"Police Thriller Marred by Intense Violence and Foul Language"

Quality: Content: -2 "EXTREME CAUTION"


In SLEEPLESS, an undercover cop’s drug case is botched when he’s suspected of secretly working with the bad guys. Despite a few story problems, SLEEPLESS offers some interesting twists and turns to keep viewers guessing and delivers a positive, satisfying ending, but the violence, foul language and drug references warrant extreme caution.


In SLEEPLESS, Vincent Downs and his partner, Sean Cass are working a drug case undercover for the Las Vegas Police Department. One night, they find themselves in the middle of a gun fight and unknowingly take possession of 25 kilos of cocaine with a $7 million street value. The drugs are supposed to go to a casino owner, who then is to deliver them to the notorious Novak crime family in the Las Vegas area. Vincent heads home and surveys a wall in his living room with photos of all the key players in his investigation, including his apparently crooked partner, Sean.

The next morning, Agent Bryant of Internal Affairs investigates the scene, along with Vincent. She tells Vincent they found government issued shell casings at the shooting scene. Vincent plays innocent, but Bryant secretly suspects him of being involved. She informs her partner, and they decide to investigate it.

Meanwhile, Vincent must deal with issues on the home front when his ex-wife, Gabrielle, asks him to pick up their son from the hospital where she works as a nurse and take him to his football game. Vincent turns up late and has to lie to keep his cover from being blown. On the way to the game, his 16-year-old son is pulled from the car at a red light and kidnapped. Almost immediately, Vincent gets a phone call from the casino owner informing him he can have his son back when he delivers the drugs.

Vincent hatches a plan to get his son back, all while trying to answer to his concerned ex-wife about their son’s whereabouts. He makes his way to the casino with the drugs, but isn’t aware that Agent Bryant is following him. Vincent stashed half the drugs away in the ceiling of the men’s bathroom, planning to use it as leverage to make sure his son is returned.

While making his initial delivery, Bryant finds the stash and takes it as evidence. When Vincent comes back for it, he’s told by the bathroom attendant that Bryant took it. Without the means to get his son back, he must evade capture by Bryant, find the drug stash, and keep from being killed by the angry leader of the Novak crime family, who just wants his drugs.

SLEEPLESS is a Hollywood remake of the 2011 French/Belgian crime thriller SLEEPLESS NIGHT. The plot is mildly entertaining, and there’s enough happening to keep viewers guessing about who the bad guys are up until the very end. Though the clues are cleverly intertwined in the beginning, it’s not clear that Vincent really is working undercover until later. He comes across rather convincingly as a “dirty cop.”

That said, SLEEPLESS suffers from some conspicuously unrealistic scenes. The first such example is the kidnapping scene when Vincent pulls up to the red light. It’s not until the end of the scene, when the viewer realizes that no other cars were present for a whole two minutes in the middle of Las Vegas, and there was no cross traffic requiring them to stop in the first place. Also, a fight scene takes place in a busy hotel kitchen, but conveniently, everyone in the kitchen disappears to make room for the fight. A torture scene also takes place in the middle of a large baseball stadium with no staff or security around to witness it.

Regardless of the movie’s obvious flaws or clever moments, however, its violence overshadows everything else. The director doesn’t do much to hide the gore of death by gunshot or stabbing. Many people are shot point-blank with blood splattering everywhere. Also, machine guns are used by criminals in several scenes. Obscene language is also very prevalent, and the main character must deal with the complications that come with divorce. The topics of drugs and corrupt policemen are central to the movie. Perhaps the best thing about SLEEPLESS is that the good guys win. Otherwise, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.


(B, Fe, LLL, VVV, N, A, DD, MM) Light moral worldview where main plot is a basic good versus evil story, and good wins, plus light feminist element when female policeperson complains she’s coddled when injured while the male cops are admired for their injuries; 65 obscenities and three profanities, the “N” word is used a couple of times, the middle finger gesture is used twice, the phrase “taking a dump” is used; many scenes depict violent car crashes, many scenes depict people being graphically shot with lots of blood, man is stabbed in the stomach, man is tortured and has his tongue cut out, man’s crotch is grabbed and painfully squeezed, a teenager’s hand is broken by being smashed with a fire extinguisher, man is killed by a broken glass bottle being shoved into his neck, a man hits golf balls in an office, which break various objects to intimidate someone, a cop strangles another shot cop to make sure he’s dead; some suggestive dancing when skimpily clad women in bikinis pole dance in a club; no nudity but female dancers are wearing skimpy bikinis; some scenes depict or talk about drinking alcoholic drinks; the main plot involves the selling of a large amount of cocaine; a teenage boy is kidnapped twice, a man lies to his family many times to keep his cover from being blown, the main character is divorced, and several cops are practicing criminal activity and hiding it from the police department.

In Brief:

In SLEEPLESS, Vincent and his partner are undercover cops for the Las Vegas Police Department. Their case involves a high-profile crime family doing a huge drug deal with a casino owner. A costly mistake is made one night, resulting in Vincent accidentally possessing 25 kilos of cocaine with a $7 million street value. The casino owner kidnaps Vincent’s 16-year-old son and gives Vincent a few hours to deliver the cocaine. Meanwhile, an Internal Affairs officer suspects Vincent of being a “dirty cop,” working with the criminals. She follows him. So, Vincent must now evade her while trying to get his son back alive.

SLEEPLESS is a remake of a French/Belgian crime thriller. The plot is mildly entertaining. There’s enough happening to keep viewers guessing about who the bad guys are until the end. However, SLEEPLESS suffers from some conspicuously unrealistic scenes. Sadly, too much extreme violence overshadows everything else. Obscene language is also prevalent, and the protagonist must deal with the complications of a divorce. Finally, the topics of drugs and corrupt policemen are central to SLEEPLESS. Extreme caution is advised.