Sleepers – Blu-Ray Review


Sleepers is a crime drama based on a supposedly true story chronicled by Lorenzo Carcaterra in his novel of the same name. The story stirred controversy when it was challenged by reporters who could find no documentation of the events described. The movie itself also contains a disclaimer at the end explaining that no records have been found, but that Carcaterra stands by his story. True or not, Sleepers is a powerful and disturbing story that will haunt you for days.

Sleepers is roughly divided into two parts, the first set from 1966 to 1968 and the second in 1981. The leads are four boyhood friend: Lorenzo (Jason Patrick), Michael (Brad Pitt), John (Ron Eldard), and Tommy (Billy Crudup). As kids, the boys were sent to a reform school after accidentally killing someone during a cruel prank. There, the boys were raped and beaten by several guards, including Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon), a fact that they've kept secret into adulthood.

Skipping ahead to now, Michael is a rising star in the district attorney's office, while John and Tommy are founders of the Irish gang the Westies. When Nokes walks into John and Tommy's hangout, they kill him in cold blood and go on trial, defended by a drug-addicted lawyer (Dustin Hoffman).

Michael and Lorenzo conspire with childhood friend Carol (Minnie Driver) and their priest Father Bobby (Robert DeNiro) to free their friends and get even with the surviving guards.

Now that Sleepers has come to Blu-Ray, we have a much better presentation than the previous DVD versions, with stronger detail and better lighting, especially in the old Hell’s Kitchen shots when the boys were younger. Disappointingly though, there are no extras of note, which is rather odd for a film of such magnitude and controversy, but the film itself is a great addition to Blu-ray collections nonetheless.