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40 of 41 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
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great stuff
brilliant performances from kevin bacon, dustin hoffman and robert deniro. i highly recomend this film, but not if you get upset easily, its pretty dark.....although the film looks like a disney film after you have read the book which takes you to a whole other level of hell
Published on 3 Mar 2004


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40 of 41 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolute brilliance, 25 Sep 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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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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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepers (Blu-ray version)..., 11 Feb 2013
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sleepers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Director Barry Levinson's star studded 1996 production which is the story of four young boys growing up in the "Hell's Kitchen" district of New York in the 60's whose life's are forever changed when a childhood prank goes horribly wrong and they are sent to a detention centre where they are brutalised by the people trusted to look after them.

This film comes to Blu-ray in the UK on a 50GB disc using MPEG 4 AVC in full 1080p resolution and the soundtrack has been up-graded to English DTS Master Audio 5.1 this makes the dialogue easier to follow and the background sound effects are much improved this is a real improvement from the DVD release.

The copy I had was a two-sided affair which was really annoying presentation having to flip the disc over to see part two of the movie was never good.

There is also Audio tracks available in DTS Surround 5.1 in French, German, Spanish, and Russian and there is also an Italian DTS 2.0 there is also subtitles in English for the hard of hearing and subtitles in the following languages: - French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilin, Danish, Dutch Finnish, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Robert De Niro plays the local priest who tries to guide the boys; the boys grown-up are played by Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup and Ron Eldard the cast also includes Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman and Minnie Driver this movie is a real tour-da-force from the 90's, the running time is the full 147 minutes of the original theatrical presentation at the cinema the aspect ratio of 2.35: 1 is also how it appeared there no extras that I could find on the disc which is a little disappointing a little short-signed on the part of the film company...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never steal a hot dog!, 22 Dec 2012
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Sleepers is an emotional and brilliant film that seemd somewhat overlooked on release. I can`t say enough about the film, the actors are all perfectly cast, and do an outstanding job in the characters portrayed. The film deserved more recognition than it got. Shame there were no extras on the dvd though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie, 11 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sleepers [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
This is a class act of a movie. Very well acted, every actor enhances, not takes from the others or the story. For such a big cast, it is directed extremely well.

Sad movie subject, yet this movie is one of my favorites. Like Schindler's List, this is not a movie to watch every couple of weeks, it takes a while to digest, but it is a very good movie. Maybe not a classic, but great nonetheless.

Highly recommended.
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Sleepers [DVD] [1997]
Sleepers [DVD] [1997] by Barry Levinson (DVD - 2001)
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