Sleepless (R)

A remake of the 2011 French film Nuit blanche (Sleepless Night), Sleepless, starring Jaimie Foxx, Scoot McNairy, Dermot Mulrony and Michelle Monaghan centers on the one-night adventure of one dirty cop whose son is kidnapped after he and his partner mistakenly rob the wrong Las Vegas drug dealer of his dope.  This cop has to return those drugs in order to get his son back alive.

This film has a very 90’s film feel to it. It will remind you of Die Hard, Rush Hour, Bad Boys, etc., but it’s not as good as those films. It does feature a couple of twists, but the problem is that the movie is too contrived and predictable in all the wrong ways to get any real impact out of those twists.   It is a fun movie, at times, and features some well-choreographed fight scenes and shootouts, if you like that sort of thing as much as I do.  It is entertaining to some extent, but also gets too unrealistic and cliché at times.  It is one hour and thirty five minutes that moves along at a decent pace – so it wasn’t too long and it did not “drag” or have a lot of fluff or fussiness to it.  It contains a proper amount of violence and action, but somehow, it just failed to hit the action movie “spot” for me.  Perhaps it’s just that there’s nothing new here.  We’ve seen it all before and there was nothing unique or elevated about the execution.

Nuit blanche earned a metascore of 75 while Sleepless earned 33. This means the original got more generally favorable reviews and the remake got more generally unfavorable reviews.  If the budget was tripled and the remake is just “so-so,” I really cannot explain what happened here.  Now I want to see the original movie (reportedly made for between $4 and $10 million) and compare it to this $30 million remake.  I know a bigger budget doesn’t guarantee a better movie, but with both movies being about the same length I wonder what elements are different between the two that cause such a disparity in ratings.  The production was fine.  The cinematography was okay, the fight scenes were great, the setting is one of my favorite places – Vegas, the acting was fine (for the most part), the writing was okay.  There are plenty of interesting characters featured. It had an element of suspense that kept me engaged. There was a sense of fun to it all at times.  There was just nothing exceptional about it.  It does not “wow” you, or at least, it did not “wow” me.

Sleepless earned 6.5 out of 10 bloops. It’s not a bad movie, but it could have been better.  It’s almost a good movie – admittedly, so very close to being good that it’s hard to judge; you may certainly like it more than I did.  But you can definitely catch it streaming (which should be soon if the sales from the original are any indication.  It earned $2,160 on its one and only weekend that it played in the U.S.)  Sleepless is better than it looks, but not as good as it could be or should be.


1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Upcoming This Week:

  • A Dog’s Purpose, starring Dennis Quaid
  • Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey

Note: When I find Nuit blanche I’ll let you know what I think of it here in the notes, unless the movie is so much better than Sleepless it merits its own review.

Note: I’ve seen and reviewed all the movies nominated for the main awards, so I’m just waiting for the Oscars now. The only other movies that I want to see are 4 of the 5 Best Foreign Language Film contenders (I’ve seen/reviewed and A Man Called Ove, and loved it so much I am now actually reading the book!).  And I want to see a couple of the Animated movies (Moana and Kubo and the Two Strings, specifically). If any of these are worth reviewing I’ll be sure to let you know.  As always, thank you for reading!

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