Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: May 24, 2002
8.5
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Universal acclaim based on 429 Ratings
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386
Mixed:
38
Negative:
5
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8
Creeper3455Aug 6, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Insomnia,AKA Nolan's first step in a big studio like Warner Bros,AKA Nolan's most underrated movie (Ok,time to stop with the AKA...). It's hard explaining how i felt on Insomnia,since this isn't your typical Nolan movie with magnificent storytelling (like Memento or Following) and instead it acts like your typical mystery/crime movie,even though at some point,i could've seen where Nolan was trying to make a thing of its own,with some great cinematography,and probably some memorable lines too. Keep in mind that they were trying to remake a classic European movie of the '70,and i know you shoudn't mess while remaking a classic movie (like most 'modern' remakes),but,even if the story wasn't Nolan at its best,i still enjoyed it. It's one of those rare movies that keeps an eye on every plot and subplot without forgetting anything,like Dormer (played by Al Pacino) having accidentally killed his partner,or the case of this girl being murdered by someone. It's because of the creepy imagery that Nolan's trying to set up during some moments of Dormer having some troubling moments in some scenes (As the movie goes). I was lucky the movie didn't feel choppy,since from minute one to the 40/45-minute mark,the editing made the movie feel like it was going 'Fast' a-la LEGO Movie. The acting,as always,was superb,but Robin Williams felt bored as the movie was coming to the end. In the end,the story not being Nolan at its best may be the reason on why Insomnia may be the most underrated Nolan movie,but other than that,it still has some powerful cinematography,some superb acting,and impressive sound effects. Expand
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9
eagleeyevikingAug 29, 2016
Christopher Nolan's Insomnia is a riveting psychological thriller that is immaculately cast, mysterious and thrilling. It's layered plot is full of twists that develop characters rather than confuse. Brilliant filmmaking.
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7
FranzHcriticJul 24, 2016
Christopher Nolan's first test at a mainstream film is a fair accomplishment; it has genuine suspense, a captivating psychological theme of guilt and morality that is all the more gravitated by the duo of Al Pacino and the late RobinChristopher Nolan's first test at a mainstream film is a fair accomplishment; it has genuine suspense, a captivating psychological theme of guilt and morality that is all the more gravitated by the duo of Al Pacino and the late Robin Williams, both of whom bore a range that seems to stretch far and wide. It has the merit of a good suspense film, one that I can enjoy without growing bored of halfway through. Expand
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9
talisencrwMay 16, 2016
Definitely not Nolan's best but probably my favourite (at least tied with 'Batman Begins') because I love the Norwegian original so much AND the subtle changes Nolan made with it, as well as what the three stars (Al Pacino, Robin Williams--inDefinitely not Nolan's best but probably my favourite (at least tied with 'Batman Begins') because I love the Norwegian original so much AND the subtle changes Nolan made with it, as well as what the three stars (Al Pacino, Robin Williams--in his first villainous role, I believe, and Hilary Swank--in probably my favourite performance of hers, next to the downright decadence and naughtiness she displayed in 'The Black Dahlia') bring to the table here. I greatly enjoyed the five short extras on my DVD (a double-sided disc I bought years ago that has 'The Devil's Advocate' on the other side, yet unwatched): a conversation/interview of Nolan with Pacino; 'Day for Night: The Making of...'; 'In the Fog' (which interviewed cinematographer Wally Pfister); Nathan Crowley: production designer; and 'Eyes Wide Open' (which interviewed sleep disturbance experts), which thankfully I viewed before I watched the movie, to enhance my experience.

