I can't put into words how to describe this movie. The best way is in the title for this review. "Sleepers" is about four boys growing up in 'Hell's Kitchen' (New York) during the '60s.The four boys, Lorenzo, aka Shakes, Michael, John, and Tommy, pull a prank on a man who sells hot-dogs for a living. The prank goes terribly wrong. I don't want to give too much information about how and what happened for them to be sent away. But they are sent away, to a reform school for boys. There they are brutalized in every way imaginable and unimaginable. They endure repeated rapes, beatings, torture, and in one part they had to eat off the floor. This movie just breaks my heart every time I see it. I've even got the book. I really urge anyone who loves this movie, to read the book also if you haven't already. A warning though, it's even more graphic than the movie itself. Both, the movie and book, literally made me sob. It was hard to imagine how these boys' lives were stolen from them and how gruesome it was. I have seen this movie about 5-7 times since I saw it first a little less than a year ago. It still makes me cry. But with peformances by Dusin Hoffman and Robert de Niro it kind lifted my spirits. People say that this is not a true story even though there is enought evidence, for me, to say that it is in fact true. I truly don't know what else to say other than this is a masterpiece and a true heart breaker.