Wide Awake (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The death of his grandfather several months before has had a profound effect on young Joshua A. Beal (Joseph Cross). His family assures him that his grandpa (Robert Loggia) is in a better, happier place, but Josh is having trouble believing it. For the longest time, the boy could barely awaken in the morning and his only interests have been in his action cartoons, action figures and Captain Crunch cereal. All that changes, however, on the morning of his first day in the fifth grade. Then and … More

Rating: PG (For language and thematic elements)
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 28, 2001


as Joshua Beal

as Dave O'Hara

as Mrs. Beal

as Mr. Beal

as Grandpa Beal

as Sister Terry

as Sister Sophia

as Father Peters

as Sister Beatrice

as Neena Beal

as Frank Benton

as Freddie Waltman

as Robert Brickman

as Cardinal Geary

as Father Sebastian

as Young Priest

as Mrs. Waltman

as Mr. Waltman

as Football Coach

as Gym Teacher

as Mrs. Pitman

as Race Starter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Wide Awake

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Critic Reviews for Wide Awake

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9)

A wonderful family film that deals sensitively, and even with humor, with a fairly unusual situation for the screen: a 9-year-old's struggles with his faith in God.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Children, too, will be bored to tears navigating through some of the talky spiritual gunk.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The fact is, just too many of the characters and plot points are right out of the stock room: the obligatory fat kid; the obligatory bully; the obligatory kid whose parents can't really afford Catholic school tuition ...

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

I wonder who the movie was made for.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Beneath its suffocating, smug sentimentality, you have to look hard to uncover a single moment of truth and genuine feeling.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

I was aware of the problems, but that didn't diminish the warm, fuzzy glow I was experiencing.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wide Awake


Such a cute little film with a strong message.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Adorable, down-to-earth, and spiritually in-depth. There's more to this film than what you may have heard.

Jackson Walsh
Jackson Walsh

Super Reviewer


Shyamalan's 1st commercial film is certainly one worth watching. This film focuses on a 5th-grader's journey to find god following his grandfather's passing, and his year-long adventures leading up to his final revelation. I'm not a believer in god, but this film is very heart-warming.
Joseph Cross is an amazing actor at such a young age. Leary, Loggia, Stiles, Delaney and Reifsnyder provide great supporting roles which do not subtract from the film's charm. O'Donnell fits well in this film.
Unlike the real world, Shyamalan's film is non-abusive in its faithful message of enlightenment. The plot is easy to understand, and does not steer the audience with dogmatic tension or fear.

Kevin M

Super Reviewer

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