Waking Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waking Life Reviews

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November 24, 2016
A great movie to watch on ketamine, which I've done many of times
½ September 14, 2016
A weird crossroad between drama and documentary, "Waking Life" makes you think more than any animated film ever made.
August 9, 2016
Watching it is an amazing experience in itself. Its visual style is stunning. Digital animation is put over live action actors in a style that every scene is like some kind of a post-modern painting that you would see in an art gallery.
July 25, 2016
the places this film will take you
May 29, 2016
This movie feels like an introductory crash course in humanities and the unavoidable would-be philosophical discussions of stoner college students coming with it. And, visually speaking, everything is always moving, and it's really annoying.
May 17, 2016
Beautiful animation, but I could not get through it. Turned it off halfway through.

Shallow explications of interesting philosophy. Non-linear plot. Not for everyone.
May 1, 2016
Waking Life (2001): This movie's unique visual style is it's greatest quality. The whole film was shot with mini DV camcorders and edited together. Then a group of artists created 2D computer animation on top of every scene, exaggerating certain features in characters' faces, and taking liberties with the atmosphere's perspective. It just looks crazy. It's both dreamlike and sickening. I love the basis of the story. A young man is unable to escape his dreams and begins a search for himself in order to get back to waking life. I was pumped with the anticipation of having my mind blown. But mid-way through the movie I felt so lost. Waking Life is filled with about 10 extensive, philosophical lectures which made the movie almost completely inaccessible for me. I'm beginning to think Linklater had a couple drinks with some philosophy and psychology majors and let the cameras roll while they rattled off a bunch of quotes, book references, and theories. Each scene seems to be devoid of any real idea. But isn't that what makes it so surreal? I don't know if Waking Life is genius, or just pretentious. 8/10 for that animation! (and a few interesting thoughts)
April 11, 2016
Very impressive work of art. The endless philosophising raises great questions that will fuel deep conversation for a long time after. The style takes a bit of getting used to for some, but it's unique.
½ March 5, 2016
Waking Life (and Richard Linklater's other film Slacker) is proof that films dont really need a plot, they just need interesting ideas. Which this film has! Its philosophical and the style is really impressive.
January 3, 2016
Amazing animation written extremely well this movie will have you thinking the whole time it really opens you about to different things and get your trying to figure out what it actually all means
January 1, 2016
Philosophical! Linklater at his best.
Not for the faint of heart.
November 24, 2015
I thought it was a great movie, mostly because of the content-the ideas it put across. I also liked realistic animation sorta medium they chose for the movie. I thought it was very creative. I know that the content is probably a bunch of philosophies put together. But since I am not really exposed to the subject matter-it definitely blew my mind.
November 24, 2015
Não tem nem muito o que falar sobre esse filme, por que ele é quase que obrigatório pra se ver pra entender a trama. Cara, simplesmente fantástico o conceito desse filme, tudo se encaixa tão bem e tudo de forma tão bem explicada e inteligente.
October 11, 2015
This is something slightly shy of an acid trip through a man's subconscious, trying to understand life and what it means to be human. Beautifully animated with delightfully nonsensical plot progression, Waking Life is an innovative and artistic social commentary, and is my favorite movie of all time.
October 6, 2015
Best film of its era, to be certain. Even better when ranked amongst its "kind" of film: nonlinear, rotoscoped/animated, no convention to anything except that each person presents a new color in the personality spectrum, etc. When I put this film up against others' scores, like the all-too-overrated "I Heart Huckabees", it stands out as a postmodern art piece. Whether it's the neoclassical styling in the music or the generation X flunky talk, the tone is present and carries the viewer the entire way thru (if they're able to hold on that entire time, they will have brushed topics like Quanta and free will, violence in the system/violence in the individual, "freedom" (and the extent of which one goes to attain their perception of it), and even other film.

Linklater does what maybe only Linklater can do: present impossible topics to film in an entertaining and emotional way so as to better communicate--key to survival for our species, at least--what is truly means to be human. Oh, and alive, because this film follows a dead guy.
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2015
It's alright, and it deserves credit for being unique and inventive, as well as being well-acted. So it gets credit for being bold. However, almost none of the pseudo-philosophical 'insights' amount to anything more than overcomplicated brain farts.
August 29, 2015
Este va a ser el tipo de peliculas que me van a mantener despierto toda la noche
½ June 1, 2015
Take "Before Sunset," subtract love story, convert all conversation topics to existentialism, spread conversations between hundreds of characters in minute-long vignettes, add trippy animation, and voila: You have "Waking Life"! You can definitely tell that this is a Richard Linklater film from its conversational style. Rather than being tied together by a plot or a small group of characters, the film is tied together by the existential conversations of its hundred unnamed characters. As a result it feels too disjointed for my taste. This film requires a lot of focus in order to wrap your mind around its high-brow philosophical concepts, especially since there is basically no reprieve from the constant flow of ideas. The conversations will truly challenge your mind, but it's a lot to digest during a 100-minute movie. The film is immediately recognizable from its surreal rotoscoping animation technique. There is truly no other movie that looks like this one. While the visual appeal is a strong point of the movie, there are definitely points where the film would work better as a book on tape so that you could focus on the concepts without being distracted by the images. With so many surreal philosophical concepts, "Waking Life" makes it difficult to be sure about anything... lest one thing: This movie is entirely unlike any other that you will ever see.
May 29, 2015
Prepare to check your mind in at the door, make sure it's healthy and clear, and prepare to have it implode on you. Waking Life is the most philosophically engaging film of all-time. It meanders through time and space, and reality and dreams. It questions everything, and I mean, everything. Life, Death, Freewill, Recorded History, Society, Politics, Behaviors.. you name it, Linklater covers it all in a span of 90 minutes. There's so much here, it's just too much to take in. It demands patience, intelligence and repeated viewings. Unfortunately, I think this will only be a one time experience for me. This film is astounding and absorbing in many of its parts, but it asks a lot of your mind to take. I think it was a great decision to animate this in vivid rotoscope, because without it, many audiences would get restless and annoyed. I really admire Linklater as a director, for challenging the way we watch movies, and the way we think about ourselves and others. I'd love to just chill with him one day, and see how well he could pick my brain. He's a genius. I think he understands the world, and humanity, more than I ever will.
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