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Insomnia (2002)

May. 24,2002
| Thriller Crime Mystery

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.


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Best movie of this year hands down!


I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.

Sarita Rafferty

There are moments that feel comical, some horrific, and some downright inspiring but the tonal shifts hardly matter as the end results come to a film that's perfect for this time.

Haven Kaycee

It is encouraging that the film ends so strongly.Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a particularly memorable film


What a fantastic mystery movie, well done psychological thriller, one of my favorite performances by Pacino, and Williams is outstanding as ever. But now after all this years I realize that this is Nolan's movie, no question why we get maximum of this. Swank is worth of mentioning too, she is excellent. 10 of 10 for the acting. Massively underrated movie.


The first 40 min. of this film is goddamn fantastic! Se7en (1995) has been my favourite movie for a LONG time. And for a while, nothing could take it's place. But Insomnia (2002) is even BETTER that Se7en! The story is about homicide detective Will Dormer (Pacino), and his partner Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) going to a suburban Alaskan town, to investigate the murder of a 17 year old girl. After meeting with the fresh, young detective Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), and stopping at a local hotel, they start investigating the corpse. They find out that she had been beaten to death. And that the killer clipped her nails and washed her hair. After a while, they start investigating a cabin in the woods. Then a mysterious man with a raincoat, starts walking to the cabin. After screwing up with a megaphone, The mysterious man gets afraid that he is being tailed and Dormer and a team of the local police, tries to hunt him down. They run inside the cabin and split up. They find out that the man has escaped down to a beach, near his house. Dormer then hunt's him down to the beach. The beach is FILLED with blue fog, making it really hard to see. Dormer meets up with his team, and then one of them gets shot. Dormer then tries to chase down the man, and shoots him. Due to Dormer's limited vision in the fog, he shoots his partner, Hap instead, and the mysterious man gets away. Hap dies and, Dormer tries to cover it up. Kay (the 17 year old girl) was beaten up by her boyfriend (Rick or Ricky). They interrogated Rick for answers but they didn't get any (this is before Dormer shot Hap). There is more to discuss but, I could go on for hours about this film.


Al Pacino is one of the greatest character actors in the past 40 years, and while not every one of his films have been met with the same level of success, he still tries to give it his all regardless. His performance in 'Insomnia' is a good example of this.The film finds him as an LAPD detective who is nearing retirement and is called up to investigate a murder of a teen in a small Alaska town where there is 24 hours of sunlight for months at a time. The premise itself is really intriguing, and with an all-star supporting cast of Hilary Swank and Robin Williams, it's hard to go wrong. That said, the execution of 'Insomnia' is a bit clunky, as the screenplay is a major letdown. The twist is pretty easy to spot from a mile away regardless of the curve balls that are thrown into the mix. Also, it's hard to take Williams seriously in a serious role, considering he always shined when dishing out one-liners in comedies.Still, there's plenty to like about 'Insomnia.' For one, the setting in the wilderness of Alaska (or, British Columbia, to be more accurate) is a nice change from the cityscapes we're used to seeing in these kinds of thrillers, and the inner battles that Pacino's character fights while in the midst of everything else adds another dynamic to things, in addition to the lack of sleep in the midnight sun that causes even more chaos.'Insomnia' is not Christopher Nolan's best directing effort, but his signature style comes through in the thriller and it's worth a watch.


Christopher Nolan follows the flawless MEMENTO with this, another one-word title film and another inventive, superb effort. Based on a Norwegian movie (which I haven't, as yet, seen), this tells the oft-told tale of a world-weary cop vs. a nasty and particularly slimy killer. What makes it special is the script – very believable and down-to-earth – and the characters, who are so realistically drawn that you can easily believe they are living, breathing people. The setting of the icy, desolate Alaskan town is very good indeed, combined with excellent cinematography which brings out every characteristic of the location and makes it feel really unique. Nolan shoots his film expertly, mixing in some fine chase and action sequences (the log run is brilliantly conceived) with the heavier, more dramatic moments.Al Pacino is fine in the role of the ageing, flawed cop. Sure it's a performance we've all seen before but he makes it extra special with his singular powers of method acting and realism. You feel tired just looking at his weary, end-of-the-road cop. The supporting cast are all fine but it's Robin Williams who really steals the show as the killer, Finch. Williams is nasty, slimy, villainous, creepy, and totally scary, a mundane and quiet little man who's prone to bursts of a violent psychopathic nature. The film remains unpredictable throughout, letting the suspense build gradually as the cat-and-mouse storyline increases the tension, before ending in a sudden burst of violence and excitement. Magnificent stuff, sadly all too rare these days in Hollywood but a reminder of what a good director, a good script and a good cast can really do.