Earnest, overly familiar coming-of-age tale
| Original Score: C
A pretentious, preachy first movie from an arguably great filmmaker.
| Original Score: 2/5
The film pursues its sensitive material with the appropriate degree of care, but the direction by M. Night Shyamalan turns potentially provocative moments into dull eddies of melodrama.
| Original Score: 2/5
The movie's greatest strength is in its willingness to admit that the mysteries of life and death are as difficult for children as for adults.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
In a moviemaking world dominated by attention to secular matters, the parochial Wide Awake is a refreshing change of pace.
| Original Score: 3/5
This wonder-filled film proves that questions can be powerful allies on a spiritual journey.
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.
Its rather facile treatment of its serious themes will leave older audiences less than satisfied.
What better place to look for God than in a Catholic school, right?
A meandering script, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and the candy coating it's wrapped in, undermine its effectiveness.
Children, too, will be bored to tears navigating through some of the talky spiritual gunk.
| Original Score: 2/4
Just what I need, a film that embodies two of my worst phobias in one role: Rosie O'Donnell as a nun.
Dramatically unconvincing most of the way through, and even runs into logical inconsistencies where its main character's quest for God is concerned.
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 ...
Done well, it could have been a gem among the wasteland of modern children's cinema. Unfortunately, it isn't.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
For those who want to see something soft, without a bite to it, this is the one to chew on.
| Original Score: C-
I wonder who the movie was made for.
Beneath its suffocating, smug sentimentality, you have to look hard to uncover a single moment of truth and genuine feeling.
There is quite a bit of drama in the film but most of it is internal.
| Original Score: 7/10
An interesting little drama about a youth's quest for proof of God.
| Original Score: B-