Awake (2007) Poster


User Reviews

Add a Review
200 Reviews
Sort by:
A good little thriller
moviesleuth22 May 2008
Some of the hardest reviews to write are the ones where you don't know what to say. "Awake" is one of them. Let me just start with the basics. Do I recommend it? Yes. Is it GOOD? That's what's hard to say about this movie. Some parts of "Awake" are good, but some are merely okay.

Like many thrillers, telling much about the plot defeats the purpose of seeing the movie. However, I will tell as much as I can.

The story goes like this. A rich young man named Clay (Hayden Christensen) goes into the hospital for a heart transplant, and he suffers from anesthetic awareness (meaning he can feel and hear everything, but can't do anything about it). This is key because what he hears changes everything.

That's about all I can say. "Awake" is an entertaining little thriller, and Jody Harold certainly has potential as a writer/director. His low-key handling of the film makes for an interesting, almost dreamy approach, but I don't know if it works like it's supposed to, because I have a feeling that it decreases the amount of suspense that the material warrants. That said, the unusual tone makes up for this deficiency.

The acting is solid too. Hayden Christensen became famous for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in the second and third "Star Wars" episodes. His first outing wasn't great, and called into question his acting ability. However, his second round with the light saber was terrific, and his performance here shows that "Episode 2" was more likely to be an anomaly than the norm when it comes to his acting ability. His co-star Jessica Alba isn't as good, but it proves that she has more acting ability than many people give her credit for (her reputation for being a tabloid sensation and the limited acting options that result from it are probably to blame). Terrence Howard is solid, but he isn't given much to work with. Same goes for Lena Olin.

Personally, I think it sucks when you like a movie but a lot of that feeling disappears when someone points out something that causes that to decrease. Such a thing happened with me and reading a review after watching "Awake," but I won't say it because it's still a good movie to see.

So, is "Awake" a good movie, or just a movie with enough good points to warrant a viewing? I'd say it's somewhere in between, leaning more towards good.
60 out of 78 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Why only 6.4? I was so entertained!
krisvenema11 January 2008
I did not read reviews till after I saw this, and I am appalled. To each his own, but I felt as if I had held my breath the whole movie. And what a great ending to make you feel you so got your moneys worth. And how enchanting was Jessica? Adorable and virtually perfect in the role. Such a great ride. One of the best movies I have seen in the past year.

Also, it seems many feel the length of the movie is too short, but who says 2 hours is required? My stress level was so high throughout, and everyone in the theater kept laughing at parts, not because it was funny, but as a defense mechanism from the aforementioned stress. Perfect acting? Maybe not, but it was certainly very good... in my humble opinion. I can tell you to go see it, but no order needed to enjoy it... that part comes easily, without force. Cheers.
154 out of 220 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Mother's Heart
Claudio Carvalho14 September 2008
The twenty-two year old Clay Beresford (Hayden Christensen) is a genius of finance secretly in love of his mother's secretary Sam Lockwood (Jessica Alba). Clay has a complex, expecting recognition from his mother Lilith Beresford (Lena Olin) that he is as capable as his father was, and he needs heart transplantation. When Clay finds a donor compatible with his rare blood, he requests his friend Dr. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard) to operate him under the protest of his mother that wants the famous Dr. Jonathan Neyer (Arliss Howard) responsible for the procedure. On the eve of his heart surgery, Clay marries Sam and during the surgery, he experiences an "anesthetic awareness" that leaves his conscious but paralyzed. Clay witnesses the dialogs in the room and discovers dark secrets about his surgery.

