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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quite superb film...
Barry Levinson directs this film based on the book by Lorenza Carcattera about four friends growing up in Hell's Kitchen, New York......and how one mistake ruins their whole lives. An excellent cast including Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric and Brad Pitt make this film an absolute must for any film fanatic. Yes, the film does include scenes of...
Published on 22 Oct. 2003 by N. Oliver

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD jumped then stopped 5mins into film. Was gutted ...
DVD jumped then stopped 5mins into film. Was gutted I've seen this film but my fella hasn't . Gutted
Published 4 months ago by emma


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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quite superb film..., 22 Oct. 2003
By 
N. Oliver ""pinky"" (barnstaple, devon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sleepers [VHS] [1997] (VHS Tape)
Barry Levinson directs this film based on the book by Lorenza Carcattera about four friends growing up in Hell's Kitchen, New York......and how one mistake ruins their whole lives. An excellent cast including Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric and Brad Pitt make this film an absolute must for any film fanatic. Yes, the film does include scenes of sexual and physical abuse suffered by the boys when they are sent to a reform school but that is not what this film is about. Its really a tale of revenge and friendship - both of which are tightly bound together in this film. Levinson is not heavy handed in his direction and allows the actors free range to explore their individual characters with great effect. Although two Hollywood greats are present in this film (Hoffman and De Niro), the parts they play are such, that you don't really notice them and thats a good thing. No one actor should be greater than the story being told and there is no greater evidence of this than in this movie. Watch and savour each scene - it is a wonder that this film is overlooked so often by the movie going public - sheer brilliance is never so evident than here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolute brilliance, 25 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Sleepers [VHS] [1997] (VHS Tape)
if you haven't read the book then i beg you to watch the film. It is the most compelling film you'll ever watch, a bit doom and gloom at times, but hey that's real life. The acting is amazing, especially from the younger lads, and of course such legands as DeNiro and Hoffman. It's a hard-hitting and intelligent story that is sure to have to gripped all the way though.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleepers, 14 May 2006
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
For its quite all-star cast I found it a little strange that I'd never heard of

this film since its release in 1996 and it was only on a television rerun that I

actually caught seeing it. The film is an excellent portrayal of young wasted lives

and eventual revenge but mixes this with questions of conscience and loyalty.

The story begins telling the tale of the lives of four young boys, John, Michael,

Tommy and "Shakes", living in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York. The

neighbourhood is a mix of immigrant families, usually Italian, and it is ruled by

the unspoken rules of how the immigrants all protect each other. The two sources of

authority are the church featuring the charismatic Father Bobby and the local mafia

boss King Benny. The four boys are solid friends and spend their days playing stick

ball, performing altar duties at the church and getting into usual youthful pranks.

Their lives are set to change forever when one such prank goes calamitously wrong

and results in serious injury to an innocent bystander.

The boys are sent to a reform school and this is where the nightmare starts. A

brutal and vicious guard named Sean Nokes runs a paedophilic ring of other

perverted guards and between them they subject the boys to horrific sexual abuse and

rape. Throughout their terrible ordeal the boys are determined never to let their

secret be reveal and they make a pact not to ever tell anyone one the eve of

Shakes's release

This then is the cue for the second half of the film that deals with the revenge

the boys meet out to Sean Nokes.

***Possible Spoilers***

On their release Tommy & John find it impossible to adjust to a crime free

lifestyle and set themselves up as the latest generation of gangsters in Hell's

Kitchen. When they stumble on Nokes in a local bar they ruthlessly cut him down in a

hail of gunfire. With such a blatant crime the boys are soon picked up by the

police and face trial on murder charges. Shakes who is now working as a journalist

is contacted by Michael who is now working for the DA's office. In what is a

seemingly traitorous move Michael informs Shakes that he intents to take Tommy &

John's case and basically be the lawyer for the prosecution of the two gangsters.

To say anymore would really give the game away but needless to say that Michael's

motives aren't without reason although whether King Benny will buy this reasoning

or whether Father Bobby will play his own part in the trial remains to be seen.

The film does really benefit from some of the big name performances. Robert De Niro

is simply superb as Father Bobby bring some steely integuity to his role although

ultimately this does go against what the Father eventually does. Dustin Hoffmann is

similarly excellent as the reforming alcoholic lawyer Danny Snyder, very nicely

underplayed with much subtlety. There's also a couple of minor roles where the

performances are well worth a mention, Bruno Kirby is great as Shakes' rather

abusive father and Vittotio Gassman's chips in with a fine turn as King Benny.

