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Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Maura Tierney
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home with the sitter.
Date Movie: It's creepy.  She might hold on to you for support.
Gratuitous Sex: A naked lady in the morgue.  As Mr. Skin says, just pretend she's acting.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of hints at it, but it's mostly a thriller.
Action: Some chase scenes, but more on the suspense level.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Every scene of Dormer losing his mind.
Memorable Quote: A joke by one of the detectives:  "What has two thumbs and loves blow jobs?"  Everyone says "What?"  He points to himself and says "Me!"
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Produced By: Paul Junger Witt, Edward L. McDonnell, Broderick Johnson

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:58 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
You know what I liked most about "Insomnia?" Of course you donít, but Iíll tell you. In addition to great actors and actresses, the best thing I liked about "Insomnia" is that it didnít go for the happy-go-lucky ending. Up until the end you never feel cheated that this great drama/thriller will get sappy. I liked that. Anyway, letís goÖ

"Insomnia" gives us, first of all, Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan). They get sent to a small town in Alaska known for catching halibut. It seems that in this town there has been a curious murder, and with Dormer being a great police investigator it should really be no time before they catch the killer. Picking up Dormer and Eckhart from their sea-plane landing is Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank). She studied one of Dormerís cases in her academy days and is a big fan of the detectiveís work.

But youíve got to ask yourself why these two hotshots from Los Angeles would get sent to Alaska for help on a case. Well, in a secondary storyline, it seems that the internal affairs department in L.A. is investigating cops who, well, arenít keeping things totally truthful, and Dormer and Eckhart are next on the interrogation list. That keeps thing hopping and develops another part of the story I wonít talk about because it will ruin some major plot points.

About the only other thing I will tell you about this movie is that Dormer eventually figures out that Walter Finch (Robin Williams) is the killer. Heís a displaced author, now living in Alaska, who doesnít really seem like the killer type, he just seems very disturbed. Alright, I guess that could make him the killer type. So youíd think Dormer, the great detective that he is, would have no problem getting Finch into custody. The only problem is that Finch has some information that could ruin Dormerís career, and now itís a race for Dormer to make sure there is enough evidence to bust Finch before Finch uses the leverage he has on Dormer to go free.

And thatís all you really need to know about this movie else major twists and turns will be ruined.

The movie is called "Insomnia" simply because Dormer canít fall asleep. One of his problems is that they are in Alaska in the summertime, and in one of the telling scenes, as theyíre standing in the dead girlís bedroom, Dormer says they should go question the boyfriend while heís in the classroom. Itís daylight out and he should be in school, right? So he tells everyone "Letís go," they look at him funny, he says something like "What time is it?" They respond "ten oíclock," he looks back like "whatís the problem then?", and they respond "P.M." Dormer forgot that it doesnít get dark in Alaska in the summertime. There are other issues stopping Dormer from getting a good nightís sleep, and this plays havoc with his senses as the days go on.

So letís begin to wrap this up. Good things about "Insomnia": A clever story that doesnít go for cheesiness in the end; A great location for a story like this to take place; and good supporting characters keeping that small-town, weary of outsiders feel. Great things about "Insomnia": The acting of Pacino, Williams, and Swank. You should guess as much coming from these actors, but this movie let them really shine. Pacino really looks like he didnít sleep for the film, especially as the days go on. You can see the desperation in his eyes as he tries to keep his wits about him, but quickly see him lose his senses, and his sensibility, and make mistakes you know he normally wouldnít; Williams shows that he really has a wide range of acting talents, playing the homely writer, knowing he made a mistake, but devious and twisted enough to know he might have an out as to not get caught; And Swank, at first enamored at being able to work with Dormer, does a great job at beginning to wonder the ethics of her hero, but wonders if going against oneís ethics are really just part of the job.

Sorry I got a little long-winded on this review, but if you are looking for a really good thriller showing the talents of great actors and actresses (I didn't mention Maura Tierney, but she does well as the hotel manager lady), well, head for "Insomnia." You donít, for a minute, think Finch will go into some goofy, funny rant as Robin Williams sometimes does, you are waiting for Dormer to just lose it at some point because you know Pacino can do that well, and you wonder if Ellie will change her attitude from enamored to wondering if sheís doing it wrong. Just a great thriller. Itís 4 Ĺ stars out of 5 for "Insomnia." I really enjoyed it. Let yourself get lost in the story and you might like it too.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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