Insomnia (2002)

logoDirector: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Hillary Seitz (Screenplay) Nikolaj Frobenius, Erik Skjoldbjaerg (1997 Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hillary Swank, Martin Donovan, Maura Tierney, Jonathan Jackson, Crystal Lowe, Katharine Isabelle


Plot: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives Will Dormer (Pacino) and Hap (Donovan) are set to a remote town in Alaska to help solve a murder of a young girl Kay (Lowe). Joined by enthusiastic young cop Ellie Burr (Swank) they are welcome with open arms. The two are sent there believing it could be a punishment for Hap who is being investigated by the IEA meaning that Will’s reputation will be ruined if he is found to be guilty. While investigating a possible lead in a mist surrounded cabin in the middle of the forest, they come across the murderer Walter (Williams), but in the mist Will accidently shoots and kills his partner.


Will filled with guilty struggles with sleep, in a town that never sees darkness and with a killer who wants to taunt him every time he gets a chance. Losing sense his sense of time, his mind slowly starts to go in what is a cat and mouse chase between two men that are trying to outsmart each other.


Verdict: Great Atmospheric Thriller

Story: This is a remake of a 1997 film of the same name from Sweden and when we see remakes the story can sometimes lose what it once had. This does not; it is filled with great scenes showing how guilt can drive someone to question their morals. The cat and mouse elements work brilliantly with both Pacino and Williams dominating the screen without every breaking from calm personas. The story will engage you from start to finish without every complicating anything so just enjoy. (9/10)


Actor Review: Al Pacino – Will Dormer the clean record detective that harbours a secret that could ruin his career that also battles with guilt after accidently shooting his partner. Great from Pacino, showing a full range of emotions throughout. (9/10)


Actor Review: Robin Williams – Walter Finch a lonely author who has killed a fan, who then enter the cat and mouse game to not be found guilty. Great from Williams, showing that this is what he is great at serious roles. (9/10)


Actor Review: Hillary Swank – Ellie Burr the young cop who has huge amount of respect for Will and his reputation. Great supporting role as we see how her characters ideas of Will changes as the film unfolds. (9/10)


Actor Review: Martin Donovan – Hap one of the detectives investigating the murder, while being investigated himself by the IEA before being accidently shot by his partner. In what is a small part he has such an influence on what happens with Will’s mind-set. Good performance as the fearful detective with guilt on his mind that could ruin his life. (7/10)

Actor Review: Maura Tierney – Rachel the friendly hotel manager who becomes someone to whom which Will can talk to. Good supporting role her friendly persona makes for a good character in the dark word created.(7/10)


Director Review: Christopher Nolan – The master of the modern day thriller and this early doors look at his ability really shows. (9/10)


Crime: The crime solving side of the film really makes this a stand out film. (9/10)

Mystery: Great elements of mystery used throughout to shroud doubt on all the characters. (9/10)

Thriller: Brilliant edge of the seat stuff from start to finish. (9/10)

Believability:  All sorts of killers out there who is saying one isn’t like this. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: outstanding use of setting here, each scene has a beautiful backdrop and with the no darkness creates the insomnia side to the story. (10/10)


Suggestion: This is one that should be watched by all it will keep your attention throughout and two heavyweight lead performance, will be rewarded by all who see. (Watch)


Best Part: Pacino and Williams’s performance

Action Scene Of The Film: The chase across the logs.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: Days never end. Nightmares are real. No one is innocent.


Overall: Tension Driven Story Gold

Rating 92

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