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Awake Review Critics


Dave White Profile

How freaking boring can you make a movie and still get a theatrical release? Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Awake is short enough (about 85 minutes) that it doesn't wear out its welcome. It's not a good movie but it's silly and lively enough to keep most viewers from dozing off, even if that might be a more profitable use of their time.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Christensen delivers a low-key performance that is ultimately quite appealing, and he's well matched by the beautiful Alba. Olin brings unexpected depths to what could have been a stock role, and Terrence Howard uses his easy ability to project innate decency to excellent effect.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Too bad, because until it essentially turns into a medical-thriller version of "Look Who's Talking," the movie hums along comfortably enough as slick B fare.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A surprisingly effective thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Awake reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Silly surgery thriller is bloody, convoluted.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this grim thriller stars teen favorites Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba, it isn't meant for kids. There are many scenes of bloody open-heart surgery, with some explicit sound effects (cutting, sawing, ribcage cracking). Because Clay is conscious and feels pain during the surgery, there are some gruesome parts in which he internally screams, swears, and makes noises; it's essentially grisly torture (not unlike what passes for plot in the Saw movies). There are several kissing scenes, two of which lead to sex (though more is implied than shown). Expect lots of prescription medication use, some smoking (and discussion of it being bad for you) and drinking, and many uses of both "f--k" and "s--t."

  • Families can talk about what makes a movie a thriller. Do you think this qualifies? Why? What characteristics do most thrillers have in common? Families can also discuss what -- if anything -- the characters in the movie learn. How would you describe the movie's version of morality? Are the characters' sacrifices worth it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Scheming, careless doctors; anesthesiologist drinks on the job; an accidental murder appears in a flashback; mother and son relationship at first seems too intimate and codependent.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Much bloody and yucky imagery related to surgery. Incisions show blood, organs, and internal goo; operation shows rib separator, cuts into heart; bloody surgeons' gloves. As Clay is "anesthetically aware" during surgery, he yells, screams, and expresses much pain. Clay and Lilith discuss his memories of his father's death. A character is hit with a fireplace poker; the body falls over a balcony, and there's a shot of the crumpled corpse on the floor three stories below. Suicide by pill overdose (body shown). When the cops arrest a woman, they smash her face against the floor.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Clayton appears in bathtub, then pulls Sam in with him (they engage in "sexy" talk during the seduction, such as "I was picturing you soaking wet with all your clothes on"). They kiss and embrace passionately before the scene cuts (sex is implied). They stand side by side in front of a mirror, naked; she's brushing her teeth, and the outline of her naked breast is visible. Several scenes show passionate kissing between the two, and at least one other scene shows the side of her breast. She appears in her bra and underwear beneath Clay as they kiss, preparing for sex -- but the scene cuts away before they get all their clothes off.

  • language false5

    Language: Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (some with "bull"); other language includes "hell," "ass," "damn," and "son of a bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of prescription pills are taken and shown in bottles (Clay has a heart condition). Minor cigarette smoking. Drinking and toasting (one hallucination includes a room full of schoolboys lifting wine glasses in a toast). An anesthesiologist drinks from a flask during surgery. A drunken character snorts cocaine.