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.
Richard Schickel The film represents a triumph of atmosphere over a none-too-mysterious mystery. Which is to say that Nolan makes you feel the end-of-the-earth bleakness of his setting, makes you feel the way it can discombobulate people once they internalize it.
David Edelstein With a run-of-the-mill bad-guy actor playing chief suspect Walter Finch, the movie might have tipped too far Pacino's way. But Robin Williams is a shockingly effective counterweight.
David Ansen Scene by scene, screenwriter Hillary Seitz follows director Erik Skjoldbjaerg's original closely, but this remake deepens and improves upon the Norwegian film by giving Dormer a more complex relationship with Eckhart.
Ted Shen Nolan uses visual pyrotechnics to pump up the tension and add to Pacino's sense of disorientation, but the feeling he evokes isn't as forlorn, creepy, or ambiguous as in the original (though the mountain wilderness is just as forbidding).
Joe Morgenstern This one is nowhere near as original -- it's a flawed remake of a fine first feature from Norway -- but Insomnia still stands on its own as a thriller with brains and scenic beauty.
Anthony Lane A dark and fidgety picture from Christopher Nolan, who made such a splash with Memento.
David Germain The highlight is Pacino, who gives his best performance in years.
Geoff Andrew Despite its linear storyline, the film is very recognisably the work of the sharp, probing intelligence that gave us Following and Memento.
Todd McCarthy While it may not be as stylistically idiosyncratic as Memento Insomnia is a gripping, highly dramatic thriller that more than confirms the distinctive talent of young Brit helmer Christopher Nolan.
Rex Reed Insomnia is not my kind of arsenic, but it's so well-made and enigmatic I liked it anyway.
Dennis Lim The Hollywood version (which is half an hour longer) transports the action to Alaska, and works up a respectable level of bleary-eyed paranoia.
Peter Rainer The best thing about Insomnia is that despite director Christopher Nolan's soft spot for moody-blues obfuscation, he has the good sense to keep his star in practically every shot.
Desson Thomson A thriller whose style, structure and rhythms are so integrated with the story, you cannot separate them.
Stephen Hunter You see Robin Williams and psycho killer, and you think, hmmmmm. You see the movie and you think, zzzzzzzzz.
Andrew O'Hehir Here's proof that it's still possible to make pop-oriented yet personal movies with an A-list cast and a zillion bucks.
Paul Tatara Nolan is a craftsman who joins the ranks of Steven Soderbergh, David O. Russell, Curtis Hanson, and M. Night Shyamalan as an individual voice working within the Hollywood system.
Richard Roeper Insomnia is based on a 1997 Norwegian film, and though there are some key plot differences, the elements that made the original so memorable remain.
Kirk Honeycutt Allows us to hope that Nolan is poised to embark a major career as a commercial yet inventive filmmaker.