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Insomnia (2002)

R  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  24 May 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 204,369 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 643 user | 183 critic | 36 from

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.



(screenplay), , 1 more credit »
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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 | Plot Synopsis


Don't close your eyes. See more »


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Insomnia - Schlaflos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$4,663,332 (France) (6 December 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just two weeks after the film was released in Bulgaria, it premiered on the Bulgarian HBO. See more »


On the ferry, the Pacino character and the Williams character have a long discussion. Outside the window of the ferry the foreshore scenery does not move, yet they are supposed to be sailing somewhere. See more »


[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 »


One More Last Kiss
Written by Adam Schlesinger, Dominique Durand (as Domnique Durand) and Andy Chase
Performed by Ivy
Courtesy of Nettwerk America
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User Reviews

Excellent Performances, Especially Williams
19 September 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

One doesn't expect to feel claustrophobic in Alaska, but that's exactly the effect when watching "Insomnia". The primary story is about the police investigation of the murder of a high-school girl in a small Alaskan town. Through the pull of old acquaintances and political necessity, two LA homicide detectives (Pacino and Martin Donovan) are dispatched to the scene to help the locals. The political necessity concerns a graft investigation in which the two LA detectives are key suspects. One is thinking of copping a plea, so they are spirited out of LA to avoid the investigative light. Then they find themselves in the 24-hour day of the Alaskan summer where the two plot lines collide; the murder investigation and the graft. And what a collision it is.

The insomnia of the title is suffered by the Pacino character, who can't sleep during the movie's 7-day span. And each day his eyes are more sunken, he's groggier, less focused. This parallels his descent into guilt, remorse, and desperation. But to provide any more details would be to give away key plot elements. "Insomnia" is gripping and it's best to see the movie cold.

The acting, especially Robin Williams as the key suspect in the child slaying, is top notch. Williams is made for these roles, he should kiss the suck-up feel-good stuff goodbye for good. The photography is excellent, Alaska never looked so ominous, and the direction delivers the goods. Highly recommended.

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