Sleepers [DVD] 
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Kevin Bacon and Robert De Niro star in this crime drama directed by Barry Levinson. In 1960s New York, four young boys - Shakes (Joe Perrino), Michael (Brad Renfro), John (Geoffrey Wigdor) and Tommy (Jonathan Tucker) - are growing up in Hell's Kitchen and find themselves befriended by both the local priest (De Niro) and the gang boss (Vittorio Gassman). However, when a prank has near-fatal consequences the boys are sent to reform school where they are sexually abused and beaten by the prison guards. 14 years later, the now grown men seek brutal revenge on the men who made their childhoods a living nightmare. The cast also includes Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt and Minnie Driver.
The first thing you need to know about Sleepers is that it's based on a novel by Lorenzo Carcaterra that was allegedly based on a true story. The movie repeats this bogus claim, which was attacked and determined by a wide majority to be misleading. Knowing this, Sleepers becomes problematic because it's too neat, too clean, too manipulative in terms of legal justice and dramatic impact to be truly convincing. And yet, with its stellar cast directed by Barry Levinson, it succeeds as gripping entertainment, and its tale of complex morality--despite a dubious emphasis on homophobic revenge--is sufficiently provocative. It's about four boys in New York's Hell's Kitchen district who are sent to reform school, where they must endure routine sexual assaults by the sadistic guards. Years after their release, the opportunity for revenge proves irresistible for two of the young men, who must then rely on the other pair of friends (Brad Pitt, Jason Patric), a loyal priest (Robert De Niro), and a shabby lawyer (Dustin Hoffman) to defend them in court. Despite the compelling ambiguities of the story, there's never any doubt about how we're supposed to feel, and the screenplay glosses over the story's most difficult moral dilemmas. At its best, Sleepers grabs your attention and pulls you into its intense story of friendship and the price of loyalty under extreme conditions. The movie's New York settings are vividly authentic, and Minnie Driver makes a strong impression as a long-time friend of the loyal group of guys. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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
This then is the cue for the second half of the film that deals with the revenge
the boys meet out to Sean Nokes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's an older movie but still good , leaves some of the real disturbing scenes to your imaginationPublished 1 month ago by D M N
Fantastic film that stands the test of time, was a smash when it came out, still a really good watch, recommend.Published 1 month ago by Theresa
Brilliant film and one of those that is actually better than the book! Tragic story, and not for everyone, but true about revenge and even justice not ending things. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Noddy
Solid performances from De Niro, Bacon, Hoffman. The first part of the film very convincing, the second half less so. Powerful story nonetheless.Published 2 months ago by Miked