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.
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.
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.
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.