REVIEW: THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Al Pacino (Simone)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Jeffrey Jones (Deadwood)
Judith Ivey (Flags of Our Father)
Connie Nielsen (wonder Woman)
Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles)
Heather Matarazzo (Hostel: Part II)
Tamara Tunie (Flight)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Selma)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves), a defense attorney from Gainesville, Florida, has never lost a case. He defends a schoolteacher, Lloyd Gettys (Chris Bauer), against a charge of child molestation. Kevin believes his client is guilty, and a reporter tells him a guilty verdict is inevitable. However, through a harsh cross-examination, Kevin destroys the victim’s credibility, securing a not guilty verdict.A representative of a New York City law firm offers Kevin a large sum of money to help with a jury selection. After the jury delivers a not guilty verdict, the head of the firm, John Milton (Al Pacino), offers Kevin a large salary and an upscale apartment if he joins the firm. Kevin accepts the job, along with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) to stay in Manhattan. He is soon spending all his time at work, leaving Mary Ann feeling isolated. Kevin’s mother, Alice (Judith Ivey), visits New York and suggests they both return home. He refuses.Kevin defends Alex Cullen (Craig T. Nelson), a billionaire accused of murdering his wife, her stepson and a maid. This case demands more of Kevin’s time, further separating him from Mary Ann. He begins to fantasize about co-worker Christabella (Connie Nielsen). Mary Ann begins seeing visions of the partners’ wives becoming demonic, and has a nightmare about a baby playing with her removed ovaries. After a doctor declares her infertile, she begs Kevin to return to Gainesville. Milton suggests Kevin step down from the trial to tend to his wife; but Kevin claims that if he steps down and his wife recovers, he may resent her.Eddie Barzoon (Jeffrey Jones), the firm’s managing partner, is convinced that Kevin is competing for his job when he discovers Kevin’s name is on the firm’s charter. Although a surprised Kevin denies any knowledge, Eddie threatens to inform the United States Attorney’s office of the law firm’s activities. Kevin tells Milton about Eddie’s threats, but Milton dismisses them. Meanwhile, Eddie is beaten to death by vagrants, who take on demonic appearances. Mary Ann witnesses this, disturbing her further.While preparing Melissa (Laura Harrington) to testify about Cullen’s alibi, Kevin realizes she is lying and tells Milton he believes Cullen is guilty. Milton offers to back Kevin no matter what he decides to do. Kevin proceeds with her testimony and wins an acquittal. Afterwards, Kevin finds Mary Ann in a nearby church covered with a blanket. She claims Milton raped and mutilated her, but Kevin knows this cannot be true as he was with Milton in court. Mary Ann drops her blanket, revealing her naked body covered with cuts. Kevin believes Mary Ann injured herself and has her committed to a mental institution. Alice, along with Kevin and Pam Garrety (Debra Monk), Kevin’s case manager from the firm, visit Mary Ann at the mental institution. After seeing Pam as a demon, Mary Ann hits her with a hand mirror and barricades the room. As Kevin breaks down the door, Mary Ann commits suicide by cutting her throat with a shard of broken glass.Alice reveals that Milton is Kevin’s father. Kevin leaves the hospital to confront Milton, who admits to raping Mary Ann. Kevin fires a pistol into Milton’s chest, but the bullets are ineffective and go straight through him. Milton reveals himself as Satan. Kevin blames Milton for everything that happened, but Milton explains that he merely “set the stage” and that Kevin could have left at any time. Kevin realizes he always wanted to win, no matter the cost. Milton tells Kevin that he wants Kevin and Christabella, Kevin’s half-sister, to conceive a child: the Antichrist. Kevin appears to acquiesce at first, but then abruptly cites free will and shoots himself in the head, rejecting his Satanic heritage. Kevin finds himself back in time at the recess of the Gettys trial. Choosing to do the right thing, Kevin announces that he cannot represent his client despite the threat of being disbarred. The reporter pleads for an interview, promising to make Kevin a star. Encouraged by Mary Ann, Kevin agrees. After they leave, the reporter transforms into Milton. In an aside, he quotes himself saying, “Vanity, definitely my favorite sin.”This is clearly one of the most clever and stunning works of art I’ve ever seen, and a pivotal film of the 90’s.

