User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 214 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 214

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  1. Dec 14, 2011
    This review contains spoilers. An exceptional film, but not "better than" the original Norwegian version. The original is creepier and more morally compromised than the American version. Pacino's Dormer is ultimately redeemed, whilst Skargard's Engstom is not. Collapse
  2. Nov 17, 2012
    It's brilliantly cast and stunningly effective.
  3. Feb 21, 2011
    Christopher Nolan knocks one out of the park again. Insomnia is everything you want in a crime thriller. He manages to cultivate and maintain an atmosphere of general dread, malice and suspense. Al Pacino is as great as we expect him to be and Robin Williams is something a bit more unexpected but completely welcomed. Filled with outstanding performances, beautiful cinematography, and terrific editing. Not to mention incredibly well written and directed, all thanks to Christopher Nolan. (With no small thanks going to the original short story written by Jonathan Nolan.) Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The humble beginnings of Christopher Nolan became quite popular after he took over the Batman reigns, 'Insomnia' offers a thoughtful and intriguing concept in a typical story of homicide. Al Pacino plays the gruff and seasoned detective sent to the mountainous regions of Alaska to investigate the murder of a young teen girl, but we immediately begin to understand the life of Pacinos character, Will Dormer. He knows the ins and outs of how to study a crime scene, looking for the little details, but he also seems exhausted, soaking up life through routine as a man who has seen it all, tired, possibly bored but still able to show up the young blood at any given turn. His younger partner Eckhart (Martin Donovan) respects the decisions of his superior, but he also has the opportunity to give evidence against his older counterpart to Internal Affairs, but their motive in the film is to help out with the murder, where Dormor finds a fan on young and motivated cop Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), hangs onto every word of the ageing detective. But we he an unexpected and thrilling introduction to the person responsible for the crime, ***SPOILERS*** Dormor and his men stakeout a clue and tragedy strikes when Dormor shoots and kills his partner, this was an accident, right? Dormor is overcome with guilt to the point where he cannot admit his mistake, but one person knows what he did, that person is the man responsible for the young girls death. Robin Williams plays the calm and sophisticated writer, who tells Dormor that it was all an accident, we now have a cat and mouse game, the scenes Pacino and Williams share are excellent, two fine actors, Williams in particular, who proves his talent yet again for dramatic roles, but this style of storytelling is truly fascinating because of its revelations halfway through the film, which are brought down by simplistic and routine Hollywood chase sequences and silly throw-ins to give that blockbuster touch, which are unnecessary, especially when the thrill of the chase, all through dialogue and performances, is already so interesting. Pacino is excellent as the now sleep-deprived cop, who can't even rest away from the world, while Williams plays a cunning adversary who has it all worked out, as he keeps telling us, but its rough justice which wins out, Nolan sets it in remote parts to capture the essence of being alone with your thoughts, while still not escaping the ramifications of something that makes you run away. Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2013
    While this is definitely not the best Christopher Nolan film, this was still an amazing film. The cast was amazing and the story was amazing. Finally, we see Robin Williams doing something other than bad comedy.
  6. Jul 21, 2014
    Al Pacino gives one of his best performances, and Robin Williams also gives one of his most innovative performances as well, Hilary Swank also gives a stellar performances but the key of this movie is Nolan's direction and writing

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 100
    A rare case of an American remake that actually improves on a European movie.
  2. Nolan creates an effective thriller, although he keeps his stylistic pyrotechnics to a minimum.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    A perfect fit between filmmaker (Memento's Christopher Nolan) and material (Norway's same-name psycho-chiller from 1997), this remake gets all there is to get out of a peculiar premise with promise.