the enemy. It's his work, along with the actors, that lifts up the movie into the `well worth watching' category.

I was, in the end, a little bit disappointed with `Insomnia'. It's not half as clever as `Memento', presumably having to pander more towards typical Hollywood sensibilities (it appears that it deviates from the original to make it more audience friendly). The lack of a stronger script is offset by some fine acting and assured direction. I look forward to seeing what Nolan does next, just not with quite the same eagerness as I did before this. 8/10.


110 of 138 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Too obvious for Nolan Z-Dizzle
Ten Things I learned from watching "Insomnia" bhoffer66
'Wrapped up in GARBAGE BAGS!' cardslife2004
Inspiration for TDK? juliancgeorge
Rank all the nolan movies amar756
Insomnia vs. One Hour Photo ac_rulz_mf
Discuss Insomnia (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?