7.6/10
177,950
276 user 65 critic

Sleepers (1996)

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2:16 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Lorenzo Carcaterra (book), Barry Levinson (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,814 ( 257)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Nokes
Billy Crudup ... Tommy
Robert De Niro ... Father Bobby
Ron Eldard ... John
Minnie Driver ... Carol
Vittorio Gassman ... King Benny
Dustin Hoffman ... Danny Snyder
Terry Kinney ... Ferguson
Bruno Kirby ... Shakes' Father
Frank Medrano ... Fat Mancho
Jason Patric ... Shakes
Joe Perrino ... Young Shakes
Brad Pitt ... Michael
Brad Renfro ... Young Michael
Geoffrey Wigdor ... Young John
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Storyline

As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Four friends have made a mistake that will change their lives forever. See more »

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Levinson.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la calle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,305,745, 20 October 1996

Gross USA:

$53,315,285

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,615,285
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro also appeared in Wag the Dog (1997), Meet the Fockers (2004), and Little Fockers (2010). See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when Robert De Niro's character hands the basketball tickets to Brad Pitt's character in court, Pitt reaches for the ticket twice. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Entourage: Pie (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bird Dance Beat
Performed by The Trashmen
Written by George Garrett
Courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An Interesting Film...
25 July 2011 | by namashi_1See all my reviews

Legedndary Filmmaker Barry Levinson's 'Sleepers' is An Interesting Film to watch. Based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name, this legal drama comes in-tact with skilled direction & proficient performances to lead it's narrative.

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

Barry Levinson's Adpated Screenplay is Convincing. The film has interesting & absorbing moments in the first hour as well as in the second hour. However, the film gets too intense at times, and the faint-hearted are sure to shy away from those portions. Also, the film is very long. It definitely could've been trimmed. Levinson's direction is skilled. Michael Ballhaus's Cinematography is good. Editing is okay. Music by John Williams is impressive.

Performance-Wise: Kevin Bacon is effective as the bad guy. Dustin Hoffman is first-rate, while Bobby De Niro delivers a subdued performance. Brad Pitt is extremely natural. Jason Patric does well. Minnie Driver leaves a mark. Brad Renfro is passable. Others lend good support.

On the whole, 'Sleepers' is worth a watch, as it succeeds by holding your attention almost throughout. Thumbs Up!


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