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Sleepers Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    By the end, the main thing that's been abused is the audience's intelligence.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Engrosses if it doesn't fully convince. [18 October 1996, p.1D]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    As entertainment, the movie functions successfully. But I don't believe the story is true--not true to the facts, and not true to the morality it pretends to be about.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Two and one- half hours of gripping entertainment.

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  • See all Sleepers reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Powerful story of child abuse. Not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children. Characters drink, smoke, do drugs, steal, have sex, rape children, commit murder, beat one another, and engage in other illegal activities including selling drugs and bribing police officers. Domestic abuse also figures significantly in the film. The main character's Catholic upbringing also figures largely in the plot, and morality in the film is extremely complex. Younger viewers will likely be confused by the concept of right and wrong as presented in the film. And the film is not easy viewing -- particularly for anyone who has endured abuse of any kind.

  • Families can talk about the concept of revenge. Why does the murder of Sean Nokes seem justified? Is it? Why are some of the characters able to move forward with their lives while others seem to be destroyed by their abuse? The issue of punishing juvenile offenders also comes into play. Is the punishment of the four main characters fair? Why or why not? How does the characters' socioeconomic position figure into this punishment, if at all?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Revenge is a theme throughout the film.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: There are several homicides – two of them are justified in the context of the film.

  • sex false5

    Sex: The scenes dealing with sex in this film are very disturbing, as they address the sexual abuse and rape of children.

  • language false5

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink and smoke, and a few have drug problems. However, these are acknowledged as debilitating, and several of the characters die as a result.