 

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REVIEW: S1M0NE

CAST

Al Pacino (Scarface)
Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips)
Rachel Roberts (In Time)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Jim Rash (Community)
Jeffrey Pierce (Bosch)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks)

When Nicola Anders (Winona Ryder), the star of out-of-favor director Viktor Taransky’s (Al Pacino) new film, refuses to finish it, Taransky is forced to find a replacement. Contractual requirements totally prevent using her image in the film, so he must re-shoot. Instead, Viktor experiments with a new computer program he inherits from late acquaintance Hank Aleno (Elias Koteas) which allows creation of a computer-generated woman which he can easily animate to play the film’s central character. Viktor names his virtual actor “Simone”, a name derived from the computer program’s title, Simulation One. Seamlessly incorporated into the film, Simone (Rachel Roberts) gives a fantastic performance, exactly controlled by Viktor. The film is immediately a huge success. The studio, and soon the world, ask “who is Simone?”Viktor initially claims that Simone is a recluse and requests her privacy be respected, but that only intensifies media demands for her to appear. Viktor intends to reveal the secret of her non-existence after the second picture. To satisfy demand, he executes a number of progressively ambitious stunts relying on misdirection and cinematic special effects technology. Eventually it escalates to simulated remote location video live interviews.In one instance, two determined tabloid reporters discover Viktor used out-of-date stock photography as a background during an interview instead of being on that site as claimed and blackmail him into getting Simone to make a live appearance. He arranges her to perform a song at a stadium event appearing in a cloud of smoke and then using flawless holographic technology. The perception of being in person is reinforced with realtime visualization on the stadium’s monitors. Simone becomes even more famous, simultaneously becoming a double winner for the Academy Award for Best Actress, tying with herself in the process.Once the pressure of serving his creation reaches a breaking point for Viktor, he decides to ruin Simone’s career as an act of vengeance. Simone’s next film, I Am Pig, is her directorial debut and a tasteless treatment about zoophilia intended to disgust audiences, which not only fails to achieve the desired effect of audience alienation, but also serves to foster her credibility as a risk-taking, fearless and avant-garde artist. Taransky’s subsequent attempts to discredit Simone by having her drink, smoke and curse at public appearances and use politically incorrect statements similarly backfire, when the press instead begins to see her as refreshingly honest. As a last resort, Taransky decides to dispose of Simone completely by using a computer virus to erase her and dumps the hard drive and floppy disks into a steamer trunk and buries it at sea, then announces to the press she has died of a rare virus contracted on her Goodwill Tour of the Third World. During the funeral, the police interrupt, open the coffin, and find only Simone’s cardboard cutout. He is arrested and shown a security camera video where he loads a large trunk on his yacht.After being charged with her murder, he admits that Simone is not a person, but a computer program. The chest containing the computer data is brought up empty. Viktor’s daughter Lainey and ex-wife Elaine enter his studio to try to help. They find Viktor’s forgotten virus source disk (Plague) and apply an anti-virus program to eradicate the computer virus. They revive Simone and have her appear on national television laughing while holding up a newspaper headline with her obituary. They pick up a confused Viktor who realizes that his connection with Simone is a life sentence. At the end, Simone and Viktor are remotely interviewed at home about their new (virtual) baby. Simone is concerned about her child’s future and decides to enter politics. The film shows how the fake is produced using the chroma key technique. A post-credits sequence shows Viktor creating fake footage of Simone in a supermarket, which one of her pursuers sees, believing it real.

S1m0ne is a highly entertaining satire about obsession with celebrity movie stars, and although not in the same league as Robert Altman’s magnificent The Player still holds its own as an enjoyable gentle farce.

