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Insomnia (2002)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 190
Fresh: 175 | Rotten: 15

Driven by Pacino's performance, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 3

Driven by Pacino's performance, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 101,221

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Christopher Nolan follows up his breakthrough sophomore film Memento with this remake of a stylish Norwegian thriller. Al Pacino stars as Detective Will Dormer, a Los Angeles Police Department legend who temporarily escapes an internal affairs investigation that may ruin his career by traveling to Nightmute, AK, the remote site of a murder that has the local authorities flummoxed. Along with his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), and the small town's wide-eyed rookie investigator,


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Hillary Seitz

Oct 15, 2002


Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (192) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (175) | Rotten (15) | DVD (37)

The film represents a triumph of atmosphere over a none-too-mysterious mystery. Which is to say that Nolan makes you feel the end-of-the-earth bleakness of his setting, makes you feel the way it can discombobulate people once they internalize it.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a run-of-the-mill bad-guy actor playing chief suspect Walter Finch, the movie might have tipped too far Pacino's way. But Robin Williams is a shockingly effective counterweight.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scene by scene, screenwriter Hillary Seitz follows director Erik Skjoldbjaerg's original closely, but this remake deepens and improves upon the Norwegian film by giving Dormer a more complex relationship with Eckhart.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nolan uses visual pyrotechnics to pump up the tension and add to Pacino's sense of disorientation, but the feeling he evokes isn't as forlorn, creepy, or ambiguous as in the original (though the mountain wilderness is just as forbidding).

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This one is nowhere near as original -- it's a flawed remake of a fine first feature from Norway -- but Insomnia still stands on its own as a thriller with brains and scenic beauty.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dark and fidgety picture from Christopher Nolan, who made such a splash with Memento.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Christopher Nolan's Insomnia adds 11 minutes to the Norwegian movie of the same name and manages to make everything that was fleeting and tantalizing in the original weighty, literal and dull.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

A smart, intricately constructed thriller, the film has far more on its mind than just who done it.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Not as audacious as Memento, Christopher Nolan's first studio feature is nevertheless a confident and intelligent thriller that demonstrates a canny ability to fuse his own concerns with guilt, subjective experience and narrative to a mainstream package.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Christopher Nolan's follow-up to Memento is just as taut and ambiguous as its predecessor and -- arguably -- features better performances from its leading me

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This skilfully directed psychodrama from Christopher Nolan proves that hit European movies can be remade successfully.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Christopher Nolan, the promising writer-director behind Following and Memento, makes an elegant and assured transfer to big-budget, star-driven film-making with Insomnia.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Part mystery, part moral dilemma, but all seductively intriguing.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

A startlingly good thriller wrapped around a morality tale.

August 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Insomnia is a slow burn, and the European influences are very obvious in both pacing and tone.

July 31, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

An exceptional picture from one of the most gifted British filmmakers to emerge in the past decade.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for Insomnia

Good thriller that keeps you guessing from the start. I still can't get over Robin Williams as a bad guy; the fact that he took on a villainous role as opposed to a comedy role made the movie that much better.
June 13, 2013
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

Can't remember if I saw this in the movies when it first came out or if I watched it at home and forgot to write it up. But after watching a second time hard to imagine it was produced 10 years ago. Al Pacino plays awesome part as he always does as a cop. He's in Alaska working on a case when he kills his partner. The case is a teen age girl was murdered and Robin Williams is the killer he's tracking down as the movie mazes about, excellent twist here and there. Williams always seems to play a excellent Psycho. 4 stars for this one 2-27-13
February 28, 2013
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Insomnia, as previously mentioned, feels like a two-hour episode of a television crime show, the only changes being the haunting psychological character study that we rarely get a glimpse of on television, and the screenplay's relieving lack of forensic jargon in order to let us get on with and make sense of the story. For the majority of the film, we feel as if we are indeed watching a pilot episode for an upcoming crime series. I occasionally forgot I was watching a theatrically released motion picture, and wondered who would play the antagonist in the following episode. The narrative doesn't fully satisfy. On the other hand, it does echo the rest of Christopher Nolan's work, in a sense that the visuals are used very wisely. The perturbing opening titles, the occasional surreal closeups of murder and hemorrhage, the repeating jump cuts as Al Pacino's character grows more paranoid, the memorably ominous fog scene. The faint of heart may certainly find the title an apt description of the night on which they view this film.

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September 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

A mix of Silence of the Lambs and Memento, Insomnia is a bleak yet excellent thriller with great performances from Pacino and Williams. The formation and unraveling of the lies that Pacino's character crafts are fascinating to watch. Nolan once more shines as a director, and the cinematography and film editing are effective and top notch.
August 29, 2012
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

    1. Det. Will Dormer: I'm coasting on my laurels, thank you.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (16 months ago)
    1. Det. Will Dormer: Day after day you suck the marrow out of real cops when you never had the balls to become one yourself.
    – Submitted by Kia M (17 months ago)
    1. Randy Stetz: You're just a prick in a leather jacket. What the fuck do you know?
    – Submitted by Kia M (17 months ago)
    1. Det. Will Dormer: [phone rings] Dormer here hello.
    2. Walter Finch: Can't sleep will.
    – Submitted by joseph j (20 months ago)
    1. Det. Will Dormer: Just let me sleep.
    – Submitted by Prethivee N (2 years ago)
    1. Det. Will Dormer: Don't lose your way.
    – Submitted by Prethivee N (2 years ago)
View all quotes (12)

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