"Awake' has a simple but effective story about a wealthy young man that needs to be submitted to heart transplantation and experiences an anesthetic awareness discovering that things are not like he believes they are. The cast is excellent, leaded by the still gorgeous Lena Olin, Terrence Howard, Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen. The plot point was a great surprise for me and I really like this original movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Awake: A Vida Por um Fio" ("Awake: Life in the Edge")
30 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hitchcock lite, but not bad
sackjigler1 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It's a shame that this movie has gotten very little publicity and probably will tank at the box office, because if you go into this with an open mind and not trying to figure out every little twist and turn, you,ve got yourself a very nice little thriller on your hands. The cast ill admit are not all top notch in the acting field, but believe it or not, work rather well. Terrence Howard is always good, Jessica Alba actually turns in a very decent performance, and Hayden Christensen is Annakin Skywalker as a billionaire. The movie is short and yet still does a pretty good job developing the characters. There are several twists and turns in this film; some easy to see coming, others surprising, and some not necessary. But you should appreciate the attempt whether or not you saw it coming. The story goes that Hayden is a billionaire who buys and sells companies and also continues to assure people work in the city. He has a heart attack at a young age so must be placed on the list for a donor heart. His father died when he was young and he now takes care of his mother who does not want to let him go. He has been dating Alba for a year and still has not told his mother for fear she will not approve. Skip some things to not give away too much plot details and they find him a donor heart. Once in surgery, they put him under for the transplant yet he can hear everything and feel everything that is happening to him while the surgery is going on. That is all I can give away. Please check this out if you can, it is a good thriller and deserves a look. Im sure some will be disappointed, but most should go into this and come out with a smile on their face.
60 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Unexpected "Awake"
Jon Ochiai2 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Awake" makes it crystal clear from the very beginning that 1 out of 300 people under anesthesia remains awake during surgery—an unfathomable outcome. Hayden Christensen plays Clay Beresford, who discovers that he is awake during heart transplant surgery. Having an out of body experience he screams, "I am so f---ed!" However, Clay's conscious state is the least of his ensuing tragedy. In director and writer Joby Harold's unexpected "Awake", all is not at all what it seems in a surprising tale of love and betrayal. Hayden Christensen and Lena Olin are awesome and electrifying as they elevate "Awake". Christensen proves that he was victim of the script writing in the "Star Wars Episode" movies. He is electrifying in "Awake". Lena Olin, who plays Clay's mother Lilith, is amazing as she reveals her character's power. There is such grace and poignancy when her Lilith confesses to her son, "I am so proud of the man, you have become…" Jessica Alba struggles here as Clay's wife—his Mother is unaware of their relationship and marriage. As Sam, Alba plays a key pivotal role; however, does not yet possess the dramatic gravitas or depth to carry this off. Terrance Howard is strong as Clay's surgeon, but his performance is flawed in its emotional ambiguity. For the most part these failings do not distract, only because of the power of Christensen and Olin. Even with some of the narrative shortcomings, I really applaud "Awake" for its story of love everlasting and acknowledging the greatness in others before it is too late.

Hayden Christensen is Clay Beresford. He is a young, brilliant and wealthy New York philanthropist. As successful as Clay has become, he still thinks he pales in comparison to his late business mogul father Clay Sr. Clay's beautiful and protective mother Lilith relentlessly pushes her son toward greatness. We discover in a Japanese business conversation that Clay's heart is literally failing—he is a transplant candidate. Much to his mother's chagrin instead of choosing her world class heart surgeon friend Dr. Neyer (Arliss Howard), Clays has chosen his dear friend Dr. Jack Harper (compassionate Terrance Howard) for the critical procedure. Clay is loyal to Jack, who first saved him from a heart attack. Unbeknownst to Lilith, Clay is in relationship with Sam (Alba) and wishes to marry her which would inevitably enrage his mother. The melodrama eventually arrives at its tipping point: Clay goes under the knife to receive his new heart. Remaining awake under anesthesia turns out to be the least of his worries. Here director and writer Joby imaginatively crafts his story and our consciousness.