 

REVIEW: TWO FOR THE MONEY

CAST

Al Pacino (Simone)
Matthew McConaughey (EDTV)
Rene Russo (Thor)
Armand Assante (Judge Dredd)
Carly Pope (Arrow)
Jeremy Piven (Mr. Selfridge)
Jaime King (Sin City)
Ralph Garman (Yoga Hosers)

Brandon Lang (McConaughey) is a former college football star who, after sustaining a career-ending injury, takes a job handicapping football games. His success at choosing winners catches the eye of Walter Abrams (Pacino), the slick head of one of the biggest sports consulting operations in the United States. Walter takes Brandon under his wing, and soon they are making tremendous amounts of money.

Lang’s in-depth knowledge of the game, leagues and players brings in big winnings and bigger clients. Abrams’ cable television show, The Sports Advisors, skyrockets in popularity when he adds Lang’s slick “John Anthony” persona to the desk, infuriating Jerry Sykes (Jeremy Piven), who up to now has been Walter’s in-house expert. Lang’s total image is remade — new car, new wardrobe and a new look with the assistance of Walter’s wife, Toni (Russo), a hair stylist.

Things suddenly go south, however, when Lang begins playing his hunches instead of doing his homework. He loses his touch and is even physically assaulted by the thugs of a gambler (Armand Assante) who lost a great deal of money following Lang’s advice. Lang and Abrams’ once-solid relationship sours. Lang’s new high-rolling lifestyle depends entirely on his ability to predict the outcomes of the games. Millions are at stake by the time he places his last bet, and Abrams grows increasingly unstable. (Abrams is a recovering gambling addict and alcoholic, among other things. Toni tells Lang early on that Walter’s life is “held together by meetings; if there’s an ‘anonymous’ at the end of it, he goes. He has to.”). He secretly begins gambling all of his own money on Lang’s picks and becomes suspicious that Lang is having an affair with his wife.

The film concludes with Lang’s predictions coming true for the last game, both of which he allegedly determines by flipping coins in a bathroom, as he leaves New York and takes a job as coach of a junior league football team.

Not a great movie by any means, but some truly fine acting from the trio of stars. The supporting cast also gives solid roles despite the skimpy script. If gambling of any sort, and sports gambling in particular, is of interest to you, then this is a movie to recommend. Otherwise see it for the actors, not the story.

REVIEW: DICK TRACY (1990)

CAST

Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde)
Al Pacino (The Godfather)
Madonna (Evita)
Glenne Headly (Sgt. Bilko)
Charlie Korsmo (Hook)
Seymour Cassel (Boiling Point)
Michael J. Pollard (Scrooged)
Charles Durning (Attica)
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
Frank Campanella (Capone)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
William Forsythe  (The Devil’s Rejects)
Ed O’Ross (Another 48 hrs)
James Tolkan (Masters of The Universe)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
R. G. Armstrong (Predator)
Henry Silva (Ocean’s 11)
Paul Sorvino (The Gambler)
James Caan (Elf)
Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)

