The Awakening Reviews

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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 30, 2012
Though the story spirals a little out of control in the film's final scenes, "The Awakening" offers the low-key pleasures of an old-fashioned thriller and a lovely central performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 30, 2012
Whatever.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 23, 2012
The cast is anchored by two wonderful actresses: Imelda Staunton and Rebecca Hall, whose talents are squandered on this lackluster horror drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 17, 2012
When these sudden surprises work, as in "A Beautiful Mind" or "The Others," you're too stunned to swallow that next handful of popcorn; when they don't, you're tempted to throw your whole box at the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Chris Berube
Globe and Mail
August 17, 2012
A dull British import that never lives up to the pretensions of its period setting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Sara Stewart
New York Post
August 17, 2012
An enjoyably old-fashioned ghost story in the vein of "The Others" and "The Orphanage."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
August 17, 2012
"The Awakening" is nonsense, but with its posh British cast and colors drained to near-gray, it's very solemn nonsense.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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David Lewis
San Francisco Chronicle
August 16, 2012
A lot of tension and buildup leads us to ... well, it's hard to say.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Los Angeles Times
August 16, 2012
"The Awakening" takes so many unnecessary twists and turns that the final one, which should be a biggie, ends up feeling inconsequential.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
August 16, 2012
For all of its airs of refinement, "The Awakening" is pretty stale stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
August 16, 2012
The film benefits enormously from having the luminous Rebecca Hall as its lead. It also gains an ominous gravity from the haunted, wounded and wobbly England in which it's set.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
August 16, 2012
This stately chiller owes a lot to 1960s British flicks like "The Innocents" and "The Haunting," but unfortunately heads towards cliches with every step.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 16, 2012
There is nothing in the film that will keep you awake at night. Instead, "The Awakening" works much more subtly, with a profound sense of dread and resignation, a death-obsessed movie given life by Hall's performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 16, 2012
It's routine stuff as horror setups go, especially if you've seen such obvious influences as The Orphanage and The Others.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Alison Willmore
AV Club
August 16, 2012
The Awakening is both a ghost story and an exploration of mourning and survivor's guilt, though a late twist turns the film away from its delicate merging of these two themes into something both more plotty and stilted.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
August 14, 2012
This handsomely made spook story (love those echo-prone hallways!) becomes less involving the more the narrative's mysteries are solved.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
August 14, 2012
Hall's committed performance validates even the maddest developments, and she slips into the period well, recalling Virginia Woolf in her lank, swan-necked bearing and tremulous suffering.
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Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
August 14, 2012
If cinema is a dream, 'The Awakening,' I suppose, has just enough oomph to keep you hitting snooze
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
August 8, 2012
Dominic West personifies the melancholia of a country overwhelmed by death.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
August 6, 2012
Nick Murphy's bigscreen directorial debut has good atmospherics that only go so far to prop up a mystery whose overdue explanation is convoluted and underwhelming.
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Nigel Floyd
Time Out
November 8, 2011
A ridiculous revelation and a redundant sexual assault undercut all good sense, as fierce rationality gives way to absurd contrivance and hysteria.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
September 13, 2011
A too-rare instance in which a gifted young actor signs on for a fright flick without coming away tainted, The Awakening places Rebecca Hall in a convincing historical setting and gives her more to do than widen her eyes in fear.