At less than an hour and 20 minutes, the narrative is riveting with pathos and convolution, before arriving at its affirming conclusion. Christensen is absolutely amazing. He displays a tangible humanity and disguises a quiet force and power. Lena Olin is phenomenal. She is rock solid as the "Awake" emotional anchor. Her dramatic turn is beguiling and touching. With the graphic open heart surgery sequences, "Awake" may not be for everyone. Keep in mind that "Awake" is more than just its medical scenario. "Awake" is a moving story of love and greatness, well worth a watch.
98 out of 142 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Caught a preview screening of this tonight and I'm awfully excited about it
Hugh Crain27 September 2006
I'm not going to put any spoilers in this review, but this is certainly a movie with some great twists and turns. I haven't been this excited about an upcoming release since The Sixth Sense or Memento. Hard to believe this is the director's first feature (although it's possible he cut his teeth in the commercial or music video world... I'm not sure) I mean, certainly the film has a few problems, some of the moments didn't ring exactly true to me and the music was a touch maudlin at times. But when this film gets it right, it gets it really right. I was on the edge of my seat from the second act on. It's the first film I've seen in awhile that manages to balance a genuine emotionality with a strong thriller aspect. Even Hayden Christensen, who I think we all had our doubts about after Episodes I-III, puts in a memorable and affecting performance. Definitely a film to see and a director I'll be keeping my eye on.
194 out of 293 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A crafty little thriller
Kristine29 May 2008
Thanks to what was the craziness of how hot hot hot Jessica Alba was this past year, a lot of people, including me, really didn't wanna see a movie with her. Yes, she's beautiful, but can she act? The eternal question where I finally saw something, Awake, she actually did a decent job. I rented Awake the other day and watched it, this was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I have to say, this was a first, I really did not see that conclusion coming. It was awesome to see a movie that had a clever script, was it realistic? I wouldn't necessarily agree, the movie and story does have it's flaws here and there, but if you let them slide, it's a fun little thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Clay has everything: money, a loving mom, a company of his own, a world in his hands, and a beautiful woman, Sam. But unfortunately, his heart isn't so lucky, so much so that he needs a transplant, and his trusted friend Jack Harper is going to do the transfer for him. But his mom is begging him to re-consider and have another surgeon do the operation, but Clay says she just has to trust his instincts, which may be the biggest mistake he can make.

Awake is a pretty cool movie, the actors, some things are over done, but it's a thriller, it's supposed to keep you scared and tense, so I am willing to over look the non-existence of reality, I think this movie meant to be that way. I also just hate to say it, Jessica Alba is decent in the movie and covers herself well in her role as Sam. But the top performance of the film was without a doubt from Howard, he was so convincing and almost made you feel bad for him, well, I don't want to give too much away, you'll just have to see what I mean. But I do recommend Awake, it's a good movie, I'm impressed.