war-of-the-worlds-1953-martian-hand-on-shoulder-sylvia-van-buren-ann-robinsonAt an illegal card game, a young street urchin witnesses the massacre of a group of mobsters at the hands of Flattop and Itchy, two of the hoods on the payroll of Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice. Big Boy’s crime syndicate is aggressively taking over small businesses in the city. Detective Dick Tracy catches the urchin (who calls himself “Kid”) in an act of petty theft. After rescuing him from a ruthless host, Tracy temporarily adopts him with the help of his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart.
ww-53Meanwhile, Big Boy coerces club owner Lips Manlis into signing over the deed to Club Ritz. He then kills Lips with a cement overcoat (referred to onscreen as “The Bath”) and steals his girlfriend, the seductive and sultry singer, Breathless Mahoney. After Lips is reported missing, Tracy interrogates his three hired guns Flattop, Itchy, and Mumbles, then goes to the club to arrest Big Boy for Lips’ murder. Breathless is the only witness. Instead of providing testimony, she unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Tracy. Big Boy cannot be indicted and he is released from jail. Big Boy’s next move is to try to bring other criminals, including Spud Spaldoni, Pruneface, Influence, Texie Garcia, Ribs Mocca, and Numbers, together under his leadership. Spaldoni refuses and is intentionally killed, leaving Dick Tracy, who discovered the meeting and was attempting to spy on it, wondering what is going on. The next day, Big Boy and his henchmen kidnap Tracy and attempt to bribe him; Tracy refuses, prompting the criminals to attempt to kill him. However, Tracy is saved by Kid, who gets prized by the police with a Honorary Detective Certificate, which will remain temporary until he decides a name for himself.
16-215041_0x420Breathless shows up at Tracy’s apartment, once again in an attempt to seduce him. Tracy shows he is only human by allowing her to kiss him. Tess witnesses this and eventually leaves town. Tracy leads a seemingly unsuccessful raid on Club Ritz, but it is actually a diversion so officer “Bug” Bailey can enter the building to operate a secretly installed listening device so the police can hear in on Big Boy’s criminal activities. The resultant raids all but wipe out Big Boy’s criminal empire. However, Big Boy discovers Bug and captures him for a trap planned by Influence and Pruneface to kill Tracy in the warehouse. In the resulting gun battle, a stranger with no face called “The Blank” steps out of the shadows to save Tracy after he is cornered and kills Pruneface. Influence escapes as Tracy rescues Bug from the same fate given to Lips Manlis, and Big Boy is enraged upon hearing that The Blank foiled the hit. Tracy tries again to get the testimony from Breathless he needs to put Big Boy away. She agrees to testify only if Tracy agrees to give in to her advances. Tess eventually has a change of heart, but before she can tell Tracy, she is kidnapped by The Blank, with the help of Big Boy’s club piano player, 88 Keys. Tracy is drugged and rendered unconscious by The Blank, framed for murdering the corrupt District Attorney John Fletcher, and is detained. The Kid, meanwhile, adopts the name “Dick Tracy, Jr.”
war-of-the-worlds-1953-martians-attack-humansBig Boy’s business thrives until the Blank frames him for Tess’ kidnapping. Released by his colleagues on New Year’s Eve, Tracy interrogates Mumbles and arrives at a shootout outside Big Boy’s club where his men are killed by the police and Tracy. Abandoning his crew, Big Boy flees to a drawbridge and ties Tess to the gears before he is confronted by Tracy. Their fight is halted when the Blank appears and holds both men at gunpoint, offering to share the city with Tracy after Big Boy is dead. Big Boy takes advantage of a distraction and opens fire before Tracy sends him falling to his death in the bridge gears. Mortally wounded, the Blank is revealed to be Breathless Mahoney, who kisses Tracy before dying. All charges against Tracy are dropped. Later, Tracy proposes to Tess when he is interrupted by the report of a robbery in progress. He leaves her with a ring before heading away with Dick Tracy, Jr.dicktracy_727Overall, a really fine movie that has become misunderstood over the years since its release and is incredibly underrated. This is a perfect example of capturing the essence of a comic book, from style to eccentricity.

REVIEW: GIGLI

CAST

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
Jennifer Lopez (Out of Sight)
Justin Bartha (The Hangover)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Al Pacino (Jack & Jill)
Lenny Venito (The Neighbors)

Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is a low-ranking Los Angeles mobster who isn’t nearly as tough as he likes to act. He is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor to save New York-based mob boss Starkman (Al Pacino) from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young man, Brian (Justin Bartha), to go off with him by promising to take him “to the Baywatch”, which seems to be Brian’s singular obsession, and turns out to just be the beach. The man who ordered the kidnapping, Louis (Lenny Venito), does not trust Gigli to get the job done right, so he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) to take charge.

