Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 62

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 237,778


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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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.

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Hayden Christensen
as Clayton Beresford Jr.
Jessica Alba
as Sam Lockwood
Terrence Howard
as Dr. Jack Harper
Lena Olin
as Lilith Beresford
Christopher McDonald
as Dr. Larry Lupin
Sam Robards
as Clayton Beresford Sr.
Arliss Howard
as Dr. Jonathan Neyer
Fisher Stevens
as Dr. Puttmna
Steven Hinkle
as Young Clay
Denis O'Hare
as Financial News Analyst
Charlie Hewson
as Brian the Orderly
Court Young
as Officer Doherty
Joseph Costa
as Dr. Elbogen
Poorna Jagannathan
as Dr. Neyer's Nurse
Lee Wong
as Mr. Waturi
Kae Shimizu
as Asian Translator
Steven Rowe
as Teacher
Jeffrey Fierson
as Head Chef
Joshua Rollins
as Funeral Minister
Brenda Schad
as Pergnant Woman
Sam Pitman
as Zombie
Ross Klavan
as Financial News Analyst #2
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News & Interviews for Awake

Critic Reviews for Awake

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (17)

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.

Dec 6, 2007 | Rating: D+
AV Club
Top Critic

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

Dec 6, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

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

Dec 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

[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.

Dec 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/5

Awake is a pleasing if negligible diversion.

Dec 3, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Dec 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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.

Candy Rose
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!

KJ Proulx
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.

Clintus Maximus
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

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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