MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,445 this week

Awakenings (1990)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 80,249 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 164 user | 27 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Oliver Sacks M.D.) , (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 08 Jan 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 25 Apr 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
!
a list of 47 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Awakenings" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Awakenings (1990)

Awakenings (1990) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Awakenings.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the 1970s, a medical student treats patients, illegally, using humor.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to discover their love for poetry and seize the day.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After dying in a car crash a man searches the afterlife for his wife.

Director: Vincent Ward
Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two escaped cons only prayer to escape is to pass themselves off as priests and pass by the police blockade at the border into the safety of Canada.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Demi Moore
Midnight Run (1988)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the FBI, and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.

Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
Jack (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Because of an unusual aging disorder that has aged him four times faster than a normal human being, a boy enters the fifth grade for the first time with the appearance of a 40 year old man.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Brian Kerwin
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruth Nelson ...
...
...
Paula
...
Lucy
...
Rose
Barton Heyman ...
Bert
George Martin ...
...
Miriam
...
Sidney
Laura Esterman ...
Lolly
Dexter Gordon ...
Rolando
Jayne Haynes ...
Frances
Edit

Storyline

A new doctor finds himself with a ward full of catatonic patients. He is disturbed by them and the fact that they have been catatonic for decades with no hope of any cure. When he finds a possible chemical cure he gets permission to try it on one of them. When the first patient awakes, he is now an adult having gone into a catatonic state in his early teens. The film then delights in the new awareness of the patients and then on the reactions of their relatives to the changes in the newly awakened. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no such thing as a simple miracle.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertares  »

Box Office

Gross:

$52,096,475 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robin Williams and Robert De Niro were both with John Belushi the night before he fatally overdosed at the Chateau Marmont. Penny Marshall was also going to direct The Joy of Sex, that was going to be Belushi's next starring vehicle. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Sayer takes Leonard out into the city for the first time, they see (among other things) an aircraft landing - a Boeing 747. The movie takes place in 1969 and the first revenue flight of the Boeing 747 was January 21st, 1970. Additionally, the 747 is in El Al livery that was used around 1990. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sayer: You'd think at a certain point all these atypical somethings would amount to a typical something.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Pioneers of Television: Robin Williams Remembered (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing, Sing, Sing
Written by Louis Prima
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
What An Incredible Story!!
20 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here's a good example of how you can still make a great modern-day movie without profanity, violence or sex.

This is an amazing story, based on fact, about about a doctor who makes great progress fighting an illness that heretofore was considered incurable. These were patients in catatonic states, and the good doctor uses an experimental drug to snap these people back to reality and to a normal life as they once had. The patients, and how they react, both before and after the medications, is really fascinating.

Robert De Niro is outstanding as one of the patients, but that's not a surprise knowing all the fine acting performances he's done over the years. Robin Williams, relatively new to dramatic acting when this came out, was also excellent in a very low-key role. Penelope Ann Miller is extremely sweet and appealing. I wish both she and Williams would do more roles like that.

With multiple viewings, I came to appreciate the minor characters in here a lot more, such as De Niro's mother, played by Ruth Nelson, whom I fondly remember in the 1945 film "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn." What a treat is was to see her again and this was just two years before she died. Also, Alice Drummund as the patient known as "Lucy" was notable.

Language-wise, i's almost stunning to watch a movie which has De Niro, Williams, Miller and John Heard and not hear one profane word uttered! (The film isn't perfect, however, as some idiot decided to insert one f-word, and in a totally unnecessary circumstance.)

This is a memorable story and one I guarantee you won't forget because the subject matter is so different.


67 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The scene that just broke my heart... ssweet6
extremely underrated zzazzah
Vin Diesel techiebelle
Ben Stiller dsheatley
Randy Newman's music peter.gwen1
Why Actor instead of Supporting Actor? TommyFilmProductions
Discuss Awakenings (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?