Gigli is attracted to Ricki, but he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from a woman. He is also frustrated by Brian’s insistence on going to “the Baywatch” and by Ricki’s being a lesbian. A suspicious detective (Christopher Walken) comes to the apartment to question Gigli if he is aware of Brian’s disappearance. Gigli, who is further annoyed when his mother (Lainie Kazan) takes an immediate liking to Ricki, both of them needling him.

The events take a darker turn when Gigli and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian’s thumb, something neither wants to do. Worse, Ricki’s ex-girlfriend, Robin (Missy Crider), shows up at Gigli’s apartment, accusing her of changing sexual orientation. She slits her wrists and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse’s thumb, which he sends to the prosecutor as Brian’s thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to Gigli’s apartment where he confesses his love, and the two sleep together.

They are summoned to meet with the mob’s boss. Starkman reveals that he didn’t approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor’s brother or cut off the thumb and rages at them because the thumb they sent didn’t match Brian’s fingerprint, nullifying any potential for coercing the prosecutor; he then kills Louis, presumably for the kidnapping and stirring a hornet’s nest in law enforcement. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it by pointing out that only they know where Brian is, and only they can silence him and prevent him from fingering Starkman in the kidnapping. They leave Starkman’s, decide to leave the mob, and discuss taking Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch (or a similarly themed show or film) shooting an episode on the beach. Brian begs to be let off there and finally they consent. Gigli convinces Ricki to take his car, but at the last minute, Ricki returns and picks up Gigli, and they leave town together.

All of the characters are transformed by the episode. Louis’s mob is disrupted, Gigli has dropped his hyper-masculine facade, Ricki has a heterosexual fling with Gigli, and Brian gradually emerges from his shell, noticing other people and conversing.

Overall bad acting and writing. But I have seen worse movies. I only recommend it for those who feel compelled to see J-Lo looking really hot for a couple of hours.

 

REVIEW: JACK AND JILL

CAST

Adam Sandler (Big Daddy)
Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With it)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Allen Covert (Anger Management)
Norm MacDonald (Dr. Dolittle)
Geoff Pierson (That 80s Show)
Dana Carvey (Wayne’s world)
Billy Blanks (Kiss The Girls)
Johnny Depp (Secret Window)

The film opens with homemade videos of fraternal twins Jack and Jill Sadelstein growing up in New York City. As the videos progress, they reveal Jack as the gifted twin, while Jill constantly tries—and fails miserably—to get his attention by injuring him and/or driving others away from him.

In present day Los Angeles, Jack (Adam Sandler) is a successful advertising executive who lives with his beautiful wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and their two kids: Sofie (Elodie Tougne); Gary (Rohan Chand), a Hindu child they adopted at birth. Jill (also played by Sandler) never left the working-class neighborhood they grew up in; she recently inherited the Sadelstein home, having lived with their mother until her death one year ago. As always, Jack is irritated by the upcoming Thanksgiving visit of his sister. Jill ruins Thanksgiving dinner by loudly embarrassing a homeless guest. Jack finally calls her out for making a fool of herself, of him, and of everybody else at the table. Stung, Jill runs off into the woods with her pet cockatoo Poopsie. Erin demands that Jack apologize to his sister, which he very unwillingly does. Jill has a list of things she wants to do while in Los Angeles: be on a game show (The Price is Right, which—despite her horrendous performance—gives Jill a carload of prizes simply to be rid of her); go horseback riding (she proves too big and heavy for the pony, which collapses under her); and do a studio tour. Since Jill has an open-ended plane ticket, she decides to stay until the end of Hanukkah – much to Jack’s horror.

Jack’s agency client, meanwhile, wants him to somehow get actor Al Pacino to appear in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. Jack isn’t sure how he’s supposed to make that happen. Jill tries online dating. She has no success until Jack poses as Jill and alters her profile, leading to more than 100 responses. Yet when Jill’s date – “Funbucket” (Norm Macdonald) – meets her, he sneaks out of the restaurant through the men’s room.

