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
When the boys sit around a table and decide to keep quiet after Wilkinson, the camera's shadow is visible on Tommy's face and John's back. It moves as the shot tracks around the table. See more »
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.
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"Sleepers" is about four boys who grow up in Hell's Kitchen, get sent to reform school, are abused by the guards, and seek revenge as adults. The film offers a good cast with all the trimmings but falls apart in story. It has plenty of 1970-80's pop songs for those who can get nostalgic over them. It has a tease at front and back ends for conspiracy theorists claiming its preposterous story in true. However, it runs too long, gets too convoluted, and is sorely lacking in credibility raising more questions than it answers. For those who find the subject interesting and can tough out a long film with brain disengaged a good watch awaits. All others may want to think twice before committing to this long winded Hollywood-by-the-book tale. (B-)
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