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Sleepers (Widescreen)

Jason Patric , Kevin Bacon , Barry Levinson    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.37
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Product Description


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 can be a problematic movie 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, the movie 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. And yet, 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

Product Description

Sleepers (La Correction au Québec) est un film américain réalisé par Barry Levinson et sorti sur les écrans en 1996. Ce film est tiré de faits réels. Il est fondé sur le roman éponyme de Lorenzo Carcaterra.En 1967, dans le quartier new-yorkais de Hell's Kitchen, quatre jeunes amis inséparables, Shakes, Michael, John et Tommy vivent dans les rues sous le regard bienveillant du père Bobby. Malgré l'attention de l'homme d'église pour maintenir les quatre copains sur la bonne voie, ceux-ci mènent une vie difficile, jusqu'au jour où leur destinée est bouleversée par une farce qui tourne au drame lorsque le chariot à hot-dog qu'ils viennent de dérober devient l'arme d'un crime malencontreux. Leur vie à tous les quatre va soudainement basculer. Mineurs, ils sont jugés et envoyés dans la maison de redressement Wilkinson Home For Boys, une des plus strictes de l'État de New York. Sur place, l'enfer commence, les geôliers sont sur le territoire où seules leurs lois comptent, en l'occurrence celles des petits plaisirs personnels. Ils tabassent et violent allègrement les jeunes garçons dont ils ont la garde. Les adolescents font alors un pacte qui les lie dans le silence. Des années plus tard dans un bar John et Tommy, devenus des criminels reconnus, croisent Sean Nokes, l'un des pédophiles et l'abattent de plusieurs balles. À ce moment s'ouvre un nouveau procès. Mais Michael, devenu procureur, et Shakes, journaliste, sont bien décidés de se venger de leur passé en éliminant, légalement ou non, les autres gardiens et en défendant leur amis. Finalement la vengeance aura eu raison de la justice de l'État et les quatre amis, de nouveau réunis, pourront enfin vivre un léger moment de paix intérieure. Finalement seuls Michael et Shakes sortiront indemnes de cette histoire.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH, BUT A GRIPPING FILM March 19 2004
Making a movie of such a controversial account that is told in the stunning book (with the same name) must have been a daunting task, especially when you fill it with A-list movie stars, some of which are not known for their sentimental sides.
However, Levinson has created a masterpiece, and a film that everyone should watch. Sleepers might've not been the most eloquent courtroom drama, and the tactics used might be unrefined, but I absolutely loved it. It showed the consequences of prison guards' sadism, which affected the boys for the rest of their lives.
All the actors give mindblowing performances, with no conceivable weak link. This includes the four child actors, who dominate half of the movie, but obviously don't receive as much press as their older counterparts. These four kids were outstanding in roles that must have been truly harrowing to play, especially the young boy who played John. Even Brad Pitt shows that under the right direction he can be more than a candy face.
Add to this a great score from John Williams, and you will come back to this film time and time again. The DVD has great features too so in all a very worthy purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Facing the Past Nov. 7 2003
Format:VHS Tape
You may find "Sleepers" to be just be a well-acted, provocative legal/psychological drama. However, beware. This purportedly true story just might sneak past your guard.