25 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Old Fashioned Entertainment: Awesome!
bpl90831 December 2007
I keep thinking about this movie. There are all these "awards" movies out there, and some of them (think JUNO) are really great, but others are just pedigree films that we "should" see but we don't actually really want to see or enjoy seeing. Then there is AWAKE. This is a movie with a capital M. This is a movie where you just have a roller coaster great time. Leave your inner critic at home and just sit back and enjoy the riveting entertainment. It has amazing twists that even the lame critics who said "they didn't like this film", sheepishly admit was incredibly well done. I did notice that Roger Ebert didn't follow the crowd and said it was great. Because it is. Awesome.
80 out of 122 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This movie will definitely keep you awake
nicolovvassil27 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Hey,that wasn't bad at all!!Very good story, excellent crime movie plot, unexpected turnings: this film has all that a film needs in order to be entertaining.And of course a great ending, that is may be 70% of why one should watch the film.Don't read any reviews with spoilers!It woudn't make sense seeing the film after wards.It would be like watching "The sixth sense" and knowing from the beginning that Bruce Willis is dead.The best acting in the film came from Lena Olin (mom Beresford).The rest of the cast was average but the plot makes you ignore that.If you come across that one, see it!Seven stars because its still mid-quality Hollywood.
27 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Laughably horrible plot
sawyerheights19 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What follows are 16 examples of absurd plot points: (1) The film immediately makes a big deal about the family conglomerate's potential merger with a mob-connected Japanese company, receiving world wide notoriety, but then this point is completely abandoned. (2) Hayden, the young heir to a gigantic business fortune, is only 22. Too young for an MBA, and probably just out of college. Yet, he's got a major role running a huge company and making deals himself. (3) Hayden's heart is so bad that he learns his new heart is ready, just before he's going to have honeymoon sex with Alba. Up to that point, except for one wheezing incident on some steps, Hayden sprightly bounds about, looks 22 and rigorous, and even looks great on the gurney going into the ER. Don't transplant candidates have a hard time breathing, much less walking, and much less contemplating sex? (4) Hayden's Mom is very beautiful but looks the 50-52 years of age this website says she was when filmed (born in '55). Yet, a big deal is made about her having Haden extremely young; so young they're more like friends than son and mother. An actress about 40 should have been cast. (5) The evil transplant team consists of just 3 surgeons (is the Australian actress a doctor or a nurse?), and a drunk anesthesiologist. Don't transplant teams have upwards of 10 professionals in the OR? (6) No hospital staff ever enters or checks on the OR during what is supposed to be a long transplant procedure. Where are the other staff and patients at this hospital? The hallways are deserted, except during "second Hayden's" wanderings. Mom and Hayden's new evil bride sit alone for most of the time in the hospital's waiting room. (7) Hayden's announced goal for his conglomerate is to create more jobs, as he proudly proclaims to Mom following that week's new acquisition. What rich entrepreneur ever wanted to create more jobs (i.e., more overhead)? (8) The evil transplant surgeon is being sued in 4 malpractice suits yet the hospital continues to allow him to freely operate, even on a 22-year-old Billionaire. (9) As seen in a photo on the evil surgeon's office wall, evil Alba looks exactly like she did when she recently worked at that very hospital as a nurse, but amazingly no one except maybe one doctor remotely recognizes her even though she spends hour after hour sitting in a public space in the waiting room. (10) Success for the evil conspiracy hinges on the completely far-fetched scheme of convincing Hayden to use this much-sued surgeon, Alba somehow getting a job as Mom's secretary, and Alba marrying Hayden before the new heart is ready, so that the evil surgeon can kill him on the OR table; yet they have no control over when a new heart will be available. (11) The decision to marry Alba, marrying her, and receiving the notice of of the availability of the new heart all took place within a matter of hours; way too short a time for Hayden to change his will (not mentioned one way or another) prior to her marrying him, so for all she knows he's going to leave his fortune to the American Cat Society. (12) Mom makes a call to her friend the world's best heart surgeon just before killing herself so he can put her heart in Hayden. No indication whether anybody bothered to check if she'd be a suitable donor. (13) As his new wife, evil Jessica would have had power of consent to take him off life support after the new heart failed, but the movie gave that power to Mom, and Jessica never objects. (14) The world's best heart surgeon somehow responds, with his team, about 5 minutes after receiving the call from now-dead Mom. His team is just about as tiny as the evil team, but at least there's a nurse. This puny team by itself manages to prep dead Mom, remove her heart and plop it into Hayden in record time. No wonder he's the world's best! (15) The world's best heart surgeon immediately figures out that the new heart failed because the evil surgeon injected it with poison, when there are probably 10,000 better and more obvious reasons. (16) The drunk anesthesiologist figures out the conspiracy despite never asking a question and not being present for much of the procedure, and calls the police. Maybe the world's best heart surgeon also provided the police details he got from Mom. Unclear. Whatever, even before Hayden is out of the OR with his new-new heart, the police have all the facts and assemble a big team to arrest everyone at the hospital. (17) Sorry, I just don't have the courage to address the ridiculous "second Hayden" and his many conversations with both alive and dead Mom.
18 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not the worst, not the best
blackcat3243 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It seems that the comments have been one extreme or the other - people have either loved it or hated it. I'm right in the middle. I'm glad I saw it, I don't want my money back. But I won't add it to my DVD collection, either, though I admit, it's mostly the genre.

The major problem for me in this movie was the script. I kind of felt like it was a waste for Lena Olin and Terrance Howard. Believe it or not, Hayden underplaying it worked. I just wish he'd get more consistent. He was brilliant in "Shattered Glass" and "Life As a House," but flat in the Star Wars movies. This performance was in between. While his voice can be somewhat monotone, his facial expressions continue to knock me out.

