Check out our review of this tense thriller based on the best-selling novel that features a shocking twist ending you will never see coming. Nicole Kidman plays Christine, a woman who wakes up every day remembering nothing, due to a mysterious accident in her past. But when she tries to piece together her former life, she uncovers terrifying secrets that leave her with no one she can trust, including her doctor (Mark Strong) and even her husband (Colin Firth).
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English SDH, Spanish, French
Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Written & Directed by:
Rowan Joffe based on the novel by S.J. Watson
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
January 27, 2015
"Don’t close your eyes…"
Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) wakes every day frightened and confused. She’s sleeping next to a man who says he’s her husband in a home he tells her is theirs, but none of this is familiar to her. She thinks she is a single woman in her 20s when, in actuality, she is a 40-year-old married woman. Christine suffers from psychogenic amnesia, as the result of a traumatic accident, and remembers nothing from her recent past – not the accident itself, nor her marriage to her husband Ben (Colin Firth).
Each day, Ben must introduce himself to her and explain their life together. He tells her she had a car accident years ago and lost her memory because of it. She can store up information throughout the day, but each night as she sleeps, everything she has learned about herself, her life and what caused her condition is erased from her memory.
One day, Christine receives a phone call from Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), a neuropsychologist specializing in her condition, who tells her they have been working with one another - without Ben’s knowledge - to help her regain her memory. He explains that she was the victim of no ordinary accident, but rather a violent attack after which she was left for dead. Dr. Nasch provides Christine with a digital camera and tasks her to record daily messages with information she learns about her past.
As she pieces together her video diary entries, terrifying new truths emerge that force her to question everything she thinks she knows about her life, as well as everyone in it: Is Ben telling the truth about what happened? What are Dr. Nasch’s true intentions? What secrets have I been keeping? Who attacked me that night? And her existence shapes itself around a bigger question – who can she trust?
Based on the novel by S.J. Watson Before I go to sleep
features a well-placed cast in Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. The film starts off with ample amounts of intrigue and mystery and does a fairly decent job of building suspense well into the third act as Christine begins to piece together the fragments of her existence. Unfortunately things completely fall apart once the truth is revealed. I found myself saying aloud, REALLY? That’s the WHO, and WHY? The HOW really makes little to no sense once you know the first two. Then it just descends into a finale dulled with clichés followed by a mawkish ending that, based on how the film began, is a complete let down. I did enjoy the performances by Kidman and Firth but felt that Mark Strong’s talents were wasted on this character. When all was said and done that wasn’t enough to elevate Before I go to sleep
to a memorable genre entry.
The rating is for some brutal violence, language, and brief nudity/sensuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Before I go to sleep comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a stylized high definition video presentation that utilizes a muted level of chroma that works toward conveying the theme and locations depicted in the story. Primary colors like blue and red are vividly reproduced and pop against the sepia tones and darker colors used in the sets and costumes. All are cleanly rendered cleanly with natural looking texture and delineation. The photography doesn’t lend the video to glossy, eye catching definition however images are detailed and sharp which provides appreciable depth and dimension. Close ups reveal lucid subtle nuance that allows the pores, stubble, peach fuzzy hair and subtle skin variation among the cast to be distinguishable. This also applies to the surface structure of objects and clothing within the frame. Black levels and contrast are spot on with estimable detail visible within dark backgrounds and shadows.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range and detail rich clarity that enables the detection of subtle background sounds within the acoustic environment created by the surround mix. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer is kept busy as it works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the film’s recorded elements
- (HD) Character illusions: Ben
- (HD) Character illusions: Christine
- (HD) Character illusions: Dr. Nasch
- (HD) Forget me not – 2 minute featurette
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the novel by S.J. Watson and written/directed for the big screen by Rowan Joffe Before I go to sleep
starts off strong but ultimately fails to deliver on its solid concept and reputable cast. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, fair lossless sound quality and a bland assortment of supplement shorts. If you’re a genre fan Before I go to sleep
will probably leave you disappointed, so for the curious, a rental is the way to go.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7702 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package