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Sleepwalking (2008)



Average Rating: 4.1/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 50

Despite some sharp performances, Sleepwalking suffers from a grimness of tone and sluggish pacing.


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 20

Despite some sharp performances, Sleepwalking suffers from a grimness of tone and sluggish pacing.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 42,541

My Rating

Movie Info

Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, and Deborra-Lee Furness star in a family drama detailing the efforts made by an 12-year-old girl to come to terms with her mother's abandonment. Tara's (Robb) mother, Joleen (Theron), just can't seem to get her life together. Her boyfriend has recently been arrested for growing marijuana, and rather than attempting to create a stable living environment for her daughter, Joleen instead places Tara in foster care before



Zac Stanford

Jul 8, 2008

Overture Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (50) | DVD (1)

The movie seems unusually honest in portraying the no-option existence of the working poor, but the story slips into melodrama in the last reel.

December 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a film of mood -- and the mood is perfectly captured.

March 24, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sleepwalking provides character arcs for its two protagonists but neither is as interesting or memorable as the performances warrant.

March 21, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Portentous and dull, the film features one of the worst over-the-top performances by Dennis Hopper, who plays an abusive father. His role upends what could have been a mildly interesting family drama.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Saddled with a title all too true to its somnambulist pace, Sleepwalking is a textbook case of a bad movie partially redeemed by good acting.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sleepwalking is a slow-moving family drama guaranteed to induce a nap if not somnambulism.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

William Maher's melodrama is much too grim and bleak for even the most cynical viewer to enjoy...

January 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Each bend in the road positively screeches with the urgency of impending catharsis, but the film never earns its resolution.

August 8, 2009 Full Review Source: indieWIRE

Taking its cue from the tabloids, this is yet another addition to that tacky category of scandal sheet cinema. Why do celebrities with charmed Hollywood lives imagine everyday people as a bunch of sleazy or dimwitted degenerates, misfits and assassins.

July 4, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comment (1)

If you enjoyed MONSTER'S BALL (it's not as good as that one however), you might find yourself pulled in by this moving drama.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

The let's-take-a-road-trip method of character healing has been done to death, but unlike Little Miss Sunshine, James & Tara are made up of more than just cute quirks.

June 4, 2008

Theron sneaks out the door roughly 1/2 an hour into the picture. What is the movie to do without her energy?

May 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

Sleepwalking seems especially cruel to dwell on the bleak and cold at this time of year, when icy drizzle saturates the bones.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

...a lifeless movie about uninteresting people.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Stylistically strange, sluggish and ultimately unsatisfying domestic drama.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

It's all too aptly named.

March 21, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A girl abandoned by her mother, a father unable to offer anything but hatred to his own children -- these are narrative elements of potentially great force, but they play out here without much shape, definition or power.

March 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The movie is so overly familiar, and its take on the dysfunctional family dynamics is so unoriginal, that the whole thing might as well have been titled Generic Bleak Sundance Film Festival Drama No. 500.

March 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The inherently uneventful nature of Stanford's script becomes more and more problematic as the film progresses...

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's apparent some meaningful visuals are being approached here, but it seems like the film keeps missing its mark.

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Not quite enough new here to make this film a hit, but enough of Theron, Hopper and Harrelson to make the film worth watching.

March 15, 2008
Monsters and Critics

Zac Stanford's screenplay works only as a theorem proving Murphy's Law.

March 15, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

Audience Reviews for Sleepwalking

Wonderfully life drama about the relationship between a 12-year-old girl and her uncle.
Superb, naturalistic performances by the three lead actors, Nick Stahl, Charlize Theron and AnnaSophia Robb, make us truly care about the people they are portraying and the things that are happening to them.
In Sleepwalking the scenery and climate could not have been more dull, barren and depressing. There are boring, depressing highways that go for miles without any beautiful scenery. Every location in this film is flat, dreary and depressing. This added to the disturbing impact of the movie. The people who live in the area of the movie are colourless, dull and depressing.
August 9, 2010
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Cast: Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Deborra-Lee Furness, Callum Keith Rennie, Amy Matysio, Shannon Jardine, Simon Chin, Ken Mitchell, Jean Freeman, Troy Skog, George Grassick, Mike Ennis, Alexandra Fox

Director: Bill Maher

Summary: When James's (Nick Stahl) sister, Joleen (Charlize Theron), shows up with her 11-year-old daughter, Tara (AnnaSophia Robb), he doesn't think twice about welcoming them into his home. But when Joleen skips town without her daughter, James is thrust into a role he's grossly unprepared for. At risk of losing Tara to foster care, James hits the road with his niece. Along the way, the pair develop a genuine bond and discover a true sense of family.

My Thoughts: "Although I liked the film, it had many potholes. It really didn't fill in some of the blanks for me. But for what it was, it still a good film. Nick Stahl and AnnaSophia were really good in this. Dennis Hopper, was good in this as well. His character is a controlling, hateful man. Its so easy to hate him in this film. As many probably have, or will say, this movie is quite depressing. It really never lightens up. It's a bit slow in some spots and could have ran a little shorter in time. But all in all a good enough flick with a sad and disturbing story."
August 1, 2010

Super Reviewer

Tara's mother is trash, and when she's forced from her home, she bunks in with her younger brother, then deserts her brother (James) and daughter (Tara). James does his best trying to care for Tara, but it isn't easy - he lands up losing his job, and Tara is put into foster care. James and Tara land up at James' father's farm, which is where the movie becomes unrealistic.

All in all, it is worth watching the movie. Not cute, more scary actually.
September 22, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Tara: [after she sees him staring at her] Uncle James, you're creeping me out.
    2. Joleen: Hey, you be nice to Uncle James. James, where do you keep the hangers?
    3. James: What?
    4. Joleen: Hangers! God, this place is such a mess. I should have brought some of my own furniture.And we're going to need another pillow for Tara, by the way.
    5. Tara: I'm not sleeping in the same bed as you, Mom!
    6. Joleen: You know, you could really start unpacking your own shit instead of sitting there and pretending to do your homework.
    7. Tara: I'm not pretending to do my homework, I'm pretending not to hate my life!
    8. Joleen: Well, you're not doing a very good job of pretending!
    9. Tara: Well, maybe I'm not applying myself!
    10. Joleen: I don't need this kind of shit from you right now, Tara!
    11. Tara: What kind of shit do you need from me right now, Mom?
    12. Joleen: [kicking a chest of drawers] What do you want from me? God, Tara!
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (22 months ago)
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