Who surprised me was the much maligned Jessica Alba. I've never seen her in anything, so I was expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised. Though she could have upped the ante a little bit at the end, she did infinitely better than I thought. And no one does the human weasel like Fisher Stevens! There were some macabrely funny moments and some nice twists. The problem is the plot also had one twist too many. I thought the final twist with Clay's father was totally unnecessary.

The movie might not be for the squeamish. I had to look away more than a few times and half way through the movie I realized I had put my hand over my heart in several scenes. I have to say in that sense, it worked.

I know this movie has caught some slack for medical inaccuracies. I'm usually a stickler for accuracy, but really, are people going to see this movie to learn how to be a surgeon or to get the crap scared out of them? I say if it's the later, it works!
47 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
mattkratz10 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This was a thoroughly watchable and exciting medical thriller about a man who goes in for a heart transplant operation. The problem is, they don't use enough gas to knock him out completely, and as a result he remains fully alert during the operation but unable to talk or move. He then learns that the people involved are planning to kill him. He has an out-of-body-experience and learns more. You will need to listen closely to the conversation to pick up clues. You will also be truly surprised as the movie progresses. It reminded me a bit of an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode where a drug dealer is involved in a car accident and left completely paralyzed-but alive and in a similar situation. I really recommend this film and was very glad I finally got around to watching it in the theatre.

*** out of ****
57 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
You can't be serious
hoju_3125 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw this movie last night and, being someone who had very low expectations to begin with, was still disappointed. The most glaring error in this abomination of a movie is that the main plot point (the guy being awake during the surgery), had NOTHING to do with the outcome. It would have ended the same way regardless. So, what was the point of this? Who knows. Also, this surgeon had 4 malpractice suits against him and he didn't think people would ask questions if a patient died on his table? Give me a break. Jessica Alba is completely talentless and Christiansen is almost as bad. The whole thing was just laughable from start to finish. I'm fairly certain that if you could feel someone cutting through your chest with a scalpel, you would be in more pain than that.
26 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ludicrous movie with plot holes you could drive a monster truck through .....
ayora_195 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is the most ludicrous and laughable thriller I've ever seen. Oh....where to start....

Plot (what little there is): Clayton Beresford Jr. (Hayden Christensen), a young billionaire, with a bad heart is desperately in need of a transplant. Clay has been secretly engaged to his mother's PA, Samantha, played by Jessica Alba. On the night that these two secretly get married, it just so happens that a heart donor with the same rare blood type is found. Go and figure the odds of that one! Once on the operating table, Clay finds out the anesthesia isn't working, and he can feel everything and hear everything.

Fortunately Clay seems to be able to filter out the pain of a razor sharp scalpel cutting open his chest by simply concentrating on his memories of Samantha, which we are told he's doing through an annoying voice-over which never seems to stop.

If you didn't burst out in laughter yet, you will surely start to when you see the surgical scenes.

How could a young billionaire agree to have a heart transplant performed by one surgeon, one nurse, an attending physician and an drunk anesthesiologist? There were more people in the room when my wisdom tooth was getting pulled. Not to mention the medical behavior, which is too preposterous to be taken seriously...the operating room isn't even kept sterile...people are practically able to just walk in and out of the room without even having washed up... During the operation the viewer gets to hear Clay's thoughts, none of which are too fascinating. Ah...but here's what it's all about ...the doctors are trying to kill him in order to take his money. Believing him to be unconscious, the villains speak freely. Gosh! What will happen?

Well... at least there's no interference from anyone else in the hospital, while an incompetent doctor who's got four malpractice lawsuits running against him is performing major heart surgery. Not even Clay's overprotective mother seems to be able to check on his status. The only one interested in keeping updated is Samantha...but oh no...could sweet Sam be in on it....You'll quickly find out through some Scooby Doo dialog...

In the end, it wouldn't even matter whether or not Clay underwent anesthesia awareness, because the end would have turned out the same way in both cases.

