Sneakers (1992)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 13-Jun-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 120:11
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Phil Alden Robinson

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Robert Redford
Dan Aykroyd
Ben Kingsley
Mary McDonnell
River Phoenix
Sidney Poitier
David Strathairn
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music James Horner

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    You have to love any movie which has the tag-line "We could tell you what it's about. But then, of course, we would have to kill you.".

    This movie is called Sneakers because it is about people whose job it is to covertly break into a company's security systems for the purposes of testing those very systems - these people "sneak". Robert Redford leads the best team of sneakers - his team includes Sidney Poitier (ex-CIA operative), Dan Aykroyd (conspiracy theorist and gadget man), River Phoenix (juvenile hacker), and David Strathairn (blind genius). Robert Redford has never revealed to his team that he has a past; it catches up with him, and he is blackmailed into doing a job for the NSA - the US government agency in charge of communications intelligence. Things go wrong...

     This movie gets started quickly, and moves along at a steady pace.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This movie is from Universal, distributed in Region 4 courtesy of Columbia Tristar. This is another example of Universal's generally excellent work.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    We get a sharp, clear image. Perhaps clearer than we might want when we get close-ups of Robert Redford's face - he really got a beating from acne, didn't he? Shadow detail is good, and there is no visible low-level noise, making this image a pleasure to watch.

    The sequence behind the main titles is set 20 years in the movie's past, and is shot in black-and-white with a sepia cast, a nice touch. Once the titles are over we move to "today", and colour is well saturated with no evidence of colour bleed.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and aliasing is only visible three times - the first two on a sheet of orange netting, and the third on a car window frame. There is no aliasing on the usual suspects (blinds, car grilles), so this artefact is very nicely controlled indeed by this transfer. There are a number of minuscule film artefacts, but they are barely noticeable.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change at 79:33. It is visible, but only barely, and not at all objectionable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are five soundtracks on this DVD, all of them in Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded. I only listened to the English soundtrack.

    The dialogue is clear and readily understood, with the exception of a single line at 14:50. This particular line is quite odd, sounding completely misplaced in the soundscape. The line consists of only a couple of words, and it is unimportant, but I mention it because it is the only real error in the sound.

    The score, by James Horner, is well-suited to the movie - it supports both the slow, stealthy "sneaking", and moments of action.

    I am unsure why the soundtrack is surround-encoded - I detected no significant audio from the surrounds, and nothing at all from the subwoofer. The sound was entirely frontal.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is static and silent.

Production Notes

    Fifteen pages of notes on the process of bringing this story to the screen.

Cast and Crew Bios

    Standard bios and filmographies for Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, and Phil Alden Robinson.

Trailer (2:52)

    The trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It contains some plot spoilers, so I recommend not watching it before the movie if you haven't seen the movie already.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 and Region 1 discs are essentially identical, with the only differences being the languages of the dubs and the subtitles. Even the artwork is close. Having watched both, I'd say the R4 has received a slightly better transfer, above and beyond the normal PAL to NTSC comparison.


    Sneakers is a good movie that has received an excellent transfer.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is adequate, for a fairly basic 2 channel track.

    The extras are fairly basic.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, June 13, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-737, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
Dark Horizons - Garth F

Comments (Add)
Yawn... - Alison