Sleepwalking (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sleepwalking (2008)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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 vanishing without a trace. Joleen's brother, James (Stahl), isn't exactly the picture of equilibrium, yet he does feel sympathetic toward his niece and obligated to help her though such difficult times. After breaking Tara out of foster care, James and his newly freed niece set out on the open road together. Destination: nowhere. But every road has an end, and before long James and Tara find themselves at James and Joleen's father's farm. James has always avoided thinking about his violent childhood, though he realizes that in order to break the vicious cycle of dysfunction that the family has fallen into he must finally confront the demons of his past. Now, as Tara begins to understand why her missing mother has lived such a tumultuous life, James prepares for the confrontation that could bring his family closer together than ever before, if it doesn't destroy them first. William Maher, who served as visual effects supervisor for the 2005 Sundance film The Chumscrubber, makes his feature directorial debut with a film based on an original screenplay by that film's scribe, Zac Stanford. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Dennis Hopper
as Mr. Reedy
Mathew St. Patrick
as Detective #1
Troy Skog
as Warren
Kenneth Mitchell
as Mr. Bergen
Jean Freeman
as Mrs. Bergen
Emily Wees
as Nicole
Simon Chin
as Randall's Friend
Mike Ennis
as Cop #2
Lori Kennedy
as Foster Care Worker
R. James Anderson
as Road Crew Boss
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Critic Reviews for Sleepwalking

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (27)

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

Full Review… | August 8, 2009
indieWIRE
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 8, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

March 24, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 21, 2008
ReelViews
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 15, 2008
I.E. Weekly
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 14, 2008
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sleepwalking

½

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.

Dean McKenna
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."

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♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

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.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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