September Blind Spot Review: Insomnia (2002)

insomnia 2002 poster

“A good cop can’t sleep because he’s missing a piece of the puzzle, and a bad cop can’t sleep because his conscience won’t let him.”
– Ellie

SYNOPSIS: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen. – via IMDB


GRADE 8.5Wow. This movie was excellent, and just my cup of tea. I was drawn in from the moment the film opened, and just got sucked down the rabbit hole even further as the movie progressed. I want to start with how breathtakingly beautiful this movie is to look at. Wally Pfister delivers all the goods here again. Alaska was a gorgeous setting, and the film ran that point home at every available opportunity. As for Pacino? It’s films like this that showcase his talents, and he was fantastic here. Robin Williams, too, was so brilliant in these weird, creepy roles. Sometimes going against what you are known for is just the answer. The way the sound and images were used in this film to depict Dormer’s insomnia was so smart, and lent credence to all that was happening. Insomnia is also not your run of the mill thriller, as it has quite a lot of character development and background to chew on, too, which makes for an incredibly engaging watch. The plot development and progression was spot on and enjoyable, what with the story woven so expertly. It doesn’t pretend to break the mould or anything like that, and it doesn’t. There are no serious surprises, but that is not an issue. Instead you focus on the characters more so than just the case. This is a movie that looks and sounds great, and simply captivates you. The interactions between Dormer and Finch are enthralling, and the cast worked really well. I cannot believe it took me so long to get to this movie, because it is typically Nolan – brilliant, smart, engaging, and worth every second of your time.

If you haven’t seen this, don’t watch the trailer. Seriously, what a spoiler. I am so glad I didn’t watch it before the movie. My advice? Go in blind.

23 thoughts on “September Blind Spot Review: Insomnia (2002)

      1. At the recent HEAT 20th anniversary screening, Pacino was sitting next to Nolan, who was moderating the post-screening discussion, and acknowledged and appreciated their ‘Insomnia’ collaboration. They both received a clap or two for that, as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I adored this film. The tension between the characters, that Alaskan setting. Just wow. I need to give it a re-watch!


  2. So great to see you tall about an early Christopher Nolan film, I can’t wait to see this too, I forgot it had Al Pacino in it. Movies like this are also right up my alley so I really must see this as soon as possible. Good review Zoe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you liked this one, Zoë! : ) It just didn’t click with me for some reason as I barely remember a thing about it now. (You’re going to start thinking I have issues with my memory….) ; ) Maybe I should watch again. I loved Williams in One Hour Photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really did enjoy this! Give it another shot sometime, maybe you will enjoy it more, maybe not. Williams was great in that, and in here he gave a stellar performance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like a lot of people forget about Insomnia when they think of Christopher Nolan, and that’s a real mistake. I haven’t seen it in a long time, but that sense of melancholy and dread still stands out for me. Glad you were able to see it.


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