If you can ignore the feeling that the director/writer is trying to make fun of the patients who fell victim to anesthesia awareness, maybe there's some dumb fun to be had...

31 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Thougthful plot
madi1232 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The plot of this movie is interesting and tense. Besides terrifying surgery scenes and innocent love of two young people, this movie brings unexpected turn of the story. Guys might go to see this movie because of hot Jessica Alba. But be aware, you might be disappointed, she is not that nice girl anymore.

In general, this movie make you thing about the real nature of beauty, when being rich is dangerous, and mother's true love can indeed do miracles.

The play of actors was great. Cristensen,Howard, and Olin were very natural.
37 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent premise, bad film.
Panterken17 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I hadn't seen a trailer or heard anything about 'Awake' (surely a talented writer must be able to come up with a better title), so I didn't know what to expect. Luckily I didn't read the tag line, as it spoils one of the major plot twists. If I'd known 'the big twist' beforehand I would've enjoyed this movie even less.

The main problems with the movie (the ones that irritated me the most) were the following: 1) The story was a total rip-off of a Stephen King short story, which was based on a TV-show episode from Alfred Hitchcock. Both were better than this movie by the way. And neither of them is credited.

2) The fact that he woke up during the surgery and could feel pain during the procedure has nothing to do with the outcome of the story at all. The writers just thought it was a cool plot device and it is...but it isn't used efficiently at all. What does it matter if he feels the procedure, even if he didn't, he still would've been killed if the doctor's plan would've been successful.

3) The acting is - and I can say this is objective - terrible. I liked Christensen's performance in 'Shattered Glass' and hoped he would be on the way up but he's sunk lower than ever. Jessica Alba adds another crappy performance to her long list (she almost managed to ruin Sin City for me, even though she was smoking hot). When she was trying to be evil I'm surprised she didn't just lower one brow, anything would've seemed more evil than her 'demonesque' performance (lol). Terrence Howard is okay, but not an A-list actor at all in my book. He delivers his line in a strange way, I can not quite put my finger on it but his way of acting too is strange.

4) The tag line on itself is worth mentioning because it's without a doubt one of the most poorly written ever. Every year, one in 700 people wakes up during surgery. When they planned her husband's murder, they never thought he'd be the one.

first of all: the 'every year' is pointless. Secondly, the statistic is complete exaggeration, and the ones who do 'wake up' almost never feel any pain, the just hear the surgeons but are still completely under anesthetic. It's pretty horrible if it does actually happen, but to make the audience think one in 700 is correct is just criminal. And last but not least...why reveal one of the main (pretty good) plot twists in the tag line. The twist was introduced early on in THE THIRD ACT. That's not something to put in (a normally relatively spoiler-free) tag line.

5) Why did Alba's character try to kill Hayden? She was his wife, so she'd get the money anyway (at least half if she got a divorce). And why did the other doctors need to do it? Cardiologist is one of the best paying jobs ever (not as much as top managers or so but still...VERY high-paying). The reason they give - malpractice lawsuits- was not very convincing at all to me.

6) The way they used the double entendres was clever (one of the best things in the script) but why show it all again in flashback. That's just so old-fashioned and just plain annoying. I guess they didn't quite have all the footage for their very long movie (not even 90 minutes).

7) I thought the way they pictured Death was quite comforting and nice but when he talks with his mother in the afterlife I almost shouted out in anger. Apparently it's really that hard to avoid clichés and terrible emotional scenes. Did not feel anything for those characters at all.

