Starring: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, TI, Scoot McNairy, David Harbour, Gabrielle Union
Directed By: Baran bo Odar
Plot: A dirty cop (Foxx) and his partner (TI) steal some coke from a very dangerous man (Mulroney), who then kidnaps the cop’s kid in order to get his coke back.
What Works: Actually, this is a pretty decent crime thriller. I don’t know why it got totally buried in January with little to no promotion. The plot is solid, the direction is solid, the script is sold. Is it a masterpiece? No. Sure, it has some problems, but for the most part, it’s worth watching. Jamie Foxx does a really good job here, and handles himself well in the choreographed hand to hand fight scenes. The rest of the supporting cast does a good job. Lots of good actors doing good work. Sleepless also manages its fair share of twists and turns, keeping the plot moving forward and interesting. The film is never boring and is paced really well.
What Doesn’t Work: While the film is good, it never feels truly original. We do feel like we’ve seen this before. There are some shots that are dumb, like when Foxx looks up at Monaghan in the elevator just as it shuts. It looks cool, but strategically it makes no sense. I also was able to guess the “bad guy twist” based on who was a recognizable face. it didn’t really surprise me.
Final Word: This film deserved better. If you like crime thrillers, you’ll like Sleepless. It’s better than I expected, and I’m glad I gave this film a chance. Yes, it is a little “been there done that”, but it’s the kind of repetition that works. It’s well directed and acted, and worth your time.
Final Grade: B+