Greatly recommended to fans of contemporary crime thrillers, regardless of whether you watched the Norwegian original or not. There are enough differences to still make it worth your while as a cinephile.
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7
geo333Mar 4, 2016
A good drama based on a murder. Although the plot was weak as at times it felt more like an inner conflict than an a external one. However the highlights of the film was Al Pachino performance and the amazing camera shots that straighten the film.
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9
TrackerDeviceNov 2, 2015
Intense, riveting, spectacular, these are the words to describe Insomnia. Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank all give great performances to make this movie exciting to watch.
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8
SpangleOct 30, 2015
Insomnia is largely by-the-numbers when it comes to detective films, but that does not stop it from having truly great things that sets it above other thrillers of this ilk. First off, Al Pacino and Robin Williams are phenomenal. I loveInsomnia is largely by-the-numbers when it comes to detective films, but that does not stop it from having truly great things that sets it above other thrillers of this ilk. First off, Al Pacino and Robin Williams are phenomenal. I love comedians doing roles that are completely against their type and boy oh boy did Williams do that here. He was phenomenal, creepy and unsettling all wrapped into one and he nails the role. Director Christopher Nolan shows incredible talent here as he manages to creepy a truly unsettling atmosphere that never scares you to be sure, but certainly keeps you on edge. The script is very good and the characters are very well done, to the point that you are never truly sure who is good and who is truly bad. Overall, Insomnia is a good, but not great thriller that is not Nolan's best work, but that certainly does not mean it is ever bad. Expand
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9
SEROJApr 23, 2015
Brilliant acting, super interesting story, drama, mystery and action... what more could you wish for? Al Pacino and Christopher Nolan deliver one of the best criminal movies i've ever seen!
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8
MovieManiac83Apr 23, 2015
A gimmick is only a gimmick if it's in service of nothing but its own gimmickry. The big twist in Christopher Nolan's astonishing Memento–a thriller that unfolds in reverse chronological order–is that the gimmick suddenly melts away,A gimmick is only a gimmick if it's in service of nothing but its own gimmickry. The big twist in Christopher Nolan's astonishing Memento–a thriller that unfolds in reverse chronological order–is that the gimmick suddenly melts away, revealing a deeply considered and profound statement about the slippery nature of memory and the human capacity for self-deception. So it only follows that Nolan's next project, a compelling big-budget remake of the superb Norwegian "sunlit noir" Insomnia, would segue smoothly (and in reverse anatomical order, no less) from memory to perception, relishing the sometimes fuzzy connection between the eyes and the mind. Those who aren't familiar with Erik Skjoldbjærg's original will likely be immune to the remake's biggest flaw, which is the disappointing suspicion that Nolan, for all his talent and craft, never came up with a reason for the remake, other than to translate a great film into English and introduce it to a wider audience. But while his additions and subtractions are negligible, the premise still carries an ingenious metaphorical hook, centering on a man whose guilty conscience can never escape the light of day. In a role originally played by the much younger Stellan Skarsgård, Al Pacino looks haggard; his world-weary demeanor speaks volumes about his character, a veteran L.A. detective assigned to investigate the murder of a high-school student in small-town Alaska. As an internal-affairs unit prepares to mount a corruption case against him back home, Pacino and partner Martin Donovan track a methodical killer during summer in the Arctic Circle, under perpetual sunlight. A ruse to snare the suspect pays off, but a shootout on a foggy beach ends with Pacino accidentally shooting Donovan and then hastily covering it up, worried that his partner's cooperation in the internal-affairs case will make him the obvious culprit. While a local officer (Hilary Swank) collects evidence for a report on the incident, the sole witness (Robin Williams, in his best performance in about 18 years) blackmails Pacino to save his own hide. As Pacino endures day after day without a wink of sleep, Insomnia skillfully turns the screws, delving further into his troubled mind as it's haunted by past and present sins, as well as deceptive visions that seem to bleed out of his conscience. Nolan's solid, workmanlike direction doesn't strike any memorable grace notes, but he draws out the key ambiguities in the story with great precision, to the point where even Pacino himself isn't certain whether the shooting was an accident. Long on atmospherics and short on plot, the original Insomnia drifts so far away from the initial murder investigation that it nearly becomes incidental to the real story, about a crooked man deprived of the darkness he needs to conceal his secrets. Nolan reverses the emphasis–;no surprise from the director of a plot-driven film like Memento–but achieves the same end, bringing Hollywood noir under the harsh glare of permanent daylight. Expand
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6
csw12Nov 7, 2014
Like the title, Insomnia will keep you awake and tuned in because of the directing but an incomplete and sub par ending make you wish you didn't have to focus so hard the entire film.
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9
heeldavidJul 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
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8
TheApplegnomeJul 1, 2014
Insomnia might be the most flawless movie from our beloved director Christoffer Nolan.

Insomnia is an exiting and well made movie, which also has a gorgeous story and an awesome ending. It's also a highly unique movie, and combined with
Insomnia might be the most flawless movie from our beloved director Christoffer Nolan.

Insomnia is an exiting and well made movie, which also has a gorgeous story and an awesome ending. It's also a highly unique movie, and combined with great actors couldn't the film been done better. The story in Insomnia is marvelous, because it's so mysterious.

Insomnia is much better than it's predecessor Memento, and you can really feel that Nolan is on track to make the perfect movie.

