|Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: May 24, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
What Nolan does accomplish here that we haven't seen from him before is staging a few horrifyingly effective suspense set pieces -- one of which, in particular, is likely to stay with you for a long time.
Nolan gets his two larger-than-life leads playing off each other in the same frame (which is something Michael Mann couldn't pull off in "Heat's" pairing of Pacino and De Niro) and coaxes a melancholy turn from Pacino, an icon of angst whose real strength has always been his capacity for eloquent silence. Read full review
It might, however, have been a greater film if its villain were as compelling as its flawed hero. Williams is effectively creepy, but next to Pacinos rich, multileveled portrait he seems one-note, and one weve seen before.
Pacino is masterful as the sharp-witted, seen-it-all detective.
This one is nowhere near as original -- it's a flawed remake of a fine first feature from Norway -- but "Insomnia" still stands on its own as a thriller with brains and scenic beauty.
In Insomnia, the crunch comes as the hero and his opposite number hook up on a ferry, to discuss what each of them knows about the other. This should be Nolan's big moment, his answer to that quiet, magnificent interlude in Michael Mann's "Heat," when Pacino met De Niro in a coffee shop. -- But Williams and Pacino just don't mesh. [27 May 2002, p.124]
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