Jack takes Jill to a Lakers game where Pacino is supposed to be. Pacino blows off Jack but is taken with Jill and gives her his phone number. Jack was hoping Jill would go back home by New Year’s Eve, since the family is going on a cruise. Jack’s friends and colleagues throw him a birthday party, extending the invite to Jill. Again Jill loudly disgraces herself, Jack, and the various celebrities in attendance. Pacino invites Jill to his home, where she accidentally destroys his Oscar statuette. Abruptly, she becomes bored with him and leaves. Jack’s Mexican gardener Felipe (Eugenio Derbez), who is also taken with Jill, invites her to meet his family at their annual fiesta. There she hits it off with everybody, and tries Mexican food for the first time, thus acquiring a horrible case of diarrhea which makes her even tougher to live with than usual.

Pacino refuses to do the Dunkin’ Doughnuts commercial unless Jack gets him a date with Jill; to that end, Jack invites Jill on the cruise with his family. At sea, while Jill continues making a fool of herself and everyone around her, Jack disguises himself as his own sister and goes on her date with Pacino. Jill suspects that Jack invited her on the cruise just so Pacino would do the commercial; such is confirmed when she phones Jack, he answers as Jill, and then she hears Pacino in the background. Pacino, still believing Jack to be Jill, spells out that he (Pacino) sees much more in her than just a pathetic half-wit…which is what Jack always took her for. Feeling unspeakably guilty, Jack returns to the ship, only to learn that Jill has gone back home to The Bronx. At a restaurant on New Year’s Eve, toting a picture of her and Jack’s late mother, Jill comes across a group of former classmates who always made fun of her; these classmates, led by Monica (David Spade), pick up directly where they left off…until Jack, his wife and their kids show up. Jack and Jill converse in their made-up twin language (which even Jack finds incomprehensible). Monica attacks Erin and is cold cocked by Jill. Pacino also turns up at the party, dressed as the Man of La Mancha, and tells Jill that while he may have feelings for her, there is another man more worthy of her than himself. She then goes home, where Felipe (the other suitor Pacino was referring to) and his children await her arrival. Felipe professes his love for Jill, and the two begin a relationship.

The television commercial is made, with Pacino starring and singing as he promotes a new coffee—”Dunkaccino”—with a rap song. But when Jack shows it to him, Pacino hates it and tells him to destroy every copy of this film.I don’t think it is a film you can’t love straight away unless you love Adam Sandler. It’s a Fairly good storyline, but as ever with the actors involved it would be more focused on the comedy rather than acting side of things, although Sandler plays two good and funny characters who are completely different. A good laugh over all.

REVIEW: INSOMNIA (2002)

CAST

Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)
Hilary Swank (The Reaping)
Maura Tierney (Liar Liar)
Martin Donovan (Legends of Tomorrow)
Nicky Katt (School of Rock)
Paul Dooley (The Player)
Crystal Lowe (Final Destination 3)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Ian Tracey (Man of Steel)

In the small fishing town of Nightmute, Alaska, 17-year-old Kay Connell (Crystal Lowe) is found murdered. LAPD detectives Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) are sent to assist the local police with their investigation, at the request of police chief Nyback (Paul Dooley), an old colleague of Will’s. Also, an intense Internal Affairs investigation in Los Angeles is about to put Dormer under the microscope. Eckhart reveals that Internal Affairs has offered him an immunity deal in exchange for his testimony regarding one of Dormer’s past cases. Eckhart says that he has no choice but to accept the deal, to Dormer’s frustration.

