Waking Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waking Life Reviews

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½ September 12, 2017
A series of stunningly provocative philosophical conversations that benefits greatly from it's surreal art stylings. The only faults are when the two clash, vying for the viewers attention.
September 5, 2017
Riveting, thought-provoking, distinctive visuals and animation, and such smart writing and dialogue from Linklater. Its sort of like his first classic film, Slacker, but probably a lot deeper in meaning and even emotion, and a lot more cerebral. This is a great movie. One of my favorites from Richard Linklater. Watch It!
July 4, 2017
While the animated method is impressive as well expressive, it would take two viewings at least to fully grasp some of the assortment of delivered philosophies being discussed in various relatable situations that viewers can take in and understand by memory after those few viewings, if they don't get lost in translation still. (B+)

(Full review TBD)
April 21, 2017
Brilliantly animated and smartly written, Waking Life is a deeply underrated masterpiece from writer-director Richard Linklater.
March 17, 2017
Could watch that guy and gal in bed for a whole trilogy. Some interesting philosophy, but it didn't say anything super new. The lucid dreaming element was certainly new, but dreams within dreams has certainly been captured on films many times, as this acknowledged. While the visuals were impressive, it's hard for me to say they were altogether beautiful.
½ February 20, 2017
The wife and I finally got around to checking out this animated film, whcih had always eluded me up to this point, and I have to say that for a roto-scoped version of something like the director's previous effort Slacker, I didn't mind it at all. Now, having said that, it never fully sold me that same way that Slacker did, and I found some of the tangents a bit off the wall and less interesting than others, but it's still a very interesting experiment and worth a look.

½ January 28, 2017
Pretentious, but self-aware about it. The loosely-connected, vignette-esque nature of the film is incredibly thought-provoking for someone who thinks as disjointedly and randomly as I do. Plus, look, philosophy okay?
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.
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