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Sleep Dealer

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Alex Rivera

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About the Movie

SLEEP DEALER is a Sundance award-winning sci-fi thriller packed with stunning visuals, strong social and political themes, and is being hailed by audiences and critics alike as "impressive, eye-opening…a timely message, deftly delivered… like Blade Runner and other big-brained sci-fi flicks, it’s about ideas..." (Wired) Memo Cruz (Luis Fernando Peña) is a young man in near-future Mexico. When his family is victim of a misguided drone attack he finds himself with no option but to head north, towards the U.S./Mexico border. But migrant workers cannot cross this new world border – it's been sealed off. Instead, Memo ends up in a strange digital factory in Mexico where he connects his body to a robot in America. Memo's search for a better future leads him to love, loss, and a confrontation with a mysterious figure from his past.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 33
  • Fresh: 23
  • Rotten: 10
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Sleep Dealer is an unusually thoughtful science fiction film, using the speculative energy of the genre to explore some troubling and complex contemporary issues. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Apr 17, 2009

Rotten: Despite some clever virtual-reality concepts and projections about the next frontier of globalization, Alex Rivera's ambitious directing debut lacks the vision, or the budget, to pull off its fusion of sci-fi and aspirational saga. – Justin Chang, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Adventurous, ambitious and ingeniously futuristic, Sleep Dealer is a welcome surprise. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The freshness and ingenuity of this techno-thriller should spark a cult following. – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Sleep Dealer

Sleep Dealer was ahead of its time when it first came out - it looks toward a future that is all too imaginable. With the U.S. now able to get all the work it needs virtually without the actual workers crossing the border. Its a story about land and water, militarization, family, courage, corporate dominance, subjugation through technology and the power of love to heal, even while plugged in. Filmmaker Alex Rivera is a rare talent. He is definitely going places. So glad to see this film is now available on iTunes. Check it out. Pass it on!

Ahead of its time, right on time

Sleep Dealer explores issues of immigration, drones, labor, globalization, privatization of resources through the lens of a sci-fi thriller. While it’s fiction, so many of the ideas in the film are borne out in today’s world. Even more impressive is that a film of this magnitude was made as an indy film, outside of Hollywood. I am so happy it’s back in circulation.

"[Sleep Dealers]... a world that's only a stone's step away from our own."

Imagine a world where people operate machines from afar to kill people they've never even seen. Imagine a world where migrant labor is used and exploited to benefit the richest of people. Imagine a world in which private, American companies create water scarcity. That isn't a world we have to imagine. We're living it.

The beauty of Sleep Dealers is not only does it critique the world we're living in now, but critiques what the world easily could become. It's not very difficult to think of scenarios where drone warfare could become American entertainment, much like Cops. And so many people would see using workers who operate American robots from Mexico as a perfect "solution" to the problem of immigration. It's a world that's only a stone's step away from our own. That's what makes this film so powerful.

I've never seen a science fiction film tackle these issues and science fiction that does the same but in different formats is rare. If you love science fiction, dystopia, cyberpunk but also radical politics then you should watch this film immediately.

Sleep Dealer
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Customer Ratings