MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 187 this week

Awakenings (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  11 January 1991 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 80,944 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 166 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 39 titles
created 14 Jan 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 16 Jan 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 29 May 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 21 Sep 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 29 Dec 2013
 

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
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
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
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
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 6.5/10 X  

David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on... See full summary »

Director: Irwin Winkler
Stars: Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, George Wendt
Backdraft (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro
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
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
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

The rock that De Niro is standing on in the water is named Killy Rock. It is located in Edgewater Park, a small waterfront community in The Bronx. See more »

Goofs

When Dr Sayer first arrives at the facility he remembers to retrieve his paperwork from the car. Then he locks the door, but leaves the keys in the lock. Next he places his hand in his pocket as if pocketing the keys. See more »

Quotes

Dr Malcolm Sayer: What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten - the simplest things.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Animaniacs: Video Review/When Mice Ruled the Earth (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Shanghai Shuffle
Written by Gene Rodemich (as G. Rodemich) and Larry Conley (as L. Conley)
Performed by Fletcher Henderson
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Fascinating and Moving Story
18 February 2005 | by (Atlanta) – See all my reviews

Awakenings is the most emotionally moving film I have ever seen. It delves deeply into one of the worst human fears, losing the ability to move and function, but it's never forced or manipulative, and there's no heavy-handed message or moral. It's just a fascinating story that's beautifully told.

The acting is as good as you will ever see. Robert DeNiro deftly handles all the emotional and physical challenges of his role, and Robin Williams demonstrates convincingly that he is an actor, not just a comedian. Williams is perhaps a bit too nerdy at first, but he captures perfectly all the hope, fear, exhilaration, and anguish that a doctor in that situation must be experiencing. Awakenings is based on actual people and events, and, to me at least, real events are always more powerful than even the best fiction.

Awakenings had big-name talent and Oscar nominations, but I don't think it ever had a big box office or became a popular video rental. That's a shame. I like escapist fare as much as the next guy, but once in a while, everyone should see a movie that you will remember and think about for a very long time. Awakenings deserves to be at the top of your list of movies to see.


124 of 130 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:
?