Insomnia gets a 8/10
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8
StaticSpineMar 26, 2014
Good director, great actors, a story with some twists and a lot of moral dilemmas. The movie keeps in tension. Overall, a decent detective/thriller/drama movie.
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6
RayzorMooseNov 12, 2013
Insomnia will keep you awake.
Al Pacino stars in the mystery thriller that entertains but fails to reach a conclusion. A very well directed idea with a sub-par ending that doesn't allow it to reach its potential.
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9
StevenFOct 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
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4
axelkochAug 21, 2013
Even though Nolan has several good approaches, Insomnia is nothing more than generic, unspectacular, and forgettable in the long run. Hillary Seitz’s adapted screenplay is laden with crime show stereotypes and gratuitous dialogue but lacksEven though Nolan has several good approaches, Insomnia is nothing more than generic, unspectacular, and forgettable in the long run. Hillary Seitz’s adapted screenplay is laden with crime show stereotypes and gratuitous dialogue but lacks real character development or any unique elements. The best example for this is Hilary Swank who obviously has the most unfavourable role as an aspiring assistant detective that wants nothing more than to get advise from the old-established cop. Due to all of that, remarkable achievements in terms of visuals can’t help the film anymore than Pacino’s dedicated acting and Insomnia is best watched on a weekday evening while eating lunch and conversing with your partner. Expand
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7
KivaJul 8, 2013
Insomnia is a great thriller with a great plot and some fascinating actors like Al Pacino and Hillary Swank. It is not a masterpiece like Se7en but you will not get bored and you will like the film. It doesn´t have something special but it isInsomnia is a great thriller with a great plot and some fascinating actors like Al Pacino and Hillary Swank. It is not a masterpiece like Se7en but you will not get bored and you will like the film. It doesn´t have something special but it is just an entertaining crime film with some suspense in it Expand
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8
BrianMcCriticJun 19, 2013
Probably my least favorite Christopher Nolan movie, which says a lot for Nolan. Al Pacino and Hillary Swank give good performances, but the stand out is Robin Williams.
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8
AlvaradoKTAMar 28, 2013
Directed by Nolan and starring Al Pacino, Insomnia is nothing short of a thrilling masterpiece. This is a great film for lovers of psychological thrillers.
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8
Tss5078Feb 22, 2013
Insomnia was the second major motion picture by acclaimed writer/director, Christopher Nolan. Even in the most early stages of his career, it's easy to see his genius, that's why so many big stars wanted to work with him right away. InsomniaInsomnia was the second major motion picture by acclaimed writer/director, Christopher Nolan. Even in the most early stages of his career, it's easy to see his genius, that's why so many big stars wanted to work with him right away. Insomnia is the least well known of all his films and does lack some of the things that have become Nolan's trademark, but it's still a terrific film. The story follows two L.A. Detectives sent to a remote part of Alaska, where the sun doesn't set for six months and then doesn't rise for six months. They're there to solve a brutal and calculated murder, but circumstances lead them down a different path. Despite being one of the best Hollywood has to offer, I haven't really been much of a Pacino fan. To me, it seemed as though he had lost something with age, his performance in Insomnia proved me wrong. Terrific is not the word for what Al Pacino was and he's not the only genius Nolan surrounded himself with. This film is incredibly well written and being the perfectionist that he is, Nolan got only the best people to star in it. It's not the kind of Nolan film, we've been spoiled with over the past 10 years, but Insomnia is a great story, with an unbelievable cast and in my opinion is a must see. Expand
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9
tomtom4468Feb 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.
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9
cameronmorewoodNov 17, 2012
It's brilliantly cast and stunningly effective.
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9
FamousdogDec 14, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
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9
stoner839Feb 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 beChristopher 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
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3
MaraD.Jul 29, 2007
Despite the expected great acting from the main cast, the film seemed eternal and I found myself waiting for it to end. It is ironically the cure for it's own title.
2 of 5 users found this helpful
10
A.StevensJul 22, 2006
An excellent director combined with amazing actors(williams and pacino in particular) and a compelling script combine to make a highly successful and thrilling film.
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9
gregors.Oct 31, 2005
A very well made movie: the progression of the plot, the rythm, the images, the music. A super note to Al Pacino's high acting. With Donnie Brasco and the Heat 'face_à_face' scene with De Niro, it's, imo, of his A very well made movie: the progression of the plot, the rythm, the images, the music. A super note to Al Pacino's high acting. With Donnie Brasco and the Heat 'face_à_face' scene with De Niro, it's, imo, of his reallly best work here. Full of nuances, small things in the way he reacts to some lines, his intonation, ....Very impressive artist. Robin Williams offers a very convincing 'counterpart', and the dialogues between Pacino & him work totally. David Julyan's score is of great quality, following the tone of Memento. Insomnia and Memento have many links, besides (flashes, camera moves, music, the ambiguity of the 'hero', etc...) A real good work, anyway; Thank you Christopher Nolan. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
6
marshallm.Oct 19, 2005
It was ok, not as good as his other movies tho.
2 of 3 users found this helpful