Sleepless Night AKA Nuit Blanche Movie 2011 Scene Tomer Sisley as Vincent holding a gun in a nightclub

Sleepless Night AKA Nuit Blanche [2011]

There’s a reason why every year we get at least two remakes of French thrillers. They are just so damn juicy and creative and Sleepless Night is definitely one of them. Unpredictable and full of intense scenes, it will keep your eyes peeled on the screen. We will be following Vincent, a shady cop who has to save his son from a powerful mobster after a drug deal gone wrong. Think of it as a blend of 24, the television show, and Die Hard, only much more pacier.

Almost the entire story takes place in this huge nightclub with multiple levels creating a vibrant atmosphere. You’ve all been to a place like that at least once in your life so you know exactly that vibe. The camerawork is excellent helping you feel like you’re actually there, in the nightclub. The whole movie has this raw and gritty atmosphere. And to make things better, as its title suggests, Sleepless Night unfolds over the course of one crazy night.

This also means that pacing is relentless with just a couple of well-deserved breaks. The characters are authentic and their decisions feel more natural than in other movies. I think this is the reason why the American remake, Sleepless, starring Jamie Foxx didn’t work out. The French cinema has a long tradition of these corrupt cops and robbers movies. Check out thrillers The CrewThe Stronghold, and Rogue City for further proof. They belong to the modern wave of French crime movies just like this one. 

Vincent is a police detective in a lot of trouble. He and his partner stole a bag full of cocaine this morning. What they didn’t know is that the cocaine was the property of Jose Marciano, a ruthless drug lord. He’s untouchable, living and operating out of his huge nightclub. So he kidnaps Vincent’s son and tells him to bring the bag to the nightclub. What seems like a straightforward deal is soon about to turn into something entirely else…

They didn’t milk the shit out of that father-son relationship making it all melodramatic and shit. Something that would inevitably happen in any other mainstream movie. Of course, you can count on a couple of twists and turns that will take you by surprise but that’s to be expected. Tomer Sisley was excellent as Vincent and I also loved Serge Riaboukine as the crazy mobster along with Lizzie Brocheré who plays an idyllic young cop.

The accent is on this volatile situation that can turn into a bloodbath in an instant. Vincent has to come up quickly with clever tricks and moves to get both himself and his son out of that nightclub alive. And his solutions are not revolutionary or contrived but more forced and down-to-Earth. In other words, they’re more realistic and this makes you more invested in their outcomes. I think that it goes without saying that you should see Nuit Blanche with the original French audio.

Director: Frédéric Jardin

Writers: Frédéric Jardin, Nicolas Saada, Olivier Douyère

Cast: Tomer Sisley, Serge Riaboukine, Julien Boisselier, JoeyStarr, Laurent Stocker, Lizzie Brocheré

Fun Facts: Tomer Sisley did all his stunts in this movie since he already had some martial arts experience.


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