This list was inspired by a conversation on the March 2nd/9th editions of Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo's film review, where…
A tough cop. A brilliant killer. An unspeakable crime.
Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.
Insomnia is a remake of the Norwegian film that came out in 1997 and while it shares the exact same plot, I thought Christopher Nolan made a well-crafted psychological thriller with some solid performances. I don’t usually approve remakes that try to emulate the story of the original without bringing anything new, but I haven’t seen the Norwegian version so I can’t compare them. While it might seem like a predictable and generic detective film at first, once the little twist happens we are drawn into a very interesting confrontation between the killer and one of the detectives. The hallucinatory sequences get a bit repetitive, but I appreciate the technical prowess shown there. The moral conflicts lived by Will Dormer…
I am very impressed by both Al Pacino and Robin Williams. Both of these gentlemen give great performances in this entertaining thriller! I didn't know Robin Williams had a performance like this in him. I'm surprised I hadn't seen this Nolan film sooner.
Whether it's dealing with the responsibility of leading the premier crime organisation in America, exposing the criminal activities of his police colleagues or heading out into the lonely air of Alaska, Al Pacino has carried the world on his shoulders. Here he increasingly looks like a man worn down to his last thread, the bright light and wide spaces of Alaska opening up a chasm too deep to cover up any longer.
Kevin Nolan's remake of this Norwegian film follows the typical path of many other thrillers with no great surprises in store within the narrative. It's a real meat and drink type of story, a world away from the puzzle that was Memento. As Pacino's character says, it's all…
The Directors Series-Part III: The Christopher Nolan Retrospective
"A good cop can't sleep because he's missing a piece of the puzzle. And a bad cop can't sleep because his conscience won't let him."
Christopher Nolan's Insomnia is currently the only film that he has directed, but hasn't written. It's a remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name. This film usually gets written for being a standard by the books thriller film, though I disagree. I haven't seen the original film (Though the latest Criterion release has my attention), but this film is actually quite good, and one of Nolan's finest.
Two Los Angeles Detectives, Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) are flown into the…
Just to be completely up front I'd like to say that I'm a huge sucker for movies like this.
Insomnia is a detective mystery with a protagonist (Pacino) that doesn't have a firm grasp on reality after acquiring insomnia from working in a place where the sun doesn't set. There are a few fabulous scenes where we witness Pacino's grip slipping, and Pfister's wonderful lighting and composition give everything a slightly eerie and ominous air. Beyond that it was a fairly by-the-numbers thriller and definitely a disappointment after the masterpiece that is Memento, but for me the rather average story was elevated by the movie's uncertain grasp on reality.
It's also a movie about fantasy, one of my all-time favorite…
In what is perhaps Nolan's most straightforward film, he shows that he is a solid director when given weak material.
Having said that, he probably could have and should have made a better film than what in the end is a predictable and dime a dozen thriller. He's got a great cast to tell his story, but it almost feels as if he's content with the backdrop that is supposed to add something extraordinary to what is a painfully ordinary murder mystery.
This thriller never pushes the boat out anywhere, yet it is Nolan's solid pacing and his cinematographer's colour palette that make this film somewhat enjoyable. Pacino and Williams are ok, but completely outacted by Swank and that's about all there is to it.
Pretty pictures, a decent cast and a straightforward paint it by numbers plot make this a bit of inoffensive fluff which only crime is that it isn't as good as it should be.
A well made tense thriller, Al Pacino and a superbly creepy Robin Williams are fantastic with great support from Hilary Swank. Quite often forgotten in conversation when talking about Christopher Nolan's films, i think it's very underrated and should be viewed and talked about a lot more.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The colors in this film are pretty fuckin' stellar.
The step back before the massive leap forward.
Crime thriller remake by Christopher Nolan. It's interesting to see Nolan do something so clearly for the studios, yet is still able to bring something to the script. The plot isn't that clever, although I did like the cat and mouse game between Pacino and Williams. The fact Pacino has the titular insomnia could have come into play more.
Robin Williams and Hillary Swank both give great performances in this remake of a Norwegian thriller, and, while the cinematography is also exceptional, the film still feels like its trying a little too hard to be a slow burner.
Slow burning psychological thriller, but once you're into this about 30-40 minutes in, it'd be criminal to not see the film through.
Robin Williams and Al Pacino reliably execute their roles as insomniac cop and mastermind killer, as well as a solid performance by Hilary Swank.
Not as Nolan-esque as some of his other films, but still thrilling. It does throw a curve ball at times, but after the first 45 minutes, it goes beat for beat for what you'd expect. I was hoping that the longer Al Pacino's character had been awake, the crazier or more strange he'd seem. Instead he was like a zombie, which is probably realistic. I do love the whole angle about a good cop can't sleep because a piece of the puzzle is missing and a bad cop can't sleep because his conscious won't let him. It's really a bit of both. You do get to see how desperate Pacino's character has become and the lengths at what he will…
Really gets overlooked in Nolan's filmography, and yes, whilst a cut below his best work, "Insomnia" is none the less a beautifully shot and darn gripping yarn. The use of unyielding sunlight to demonstrate a permanently prickled conscience is a cool metaphor, and the quiet interplay between Williams and Pacino is to die for. As procedural pictures go, "Insomnia" is distinctive and appreciatively intimate fare.
- North by Northwest
- The Birds
- Ed Gein
- Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby
- Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera
- Christina's House
With the announcement of the line-up for the 2013 FrightFest Halloween All-nighter, I thought it was about time there was…
- In the Loop
- Glengarry Glen Ross
- 12 Angry Men
- In Bruges
Is this a genre? If it is, I've found my favorite. I almost called this list "white men yelling at…