Sleepless

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Sleepless Movie Poster Image
Interesting characters save otherwise violent, vulgar movie.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Some characters learn not to judge a book by its cover; a man pays the price after lying to his family but repairs the damage by telling the truth.

Positive role models & representations

An female cop makes reckless decisions but also shows how much harder women must work to earn respect in a male-dominated profession.

Violence

Several fist fights and shoot-outs, with characters bloodied, bruised, shot, and killed. A fair amount of blood spurts from gunshot wounds and pools under corpses. A 16-year-old boy is kidnapped. Car chase, car crash. Knives thrown, characters stabbed. Stabbing with a broken bottle. Smothering to death. Man tortured at a batting cage, with pitching machine. A 16-year-old boy holds and aims a gun. Man's tongue cut out (not shown).

Sex

Sexual innuendo. Scantily clad women in a spa and dance club.

Language

Extremely strong, constant language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," the "N" word, "s--t," "ass," "damn," "d--k." Middle-finger gestures.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Bad guys are drug dealers; a 25-kilo package of cocaine is shown, and everyone in the story is after it. Main character has a beer at home; characters drink socially in clubs and casinos. Reference to a "meth lab" and a "junkie."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sleepless is an action thriller about undercover cops, drug dealers, and internal affairs. The violence is quite strong, with plenty of guns and shooting, punching and fighting, stabbing, blood spurts and blood puddles, car crashes, and characters dying. In one scene, a man is tortured with a pitching machine in a batting cage. Characters use extremely salty language constantly, including "f--k," "s--t," and the occasional use of the "N" word and "ass." The bad guys are drug dealers, and everyone in the story is after a 25-kilo package of cocaine, which is shown in several scenes (but no drugs are used). There's some social drinking and other drug references, but sex isn't an issue other than the appearance of scantily clad women at spas and clubs and some brief innuendo. Bottom line? This isn't anything particularly original or special, but the characters are interesting, and it offers some fun for older teens and up.

User Reviews

Adult Written bySonnie M. June 2, 2017

Predictable unrealistic movie

The movie in all sense was stupid and predictable in the story line . You know what's going to happen next through out the whole movie. Drug deal and the w... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byBooklover41899 January 15, 2017

Violent and profanity-filled action thriller is worth the watch

I loved Sleepless. There was plenty of action and intensity to keep me engaged the entire movie. CONTENT: Violence- lots of shooting, chasing and blood is se... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byJMS12392952 May 29, 2017

movie puts you to sleep

This movie's trailer was AWESOME. The movie itself wasn't entertaining at all. It was lazy, boring, and dumb. There are a couple of good fight scenes... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SLEEPLESS, Las Vegas cop Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) is working undercover, posing as a dirty cop and hoping to discover the secret identity of the inside source used by his partner, Sean Cass (Tip "T.I." Harris). The partners steal 25 kilos of cocaine, and their theft results in a shoot-out, with several dead. This brings internal affairs agent Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) into the case. Unfortunately, the drugs were being transported by casino boss Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), for the powerful Novak crime family. Rubino knows that Downs has the drugs, so he kidnaps his 16-year-old son as collateral against their return. Meanwhile, the dangerous Rob Novak (Scoot McNairy) shows up and wants to know what's going on.

Is it any good?

Though it suffers from minor plot inconsistencies and some shaky camerawork, this thriller offers a fun, entertaining, "B"-level story; the terrific characters help fill in the blanks. A remake of the 2011 French movie Nuit Blanche, Sleepless (the title doesn't seem to relate to anything) starts with a bang on the streets of Las Vegas, using the nighttime lights and daytime shabbiness for good effect. Then the characters are introduced, each shabby or beaten up or full of a kind of life experience that makes them very interesting.

Foxx's cop must deal with his ex-wife (Gabrielle Union) in matters of their son, as well as a constantly bleeding stab wound. Slick casino boss Rubino has a fascinating rapport with gangste Novak, who's calm yet volatile (with a mysterious, hideous scar on his neck). And Bryant must navigate a world consisting of mostly men; she shows frustration and weariness but also strength. It's these characters who allow us to forgive any dumb trespasses in plot, such as Downs always stopping to change his clothes. Overall, Sleepless isn't particularly memorable, but it's not bad, either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Sleepless's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it thrilling or hard to watch? How did the filmmakers achieve these effects? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Why do you think there would be corruption on a police force? What would entice these men and women to become "dirty cops"?

  • How are drugs used in the story? Are they connected to drug use and/or abuse, or are they used as a prop? How did you feel about this?

  • How is Agent Bryant depicted? Is she a strong character? Are her struggles and achievements clear? How does she compare to other female cops you've seen in movies?

Movie details

For kids who love action and thrills

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