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.


Christopher Nolan


Hillary Seitz (screenplay), Nikolaj Frobenius | 1 more credit »
2,118 ( 121)
1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Will Dormer
Martin Donovan ... Hap Eckhart
Oliver 'Ole' Zemen Oliver 'Ole' Zemen ... Pilot
Hilary Swank ... Ellie Burr
Paul Dooley ... Chief Nyback
Nicky Katt ... Fred Duggar
Larry Holden ... Farrell
Jay Brazeau ... Francis
Lorne Cardinal ... Rich
James Hutson ... Officer #1
Andrew Campbell Andrew Campbell ... Officer #2
Paula Shaw ... Coroner
Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe ... Kay Connell (as Crystal Lowe)
Tasha Simms ... Mrs. Connell
Maura Tierney ... Rachel Clement


In Nightmute, Alaska, seventeen year old resident Kay Connell is found murdered. As a favor to the local Nightmute police chief, two Los Angeles Robbery Homicide police detectives, Will Dormer and Hap Eckhart, are called in to assist in the investigation. Although renowned in the police world, both Dormer and Eckhart are facing some professional issues back in Los Angeles. In Nightmute, Dormer has a major case of insomnia due to a combination of the incessant midnight sun and from a secret he is carrying. This insomnia is causing him to be delusional. Something he is not dreaming about is that the murderer has contacted him, informing him all about the murder and the fact that he knows everything that is going on with Dormer. They begin a symbiotic relationship in keeping secrets for each individual's benefit. But ambitious young local detective, Ellie Burr, might piece the story together on her own. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:

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Did You Know?


Director Christopher Nolan and Hilary Swank share the same birthday: July 30th. See more »


Dorner displays abysmal handling of his service weapon, consistently violating the third of Cooper's four famous gun safety rules ("Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target."). What's more, the death of his partner is a direct result of Dorner violating the fourth rule ("Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.") Given his age, it is possible that Dorner went to police academy before it was common for law enforcement agencies to require their staff to comply with Cooper's rules (i.e. before around 1985). That the young Burr, who leads the investigation of the incident, would neither mention Dorner's outrageous violations nor try to find out whether he had received updated weapons training is, however, utterly impossible. 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?
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Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Al Pacino Performances (2014) See more »


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
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User Reviews

Chris Nolan's worst is still good
8 November 2010 | by kominbhaiSee all my reviews

As is evident by now, anyone who has enjoyed Christopher Nolan's movies would, most probably, Insomnia at the bottom of their favorite from Nolan. While people who don't enjoy the Nolan brand of cinema will mark Insomnia as their favorite from Nolan. Simply because, this movie is a remake and while has many of Nolan's signature styles, it is not as evident as it is in his other superior works (IMHO).

Nolan's movies (from Following to Inception) is built around the concept of duality. Insomnia has a similar theme running through it, that of Al Pacino's character living the life of a honest role-model while still doing things reprehensible, thus showing two sides of life. Al Pacino and Robin Williams are in supreme form and the cinematography by Wally Pfister is gorgeous. But the 'quickness' that is associated with other Nolan movies (even BB) is visibly absent in this one. It is by no means a bad movie, but the slow burn of the thriller does dampen the effect. Not a must watch, but an intriguing thriller that well matches its Swedish inspiration.

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Release Date:

24 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Insomnia See more »


Box Office


$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,930,169, 26 May 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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