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 [show more]
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. To four boys growing up on the streets in the mid 1960s, Hell's Kitchen was a place of innocence ruled by corruption. The infamous New York City neighbourhood that stretched north from 34th to 56th Street and pushed west from the 8th Avenue to the Hudson River was guided by both priest and gangsters. The children who grew up there shared joyful times, but subscribed to a sacred social code-crimes against the neighbourhood were not permitted, and when they did occur, punishment was severe. Four friends made a mistake that changed their lives forever... Actors Brad Pitt, Brad Renfro, Bruno Kirby, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, Robert De Niro, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup, Vittorio Gassman, Terry Kinney & Ron Eldard Director Barry Levinson Certificate 18 years and over Year 1996 Screen 1.78:1 Widescreen / 4:3 Fullscreen Languages English ; German - Dolby Digital (5.1) Subtitles English ; English for the hearing impaired ; German ; German for the hearing impaired Duration 2 hours and 28 minutes (approx)
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.