88

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Sleepers, for all the doubts it raises, is the work of a man who speaks for absent friends and "for the children we were." It's his secret heart.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Two and one- half hours of gripping entertainment.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Examiner

By Barbara Shulgasser
Sometimes the movie lacks a quietness, an omission most egregiously felt at the end.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
A visual masterpiece that powerfully explores male cruelty, too.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
As entertainment, the movie functions successfully. But I don't believe the story is true--not true to the facts, and not true to the morality it pretends to be about.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Engrosses if it doesn't fully convince. [18 October 1996, p.1D]
Full Review
50

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
By the end, the main thing that's been abused is the audience's intelligence.
Full Review
40

Austin Chronicle

By Steve Davis
Somewhat byzantine in execution and confusing in its logic, the film's second half never achieves the catharsis you'd expect.
Full Review
30

TV Guide

The dullest movie ever made about child abuse, conspiracy and murder.
Full Review
25

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Barry Levinson's filmmaking style is often imaginative. The story contains horrific scenes of sexual torture as well as sadistic killings and other disturbing material, though.
Full Review
49 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.