Breaking News


Sleepers 1996



As film industry reviewers, we say Sleepers is one of our favorites. If Sleepers is one of YOUR favorite movies, and to recommend it to other film lovers, please VOTE!

Sleepers is favorite or unfavorite?

Four friends made a mistake that changed their lives forever.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this feature film!

About the Sleepers 💬

''This is a true story about friendship that runs deeper than blood. This is my story and that of the only three friends in my life who truly mattered. Two of them were killers who never made it past the age of thirty. The other is a non-practicing attorney living with the pain of the past, too afraid to let it go, never confronting its horror. I'm the only one who can speak for them and the children we were.''

The opening narrative of Sleepers

  • Friendship. Loyalty. Betrayal. Revenge and Retribution.

This is a story of four young boys. Four lifelong friends. Intelligent, fun-loving, wise beyond their years, they are inseparable. Their potential is unlimited, but they are contained within the closed world of New York City's Hell's Kitchen and to play as many pranks as they can on the denizens of the street. They never get caught until one disastrous summer afternoon.

  • Four friends have made a mistake that will change their lives forever.

On that day, what begins as a harmless scheme goes horribly wrong. And the four find themselves facing a year's imprisonment in the Wilkinson Home for Boys. What happens to them over the course of that year will change their lives forever.

Years later, one has become a lawyer. One a reporter, and two have grown up to be murderers, professional hit men. For all of them, the pain and the fear of Wilkinson still rages within. Only one thing can erase it. Revenge.

  • When friendship runs deeper than blood.

SLEEPERS is the extraordinary story of four men who take the law into their own hands. It is a searing portrait of a system gone awry and the people who must suffer the consequences. At the heart of SLEEPERS is a murder trial that ultimately gives devastating, yet exhilarating, proof of street justice and truly defines the meaning of loyalty between friends. Told with great humor and compassion, even at its most harrowing, SLEEPERS is an unforgettable story.


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 neighborhood that stretched north from 34th to 56th Street and pushed west from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River was guided by both priests and gangsters. The children who grew up there shared joyful times, but subscribed to a sacred social code: crimes against the neighborhood were not permitted. And when they did occur, the punishment was severe.

''SLEEPERS'', written and directed by Barry Levinson and based on the best-selling book by Lorenzo Carcaterra, is a provocative story about events that abruptly end the childhood of four boys and push them into a world of violence and abuse. A decade and a half later, nothing can erase their painful memories, but the lessons of Hell's Kitchen allow them to even the score of the terrible hand that Fate had dealt them. In their shocking retaliation, they are daringly aided by a neighborhood priest and an aging, shadowy Mob Figure, both of whom have known the quartet since their childhoods.

Nothing can change the past. But the code of the past - and those who were expected to uphold it - can reach through the years to bring justice and closure to the present.

''SLEEPERS is an American tragedy,'' says Academy Award-winning writer-director Barry Levinson about the story he adapted. ''Often events occur early in our lives that affect everything that comes after. A small event can alter your destiny forever.''

''These boys came from Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood that basically dealt with its own problems internally,'' explains Levinson. ''So years later, when confronted with someone who represented the suffering of their reform-school past, they took retribution into their own hands. On the surface, it's easy to question the morality of their actions. But, given those circumstances, who's to say what any of us might do?''

''There are no easy answers,'' agrees Jason Patric, who portrays Lorenzo in the film. ''But the fact is that they grew up in a closed community, at a time where the code of street justice outweighed the justice of the courts.''

Says Billy Crudup, who plays the adult Tommy, ''SLEEPERS is a deeply disturbing story in many ways. You see Tommy and John shoot down Nokes in cold blood - you are witness to the most base and brutal part of them - and yet you can't help but hope they get off. It's also heartbreaking that these four boys can't help but be alike; they've grown up with each other, and yet they don't know each other as adults. All they have to go on is their boyhood alliance.''

''SLEEPERS'' also focuses on the judicial system and how it will function when it is manipulated. The four boys, after reaching manhood, are able to exact pitiless revenge on the guards who tried to destroy them. ''All those years later, their hatred of the guards had not gone away,'' says Levinson. ''Their revenge was street justice, even though it used the judicial system.''

Ron Eldard, who plays the adult John, faced the task of preserving audience empathy for a killer. ''The question was, how do you get compassion?'' he says. ''How do you have any empathy for the man you see in front of you? Not just through constantly remembering him as a child, but as the man with the deed he has done - how do you get inside him and show even a tiny, tiny shaft of light that shows he's still just a boy? Someone trapped, and paying the price for someone else's sin?''

Levinson confronts this disturbing clash between justice and morality while also exploring thematic territory found in many of his previous projects - the bonds of friendship.

In ''Diner,'' childhood friends grew to manhood, but struggled to maintain the ties of their playful adolescence; in ''Good Morning, Vietnam'' an American disc jockey befriended a young Vietnamese boy while lifting the spirits of soldiers who were wrestling with the realities of war. ''Rain Man'' probed the friendship between an idiot-savant and his worldly younger brother as they traveled cross-country. ''Bugsy'' revealed the relationships between mobsters who were fueled by loyalty and greed.

''But when Terry started doing his part, he got really caught up in the emotion of the moment giving an amazing performance and weeping spontaneously. Dustin moved off camera and signaled to Barry that, rather than interrupt the emotional flow of the moment, if the cameras kept rolling, Dustin would just continue on. It was a very generous moment, in which we all really appreciated the professional and artistic contribution that both Dustin and Terry were making.''


''SLEEPERS'' depicts four boys who lost their innocence at a time - the mid-1960s when America was losing its own innocence. Says Barry Levinson, ''We all start out as children, as innocents. You see children, they're struggling to learn. They evolve. And you say, 'What causes us to be who we are? Family, community, nation?' Some people excel and others are haunted by events for the rest of their lives.''

Sleepers Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Barry Levinson

Writing Credits

Barry Levinson (Screenplay)

Lorenzo Carcaterra (Book)


Brad Pitt

Jason Patric

Billy Crudup

Ron Eldard

Minnie Driver

Kevin Bacon

Robert De Niro

Dustin Hoffman

Brad Renfro

Joe Perrino

Jonathan Tucker

Geoffrey Wigdor

Monica Polito

Frank Medrano

Vittorio Gassman

Terry Kinney

Bruno Kirby

Music by

John Williams

Cinematography by

Michael Ballhaus

Category: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Nominee

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Country: United States

Sleepers Official Trailer

Our Choice

Favorite 🌟 Favourite

It's Your Turn!

✋ This content is prepared by All Favorite Movies (AFM).

📣 You can take part in a vote, leave a comment and share in your social media to spread the world your favorite movies!

No comments: