What happens in the casino, stays in the casino. Las Vegas officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) spends a little too much time in the muck of Sin City, seemingly more interested in self-serving than serving and protecting others.

Internal Affairs officer Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) is dedicated to ridding Vegas of its corruption, and she believes that starts with Downs. One of Vincent’s selfish actions while on the job backfires, and his teenage son, Thomas (Octavius J. Johnson) is taken from him in broad daylight from the people he ripped off. With Thomas held up in a casino with people who won’t think twice about killing him, it is truly a race against time for Vincent to get his son back, and evade punishment.


I don’t believe it when people say that Hollywood is out of ideas. But, my belief in that isn’t exactly supported when Hollywood opts to make remakes of good international films that don’t warrant them. Few, if any, are clamoring for U.S. updates of District B13 (Brick Mansions), or Secret in Their Eyes, to name a few. The latest movie to follow this trend is Sleepless, remade from the French film Sleepless Night. The remake is as generic as its title would indicate.

Sleepless seems to exist for one main reason: To serve as an igniter for a potential mid-career redesign for Jamie Foxx as an elder action star. Much like a Liam Neeson in Taken, the entire movie revolves around the main character’s efforts to find his child from bad people. To that extent to positioning Foxx as an action star, Sleepless does do its job, though it isn’t as action-packed as one may think, at least for a the first half to two-thirds. Still, director Baran bo Odar showcases Foxx in two pretty good fighting sequences. Don’t expect any super-long takes, but the choreography is less haphazard than many big-budget actioners, and Jamie shows he’s game and able to do his own stuff. There may be something here in the next few years for him in the B-ish movie genre.

And he does carry the movie in a way that a lesser star probably couldn’t. His character receives a little bit of backstory, also, and though technically enough is there as to what side of the morality scale he falls on, it’s not entirely so, and it does give Sleepless a level of plot intrigue.


For the movie taking place in Las Vegas (though some of it shot in Atlanta), however, Odar doesn’t take much advantage of the scenery, or at least The Strip. 75% of it takes place at the casino, which is where the “Die Hard in a casino” comparisons are coming from. A casino should be rife for awesome shootouts, but instead, much of the runtime consists of characters posturing against other characters, making real or thinly veiled threats, or running stakeouts to locate their targets. Some of these scenes carry tension, but others do not. Oftentimes, the score (not a bad one) pops in and swells to crazy volume levels, and it becomes a little distracting to the events on screen.

Foxx is good, but everyone else generally falls into cliched roles. Michelle Monaghan’s Jennifer plays the resistance to Foxx’s Downs on the law side. Her character has a reason for being so hardened, but she’s overly so, and in the process, becomes kind of unlikable. Gabrielle Union and Octavius J. Johnson are simply the estranged wife and the child-in-distress, and their actions are dictated by whatever the script needs at a particular moment. Rapper T.I., Scott McNairy, Dermot Mulroney, and David Harbour all encompass stock characters seen in many crime films, leaning towards caricature. However, they aren’t always afforded with the strongest dialogue either, which plays a role in that.


There are better movies to cure insomnia; Sleepless is too competent and entertaining enough to doze off on. But then again, it’s not going to be a movie where people are going to say it was slept on, either.


Photo credits go to, and

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8 thoughts on “Sleepless

  1. I love that the main character is so flawed and that the story seems to take place mostly in one night. So I’m disappointed to hear that this wasn’t better. You’ve got me wanting to see the French film at least.

    1. I would still say to check out Matt, but, a view in theaters does nothing to enhance this. The poster alone looks like this is prime for Netflix/home video.

      Some enjoyment out of this, but really, I haven’t thought about it much since I watched haha.

  2. Honestly.. I started writing a review on this one back when I saw it..but I felt it insulted my intelligence so much I just stopped..hahahaha I thought nothing could out do it.. but I just saw one last week that did.. insulted me even more..sooo this isn’t the worst anymore..:) I’m in for 2017 opening with some better movies than 2016 bout you??? 😀

    1. Resident Evil by any chance?
      I think 2017 is already slated with better movies than 2016 as a whole. This month alone, I’m intrigued with John Wick Chapter 2, Fifty Shades Darker (yes), Lego Batman, A Cure For Wellness, and Get Out. I may even catch Fist Fight and The Great Wall.

      1. eh..well I loved the 1st John Wick so yes, looking forward to that one. 50 shades I see tomorrow night, Lego Batman was on Sat, but it was to far advanced for the 3 1/2 yr old I took so I didn’t get to see it all, but it looks great for the 1st 15min. recommended for children 7 or 8 and above tho. And A Cure for Wellness was the film I was referring to as being more insulting to my intelligence than Sleepless..hahahahahaha I was just under embargo to not speak about it till today. 🙂 it was awful. just seriously ridiculous. By this time last year I know I had Deadpool & Eddie the Eagle. Pride, Prejudice & Zombies & Hail Caesar.. but let’s see how it goes!!!

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