An all-star cast delivers great performances in what many consider to be a great movie. "Sleepers," though far from immensely engaging, is a well done drama about sexual abuse and the morality of justive.
Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Ron Eldard, Minnie Driver, Robert De Niro, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro, Joseph Perrino, Geoffrey Wigdor and Jonathon Tucker star as young and old versions of the same characters, looking first at the events that shaped the rest of their lives, and then at the point in their lives where they finally have to face their past. The acting is terrific, especially from the younger cast who really bring life to this movie.
The story goes as this: After committing a prank that turned seriously bad, four New York boys are sentenced to reform school. There, they are sexual abused, raped and beaten by one of the head guards (Bacon), destroying any innocence they had left. Years later, two of the boys run into the guard at a restaurant. In front of everyone, they blow his brains out. Their two old friends (Patric and Pitt) come to the rescue; Pitt is now a prosecutor, and he takes their case with the fully intended purpose of letting them walk. He is finally going to reveal what happened at the reform school.
The first time I watched this movie, when I was much younger, I was bored out of my mind, totally unprepared for the kind of content held within. Now, several years later, I consider it to be a very good movie, a drama that raises some good questions while also telling a good story.
I would not go as far to say that "Sleepers" is an immensely moving drama, but it is well done.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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