Robert De Niro is, well, Robert De Niro - always worth watching. But this is not a Robert De Niro film.
With "Sleepers" you won't just HEAR about past rapes of boys by slimy prison guards. "Sleepers" makes you experience (no male nudity shown, thank you) the Hell's Kitchen of childhood mental and sexual devastation. (I think that Joseph Perrino, the young "Shakes," deserves an Oscar.)
When the movie does a 15 year jump ahead, you are still feeling what they thought they had been able to leave in their past. Major message of the movie - you don't get past your past by trying to avoid it!!!! (That's an exclamation point for each "boy.") The next scene, when John (Ron Eldard) bumps into scumbag rapist former-guard (Kevin Bacon) in a dive diner, shocked me as much as it shocked John. John looking at himself in the bathroom mirror may be the most powerful single event in the movie.
A close second is when narrator "Shakes" gathers up the courage to go visit his father in desperate hopes of telling his own dad what was done to him while in the juvenile prison. His father is just not on the same page, and Shakes closes back up without telling him. Wow. If that scene doesn't move you.......
As an attorney, I particularly liked Dustin Hoffman's defensed attorney come-back (required by awesome character, King Benny). Hoffman's unassuming cross-examination of the only unmurdered rapist guard is one of my favorite courtroom scenes of any movie.
The movie's ending is either a flaw or a masterful choice by director Barry Levinson.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully Moving, But... Sept. 15 2003
If you tell me a story and make it clear from the start that it's fiction, I'll take it for what it is: fiction. But if you tell me a story and claim that it's true, and I find out that it's not true or its truth is questionable, I'll take that against you. Fair enough, I'm sure you'll agree.
Given that framework, the controversy surrounding Sleepers makes rating this entry difficult. The film is based on a book (a first-person account by Lorenzo Carcaterra) that purports to be based on a true story, a claim we have to factor in. But numerous critics have thrown a huge shadow of doubt on the truthfulness of this claim, a counter-claim we also have to factor in.
There is no question that Sleepers is a powerfully moving story. It draws you in and never lets you go. It works admirably hard at character development and depth. Few other films succeed at making us feel a certain compassion for two apparently cold-blooded murderers. Or understand why a priest would lie under oath. Or condone a District Attorney's breach of ethics when he takes a case with the intention of losing. Director Barry Levinson's compassionate handling of a very sensitive and complex subject matter is indeed remarkable, matched only by the ensemble cast's performances.
But we have to go back to that question of veracity. Carcaterra stands by his story, and he's pretty much out on a limb alone on that. On the other hand, the critics (and we're not talking here about the literary type) are legion. That naturally makes us lean more towards the doubters' side. But can we say with absolute certainty that they're right? Or that Carcaterra is right, for that matter?
The fact is, that burning question will probably continue to do just that -- burn -- for the rest of our lives. And that is unfortunate.
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By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I had forgot
how good this movie really is. 5 young boys whose lives are changed forever which puts them on a dangerous path

the young actors include Jonathon Tucker (great) and the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Genny Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Always loved this movie
I always loved not only the cast in this movie, but the excellent plot and screen writing. It is based on a true story, which is why I find it so amazing, not to mention heart... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Laurie
5.0 out of 5 stars Like
I do like it. Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2913 to all. Cheers to everyone! Regards
Published 20 months ago by Rodrigo Mejia
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
This movie has been out for years and somehow I had missed it. I picked it up recently at the movie store and boy it gives new meaning to the term "renter". Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2004 by Holden
3.0 out of 5 stars Supporting Characters Saved the Movie
Boys from hell's kitchen get in jail. Tortured and raped by guards. Grow up and seek a Monte-Christo revenge. The plot is good, if a little bit too straightforward. Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Vincent Yeh
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This is a very dramatic and gripping film. The cast is great for the movie, though Brad Pitt is underused, and Dustin Hoffman may seem miscast. Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by Greg
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepers
Sleepers is a phenominal movie that shows a group of boys growing up and the loyalty they have for each other. All they have is each other and their neighborhood. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by murphy flanagan
4.0 out of 5 stars chilling story with a great cast
The cast of this film is an all-star team and they all deliver with Robert DeNiro being the most believable as a tough Hell's kitchen priest that befriends the neighborhood boys. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by R. J. Marsella
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleepers
Good movie. While the exact story is not true, or, we would have seen the real story on American Justice, can anyone say that the events never took place in some form in this... Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, excellent actors!
I loved this movie! As hard as some parts were to watch, it grabbed ahold of me and didn't let go from beginning to end. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2003 by Sparkle
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