Murder Investigations, Mind Games, Blackmail, Police Corruption
Wintry, Menacing, Deliberate, Understated, Tense
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Insomnia is an American psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. The film, released on 24 May 2002, is a remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
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.
Concurrently, 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. Dormer tries to talk Eckhart out of it, but Eckhart, apparently complicit to some degree in Dormer's misdeeds, says that ultimately he must look out for himself and his family first, so he feels he has no choice but to accept the deal.
Focusing on the Nightmute case, Dormer comes up with a clever plan to lure the murderer back to the scene of the crime; however, the stakeout attempt is blown, and the murder suspect flees into the fog, forcing the police to spread out and search for him on foot. During the pursuit, Dormer sees a figure through the fog, which he believes is the armed murder suspect. He fires, and the figure collapses. When Dormer approaches, he discovers that he has mistakenly shot Eckhart; Dormer then runs to Eckhart's aid, only to find he believes that Dormer shot him to prevent him from testifying, causing him to turn away in fear before succumbing to his wounds. Given the nature of Eckhart's impending testimony, Dormer knows that Internal Affairs will never believe that the shooting was accidental, causing him to alter the crime scene before crying for help. Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), a young police officer and Dormer's biggest fan, is put in charge of the investigation into Eckhart's shooting, which causes Dormer to use his influence and reputation to try and mislead her into believing the suspect killed Eckhart.
Dormer finds himself becoming mentally unstable due to guilt over killing Eckhart and the resultant insomnia (which is further exacerbated by the perpetual daylight). Dormer then starts receiving anonymous phone calls from the suspect, who claims to have witnessed Dormer kill his partner, and knows of his attempts to cover it up. Dormer is aware that Kay was a fan of a crime writer named Walter Finch (Robin Williams), and books autographed by him were found among her possessions; this then leads Dormer to believe that Finch is somehow involved. Dormer breaks into Finch's apartment to gather evidence, only to be discovered by Finch. After a pursuit ending in Finch's escape, Dormer is contacted by him, and agrees to meet him in public; Finch then offers Dormer a deal, where Dormer is to frame Kay's abusive boyfriend Randy Stetz (Jonathan Jackson) for the murder in exchange for Finch's silence about the Eckhart shooting, forcing Dormer to choose between destroying his own reputation and allowing an innocent man to be sent to prison.
Meanwhile, Burr finds some inconsistencies in Dormer's testimony; she finds a 9mm shell casing at the scene (which conflicts with the bullet type believed to be found in the body), and believes that the direction the suspect fled is improbable. Finch, under Dormer's instruction, gives false testimony at the station, which, along with a weapon planted by Finch, effectively places blame on Randy. Back at the station, Finch offers to give Burr letters indicating Randy's abuse of Kay, and asks her to come and collect evidence from his second, isolated home the next day.
Dormer returns to his hotel for one last night, where he confides with the hotel owner about the investigation in which Eckhart was to testify; he reveals that he fabricated evidence to help convict a pedophile
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