Minnie Driver is as gorgeous as ever and puts on an extremely authentic accent for

the part.

Probably the best performances though goes to the four young actors playing the

friends in their younger years. Showing acting skills far beyond their years these

youngsters take the viewer through a whole range of emotions and feelings; from

the warm of childhood friendships to the panic of when the prank goes horribly

wrong and ultimately to the despair of their abuse.

There's been a lot of discussion about whether the film was as factual as the

author, Lorenzo Carcaterra, claimed it to be. Whether or not the film was based on

a true story of whether this was a publicity seeking stunt shouldn't detract from

what still is a very very good piece of film making.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shocking Must See., 21 Feb. 2002
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
A story set in Hells Kitchen New York. The tale of 4 best friends who make a mistake that they could never of forsaw the consequences. De Niro leads the allstar cast as a truly heart warming priest a world away from his usual expected mob characters. A powerful performance by Kevin Bacon makes your stomach churn in anger and pain. The truly most shocking ingredient of all a true story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that will wreck your emotions but leave you begging to know more., 8 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
*****POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN MY REVIEW*********

This is in my top 5 greatest ever movies, falling only behind Goodfellas, Stand By Me and Casino.

I watched the film first and then read the book, and I don't think it matters which way you do it because they are both outstanding masterpieces.

This film will make you feel nauseas, it will make you frustrated, angry, upset, relieved and then leave you with a tear in your eye. I challenge you to hate a movie character from any other movie as much as you hate the guards in this film, you will rebel and support a murder in cold blood, and be thankful when the guilty murderers walk free at the end of it. It is a story of revenge, bitter yet just revenge.

I highly recommend this movie to literally anyone, if you have an interest in mob films, US History, New York then even more so

It has an all star cast, Brad Pitt, Robert De Nero, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon..

If ever a film deserved 5 stars, this is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid thriller, 30 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Sleepers is a relatively unique film. It has elements of Once Upon a Time in America mixed together with a prison drama, a revenge flick and also a courtroom thriller. At times this switching between genres is effortless at others it becomes a little drawn out, but overall it's a very likeable film with some great performances from the very impressive cast. The only thing that really stops it from becoming an absolute classic is that towards the end it becomes somewhat implausible and it crawls to a conclusion instead of hitting the viewer with a shock twist or unexpected turn of events. However, it has stood the test of time well and is far superior to many recent dramas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Brilliant!, 3 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Sleepers [VHS] [1997] (VHS Tape)
Sleepers is probably the best film I have ever saw and the best book i have ever read! The emotion and pain that is felt through it is heart touching, and i shed a few tears through out it! If you need to realise torture, pain and emotion well this is the movie for, simply touching, and just to think it all hapened beacause the boys wanted a hotdog!It was excellent and at the same time heart breaking to see teenage boys go through what they did. If there is a movie that captures true friendship and pain this is it, it truly is a genuine film! Watch it and have your hankie on the ready! You will never see anything like this or feel anything like, it truley is heart touching. Jean
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finger-Licking Good, 11 Feb. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
It's amazing.... The film is so well organised that you forget that it all happened over a hot dog. Some brilliant acting, a gripping storyline, with heart-wrenching moments. I thoroughly recommend this film to anyone
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4.0 out of 5 stars A film that will have a impact on you more than most, 28 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Above anything this film is about the power of friendship and the power of revenge. Set in the ethnically diverse and tough area of New York's Hells Kitchen, the film charters the journey of 4 kids who's reckless actions result in a incident that will change their lives forever. The film is a really rewarding watch from start to finish with solid performances from A-list cast including Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt, Robert De Nero and Kevin Bacon. Stand out performances come from Robert De Niro who plays a hard nosed uncompromising priest and Kevin Bacon who is in his element as a sick and twisted prison warden. The films subject matter of sexual abuse, violence and cold blooded revenge makes for a dark watch but not without its rewards. The transition from the harrowing experiences of 4 young men at the Wilkenson Home for Boys to there ultimate revenge 13 years later could have been a difficult gap to bridge but it works well with a solid performance from Joseph Perrino playing the younger version of character Lorenzo 'Shakes' Carcaterra. Overall a film well worth investing 147 minutes in, profound and shocking and ultimately rewarding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 13 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Well priced & speedy delivery. A product that i wouldn't hesitate in reccommending. It was a gift for somebody and they loved it!
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Sleepers [DVD] [1997]
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