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Light Sleeper (1992)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,984

My Rating

Movie Info

Paul Schrader's brilliant study of another alienated urban denizen skirting the borderline of madness stars Willem Dafoe as John Le Tour, a rich, upscale drug dealer for Manhattan professionals -- "White drugs for white people," as he puts it. John is a recovering addict and for him it's the perfect job, as he can relate completely with the self-absorbed eccentrics he services. But when his boss Ann (Susan Sarandon) tells John that she is planning to abandon the drug business for herbal


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Paul Schrader

Dec 29, 1998

Live Home Video

Watch It Now



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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

A superb Dafoe contributes crucially to the degree of success the film achieves.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Schrader certainly has his finger on the pulse of the times, and the universally strong performances do ample justice to his sensitive ear for dialogue.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At its best, "Light Sleeper" is merely theoretical. Most of the time, though, it is artificial and laughably unbelievable. Even the dark, gritty Manhattan locations don't add authenticity.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In film after film, for year after year, Paul Schrader has been telling this story in one way or another, but never with more humanity than this time.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Artistically self-indulgent, if beautifully acted, "Light Sleeper" isn't aimed at audiences with a hunger for conventional entertainment and upbeat endings -- for Schrader this is an improvement.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Sleeper" is wonderful, vintage fare from the man who scripted "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," and directed his own screenplays for "American Gigolo," "Mishima" and others.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A personal, melancholy tale of the midlife crisis of drug dealers in New York, Light Sleeper is done in a detached, ascetic, semi-successful Bressonian style but well acted by Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Any walk down NYC streets with Paul Schrader is worth taking

April 28, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

One of my favorite Dafoe perfomances. Sarandon is the drug dealer and Dafoe is her salesman. Nightcrawlers have never been captured better; look for David Spade in a great cameo.

April 4, 2005
Entertainment Insiders

Dark, fluid, well-acted, and stark crime thriller.

July 25, 2002

A poignant drama about a person who looks everywhere for saving grace except right in front of him.

April 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

"Light Sleeper" shows writer-director Paul Schrader's character-development skills in full bloom.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

For me, Light Sleeper comes the closest to capturing on film the ethos of Lou Reed's musical opus "Street Hassle," one of the most eloquent urban visions of our time.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Light Sleeper

This movie is okay. I liked Sarandon the best in the cast, she's such a great actress. The story is alright, but nothing really new, it's sort of like a drug drama from the 70s, but it gets kind of dull at times.
May 18, 2011

Super Reviewer

An in-depth character study, much like most of Paul Schrader's other work. The real talent here is Willem Dafoe, who carries most of the film with his detailed and thoughtful performance.
December 15, 2011
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

Lifted by great cast.
June 27, 2008

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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