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Insomnia (2002)

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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:

Christopher Nolan

Writers:

Hillary Seitz (screenplay), Nikolaj Frobenius | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,602 ( 407)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
Crystal Lowe ... Kay Connell
Tasha Simms ... Mrs. Connell
Maura Tierney ... Rachel Clement
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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:

A tough cop. A brilliant killer. An unspeakable crime. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Insomnia - Schlaflos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,930,169, 26 May 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$67,355,513

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$113,714,830
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Insomnia (2002) is director Christopher Nolan's first theatrical movie to be fully exhibited in color. In his previous theatrically released movies, Following (1998) (1998) is a full black & white feature while Memento (2000) (2000) comprises both black & white and color sequences. See more »

Goofs

When Ellie is giving her report to Dormer, after the shot changes to show Dormer, Ellie's face can be see on the left but her lips aren't moving when she is saying the word "paperwork". 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 The Reviewers: So What's the Deal with Caroline? (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

One More Last Kiss
Written by Adam Schlesinger, Dominique Durand and Andy Chase
Performed by Ivy
Courtesy of Nettwerk America
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great, compelling piece of work!
5 June 2002 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

I was really looking forward to this film, and I'm glad to say that I wasn't the least bit disappointed. First of all, I was glad to see Al Pacino on screen again. It seems like it's been a while since I've seen him on screen. I think the last film he was in was "Any Given Sunday." Pacino yet again delivers a brilliant performance, strapping the audience in for a wild ride through the emotionally scarred mind of Detective Will Dormer. It seemed like I could feel his every emotion throughout the course of the movie. Because this is a character-driven story that revolves around Dormer, his pain, anguish and guilt on account of accidentally taking his partner's life, constant insomnia and subsequent threats by his nemesis, played by Robin Williams as a writer of trashy detective novels who's fascinated by Dormer and blackmails him by threatening to spill out the secret of Dormer shooting his partner. As for Robin Williams, he is fully convincing as the reclusive novelist/murderer of a 17-year-old girl. I suspected, from the trailers, that he'd play a serial killer. I wouldn't exactly classify his character as a serial killer, but he is the antagonist and a murderer and Williams plays the role perfectly, never underplaying it and never overplaying it. He could've went over-the-top, playing a totally ruthless killer who cackles at the thought of murdering someone in cold blood. Though he's not our sympathetic character, you do feel sympathy for him at times. And I like how the story creates this little cat-and-mouse game between the two characters, each one plagued by skeletons in the closet. Oscar-winner Hilary Swank delivers another fine performance, and I was stunned to see how amazingly attractive she looks, after having seen her gender-bending role as Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry."

Christopher Nolan is the acclaimed director of "Memento" and he scores yet again, with this beautifully constructed thriller. I was intrigued from start to finish. Nolan's use of lighting is dark and murky, wonderfully setting the noirish tone. Nolan shows great promise as an up-and-coming director, and with a good outlet he can possibly become the next Kubrick. I greatly look forward to seeing his next project, whenever that may be.

I recommend "Insomnia" to anyone who loved Nolan's previous "Memento" or anyone who simply enjoys a great, multi-faceted mystery/thriller that will keep you guessing at every turn. I think it's too early to vote this movie as one of the best films of 2002, but it's a possible candidate. We don't see too many "great" films anymore, and whenever they're out there it's good to take advantage.

My score: 9 (out of 10)


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