I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is a film noir that begins and ends in darkness and doubt. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but a little confusion can go a long way, and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead positively revels in it.
The movie begins by putting separate storylines into motion. One involves Will (Clive Owen), a taciturn woodsman who lives in his camper van in the forest. Meanwhile, Davey (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) gads about London, dealing a little coke, bedding lovely women and stealing from their handbags while they're not looking. On his way home one night, Davey is kidnapped by Boad (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang and brutally raped. Afterwards he goes home, gets into a tub with all his clothes on, and is never heard from again. How these three men are connected becomes clearer as the story evolves, although much is left unsaid (which is one of the problems with taciturn heroes). Then there's Helen (Charlotte Rampling), Will's former girlfriend, whose presence is another cipher to solve.
While McDowell gets our hearts pumping with his classically nasty shtick, Rampling is miscast, and Owen allows Will to remain a scruffy enigma. This sad, dark movie moves across the screen like a sleepwalker, aloof and belonging neither to this world nor the next.