Sleepers

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Sleepers

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It's 1968, and four brash young Hell's Kitchen boys have just killed a man in a street prank gone wrong. They are sentenced to one year at a brutal boys' prison, where they are tortured and sexually abused by twisted prison guard Kevin Bacon. Flash forward to 1981. One of the boys has grown up to be Brad Pitt, a New York D.A. who, inspired by Dumas' novel The Count Of Monte Cristo, has planned his entire career around bringing his torturers to justice. This 150-minute retelling of Lorenzo Carcaterra's controversial and supposedly true story is always in danger of collapsing under its own weight. The enormous star power of the movie is wasted; Robert DeNiro's priest and Dustin Hoffman's alcoholic lawyer are small, simple parts. And, for some reason best known to director Barry Levinson, Pitt, DeNiro, and Hoffman interact mostly in a courtroom setting and only manage to share a couple dozen words. Muddy, confused, and worst of all boring, Sleepers grinds to the preordained halt shared by any over-budgeted epic that lacks the simple necessity of good story.

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