A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
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?
For kids who love action and thrills
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.