Dormer comes up with a plan to lure the murderer back to the scene of the crime. The attempt fails, however, and the suspect flees into the fog. The police chase, and the suspect shoots one through the leg. Dormer soon fires at a figure in the fog. On his way to the fallen figure, he picks up a .38 pistol the suspect has dropped. He then discovers that he has shot Eckhart. As he dies, Eckhart accuses Dormer of murdering him. Because of Eckhart’s pending testimony against Dormer, Dormer knows that Internal Affairs will never believe the shooting was an accident. He tells his colleagues Eckhart was shot by the suspect. He doesn’t mention he has the .38 pistol. Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), a young police officer, is put in charge of the investigation of Eckhart’s shooting. Police find the bullet that sliced the first officer’s leg, a .38 caliber. That night, Dormer walks to an alley and fires the .38 pistol into an animal carcass. He retrieves the bullet and cleans it, then visits the morgue. The staffer hands him the bagged bullet retrieved from Eckhart’s body. She is unfamiliar with its type. He leaves and switches the bullet with one from the .38.

Over the next few days, Dormer is plagued by insomnia, brought on by his guilt over killing Eckhart and further exacerbated by the perpetual daylight. He then starts receiving anonymous phone calls from the suspect, who claims to have witnessed Dormer kill his partner. After looking through her belongings, the police learn that Kay was a fan of a local crime writer named Walter Finch (Robin Williams). Dormer looks up his address and breaks into his apartment. Finch soon comes home, realizes the police have arrived, and evades Dormer after a chase.

Dormer returns to Finch’s apartment. While there, he plants the .38 to frame Finch. Finch later contacts him and arranges a meeting on a ferry. Finch wants help in shifting suspicion to Kay’s abusive boyfriend Randy Stetz (Jonathan Jackson) and will stay silent about Dormer’s role in the Eckhart shooting in return. Dormer gives advice on handling police questioning. After Finch leaves Dormer on the ferry, he shows the detective a tape recorder he used to record the conversation.

Finch calls Dormer and tells him that Kay’s death was “an accident” — he beat her to death in a fit of rage after she rejected his advances. The next day, Finch gives false testimony at the police station. When Finch claims Randy had a gun, Dormer realizes Finch has discovered his plant, and has hidden it at Randy’s home. He races to Randy’s house to find the gun before other officers, but is unsuccessful, and Randy is arrested. Finch offers to give Burr letters indicating that Randy abused Kay, and asks her to come and collect evidence from his summer home the next day.
Burr finds a 9mm shell casing at the scene, which conflicts with the bullet type found in Eckhart’s body. She reads old case files from investigations Dormer was involved in and learns he has carried a 9mm, suspecting he has been lying about who shot Eckhart. Dormer confides in the hotel owner, Rachel Clement (Maura Tierney) about the Internal Affairs investigation: He fabricated evidence to help convict a pedophile he was certain was guilty of murdering a child.
Dormer searches Finch’s apartment for an address for his lake house, and realizes Finch intends to kill Burr after finding Kay’s letters in the apartment. As Burr and Finch move through his house, Finch knocks Burr unconscious. Dormer reaches the cabin, but is too disoriented from lack of sleep to fight off Finch. Burr revives and saves Dormer, while Finch escapes. Burr reveals she knows Dormer shot Eckhart. He admits it, but says he is no longer certain if it was an accident. From his shed, Finch shoots at them, and Burr returns fire, allowing Dormer to sneak around to Finch’s location. Finch and Dormer shoot each other, killing Finch and fatally wounding Dormer. Burr rushes to Dormer’s aid and comforts him by affirming that Eckhart’s shooting was accidental, then moves to throw away the shell casing to preserve Dormer’s secret. Before he dies, he stops Burr, telling her not to lose her way.With three Oscar winners in the cast Nolan had some serious quality to direct, that Pacino, Williams and Swank deliver excellence is high praise for the British director. Pacino actually gives one of his finest late career performances, utterly compelling as Dormer, his haggard face tells of a thousand sorrows, his sleep deprived gait befits a man staring into the abyss. Wally Pfister’s photography is on the money, the blend of snow whites and green tinges sparkle from the vistas and the soft brown hues inside the hotel provide the rare moments of tranquillity available to Will Dormer. Across the board Insomnia is a cracker of a movie, a film that goes into the murky depths of the genre to reveal one of the best movies of 2002.