Waking Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waking Life Reviews

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½ January 7, 2017
Richark Linklater must be fond of elongated mind-bombarding conversations.
It seems to me that he creates the characters he would like to actually meet in life (instead of the ones he actually meets; even a therapist if he goes to one) and holds the conversations he wishes he can hold in real life with them in movies! Completely mind blowing!!

Can you imagine holding up a conversation with someone for almost 2 hours; non-stop? no way, you'd get bored, sleepy, hungry, or any other human need would emerge, regardless of how close this person is or how harmonized you two are. Well, Mr. Linklater puts you in that situation, and you don't feel bored, nor do you feel anything but drowning in "his" conversations. Actually, at some points, you'd want them to go on forever; don't ask me why or how!

Producing this movie as an animation is a brilliant take on the idea. You are in the dream, swerving with it, feeling out of breath while not actually moving or exerting any efforts.

The idea itself, while it may make you feel nervous or give you the feeling of being trapped (intentionally i believe!) is a total mind f**k. Especially the conversation the main character has near the end of the movie. Tell me that this didn't get your jaw to drop, and kept exploding with probabilities in your head long after the movie was over!

The soundtrack is brilliant as well. Great job Glover Gill.

This movie will do things to your mind, but it surely is worth every second spent with it.
½ January 4, 2017
The number of layers to this film may be infinite, or it may be zero. For those of us that think the former, it's intellectual catnip, and gives our lonely minds a friend and teacher in dealing with the troubles of life and death
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2016
Despite my intense enjoyment of most of Linklater's filmography, I've never found this one all that appealing. I definitely respect it (the animation work is stunning) but the often half baked philosophizing doesn't really hold the movie together.
½ December 4, 2016
Great movie. Admittedly, I didn't know how talkative this was going to be before watching it, so it took me back a bit, but I was still happily surprised by how inventive this was. The super non-linear storytelling paved the way for an intelligent screenplay full of insight into philosophy and was supported by some of the stylish, most breathtaking direction and art styles, making this one of the smartest philosophical lessons ever told on screen.
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.
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