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Awake (2007)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 46

Awake has an interesting premise but would have benefited from tighter performances and more efficient direction and editing.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 13

Awake has an interesting premise but would have benefited from tighter performances and more efficient direction and editing.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 237,422

My Rating

Movie Info

During surgery, more than 60,000 people domestically each year experience "anesthetical awareness," a condition when anesthesia fails during surgery, leaving one completely conscious and feeling every incision, but paralyzed and incapable of doing anything about it. This is what happens to Clay.


Mystery & Suspense

Joby Harold

Feb 13, 2008


MGM - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (46) | DVD (3)

Awake feels like an Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode unfolding in slow motion, with each new revelation coming a reel or two after viewers have guessed it.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A medical thriller with a noggin full of novocaine, this shocker about a botched heart surgery evidently suffered brain surgery to match.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a couple of more drafts to mend the plot holes and restructure the middle act, Awake could have been saved.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Joby] Harold's script has a surprise or three in it, a biggy near the end. But he's a director with no poker face. He tips his hand early and often.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Awake is a pleasing if negligible diversion.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The plot has more holes in it than a tea bag and the film should come with a warning label: don't go see with anyone with even a modicum of medical knowledge, because they'll surely spend the film huffing and rolling their eyes skyward.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Joby Harold's debut is stylishly self-assured and suspenseful enough to quicken the pulse.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Outlandish, preposterous, contrived,and implausible thriller which happens to be fun if you ignore the fact that it's outlandish,preposterous,contrived and implausible.

May 2, 2008 Full Review Source:

Imagine it's a comedy and pray for the end.

April 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Less painful than having your chest cut open, but a disagreeable experience just the same.

April 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Se um ator admirável como Terrence Howard surge tão constrangedor neste longa, que chances teriam pobres aspirantes a intérpretes como Hayden Christensen e Jessica Alba?

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Sex, Lies and Surgical Tape meets I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus!

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

much better than i expected

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

It becomes more and more fun as the twists pile up -- not entirely convincing, but diverting, like something concocted by a bright eighth-grader.

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Harold sustains an unsettling tone and the graphic depiction of what goes on under the knife is, well, a surgery-phobic patient's worst nightmare

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Victoria Times Colonist (B.C., Canada)
Victoria Times Colonist (B.C., Canada)

The twist-happy screenplay holds together, and the actors around Christensen are better than they have to be: not only reliable hands like Lena Olin and Arliss Howard, but also a perfectly cast Jessica Alba, smartly playing with and against her looks.

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Makes one want to assume a state of mind opposite to the film's title.

December 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Unloads a volley of plot twists that'll have you slapping your head in disbelief, provided you haven't figured them out by the end of Act I.

December 16, 2007 Full Review Source: FEARnet

While much of "Awake" simply doesn't work, there are just enough things on display that do to make you wish that someone had taken the time to elaborate on them

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source:

Is this goofy, misguided movie enough to keep you "Awake?"Probably, but only if you're laughing during this unintentionally comical drama.

December 11, 2007 Full Review | Comments (2)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Engages the viewer from start to finish and boasts a handful of decent performances. Crazy but fun.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Reno News and Review
Reno News and Review

Admittedly mediocre, this psychological thriller is nevertheless gripping in its reality-based terror.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source:

The movie offers twist upon twist upon twist, with no actual plot.

December 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

The most vapid stars of our age, Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba, achieve total vapidosity in this jaw-dropping exercise in preposterosity from newcomer Joby Harold.

December 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Awake

Psychological thriller about a wealthy guy (Hayden) who is awake during his heart surgery. He hears the surgeons plot how they are going to kill him. But why? There are many twists to the movie which keeps it interesting. Good plot but very graphic and gorey, not for the faint hearted! Good cast.
July 22, 2012
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

This film begins with an extreme story and injects you with emotions about life and love. You feel the pain of Hayden Christiansen's character as he is about to have a heart transplant. As they put him to sleep, he somehow does not quite fall asleep and he cannot move, but he can hear and feel everything that is happening to him during the surgery. It is a very interesting premise and it is executed pretty well and kept me on the edge of my seat, but the main problem with this film is that you are focussing on everyone around the main character, instead of the main character himself, while the main character is the only character to like in the entire film. This film becomes a huge mess by the final sequence. I felt the pain halfway through and was having real sypathy for the characters, but after the climax I just lost interest and really did not care what was happening anymore. This film began with promise, but spun out of control and is just above the line of failure. I still enjoyed it, but it should have been so much better!
July 30, 2011
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Awake is a far-fetched thriller set against the backdrop of a phenomenon called anesthesia awarness. I didn't care for the casting much: Jessica Alba as the sexy schemer, Terrence Howard as the sympathetic friend yet murderer, and Hayden Christensen as Clay Beresford, the young, rich lead. He's tedious and uninteresting, and I never bought off on him at all. Lena Olin as the mother gives the strongest, most complex performance. Also, a cinematic device was employed using commentary from an anesthetized state and near-death limbo as if body and spirit are separated. This movie couldn't work without it, yet it rings of complete fiction. There are surprising twists, yet the whole thing is never convincing and at least somewhat preposterous.

The medical suspense is real enough but this pill is difficult to swallow. Its mediocre; a promising idea and stylish yet ultimately disappointing.
April 28, 2011
Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

This movie enforces what I have learned in life. The only women you can trust and count on is your Mother. The rest will lie, cheat and stab you in the back no matter how many times they say I love you and trust me. 5 Stars
June 24, 2010
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

    1. Clayton Beresford Jr.: This is just my imagination, that's all.
    – Submitted by Ibraheem M (2 years ago)
    1. Sam Lockwood: As soon as you get out, I'll be right here.
    – Submitted by Ibraheem M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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