Now, what are the good points? Well, I liked the way they started the awareness during surgery scene. The movie premise was okay and for me the movie was very promising in the first act (despite some cliché scenes). Then the movie develops into a very mediocre psychological drama. The fact that they took someone else's good idea and managed to ruin it with bad writing, is why this movie deserves nothing more than a 5. It's not that bad, I mean...some scenes are okay (qua thrill-level) but this movie could and should have been a lot better.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
such a good movie
Cass L12 December 2006
I saw this movie a few days ago at an advanced screening and all I can say is that it was really one of the best movies I have ever seen. The story is completely brilliant and original, the acting was perfect and everything was just right on target. Its hard to say much more about the story than is given in the above summary without giving away key twists, but it might sound a little boring, being about a heart transplant and the wife's reaction, but trust me this movie is so far from boring, even in the very beginning which is where a lot of thriller/suspense movies are lacking. This really is an excellent movie and is totally worth it.
176 out of 336 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Interesting concept, bad execution
nefertari862 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
From the beginning this movie did have a few flaws. The main character played by Hayden Christensen is a the rich young mogul who has inherited his father's considerable wealth and power, and he is struggling to both fill his father's shoes and cut the apron strings mother (and co-executive) keeps too tight. He also has the problem of having a heart condition and waiting in the limbo that is the organ donor registry. There are also minor back stories which your first instinct is to mostly ignore that become important later, such as his friendship with his surgeon (Terrence Howard) and his romance with a middle class girl (Jessica Alba). Uncreative story lines, but not bad enough to ruin the movie. The only real "oy vey!" moment was the name of Lena Olin's character. Overbearing woman named Lilith...subtle!

The surgical scenes are not at all censored. I appreciated that, people who find surgery scenes scary might not. The horror of being awake during anesthesia was done well at first. You watch in emotional agony as Christensen screams inwardly through the chest incision and the rib spreader. The moment of irony from the trailers then comes where while he is one of the unlucky few to be awake during anesthesia, he is also luck in that it helps him learn that his surgical team is planning to murder him.

The big twist, however, is very predictable and sends the film delving into the conspiracy and his memories of the little signs which were there but he, like us, initially missed.

There are two more twists at the end involving his relationship with his mother. One is an impressive gesture by Olin, which comes of as unimpressive due to poor writing. The other is a secret about the family's past which seemed very tacked on and pointless.

The initially well done anesthesia awareness drama gets lost in the poorly written conspiracy drama. There is a one final attempt to bring it back which falls flat, taking the entire movie with it.
22 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the worst movies i've ever seen!
Moritz Wagner14 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was very surprised to see that this movie had such a good rating, when i checked it on IMDb after seeing it. This really is one of the worst movies i have ever seen and i have seen many bad movies. It looks like a good movie in the beginning, but when he comes into surgery i couldn't believe how bad it got. This voice-over destroys EVERYTHING! Just imagine you are being cut open like that and then listen to what he says. I saw the movie in German so i don't really know what he said in English, but ironic stuff like "Yeah right, it doesn't hurt.."?...what is this? Telling yourself "think about something else" and then forgetting your pain by just thinking about your girlfriend is just...stupid. And his the hell does she figure something like that out? Someone comes to tell her, her son died in surgery (what she kind of had to expect). Plus she found some letters in Jessica Albas bag. plus that "she knows the hospital" stuff... and then it takes her "one second" to figure it out? What the hell?^^ And the ending...why does the police bust them? The patient died in surgery, thats all that happened. That drunk doctor doesn't know anything else either...and then they bust them all, even the girlfriend??? Why??? Despite all that i think Christensen did a bad job, but that doesn't really count for me...those mistakes and stupid things i wrote about above are the problem. I watched this movie with some friends and we all were VERY disappointed... As i said, one of the worst movies i have ever seen... Just don't watch it ;)
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An Atrocious Film
rodolphefleury2 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I found that film particularly irritating and painful in every way. The acting is not to bad considering the stupidity of the dialogues, but not extraordinary, some of the actors looked as bored as me watching them.

If there is suspense you still can't wait to see the end of the film because of the unnecessary relentless action, some of the scenes are redundant.

Some of the dramatic scenes are so ludicrous I found myself laughing out loud. The plot itself is very difficult to believe, the end is stupid beyond belief.

It's also a very ugly film to watch, bland, no particular style, hideous colours, boring settings and production design, and this despite the presence of the very plastic Jess Alba and Hayden C.

The only good thing about this film is now I feel absolutely terrified of going in an hospital.
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wish I was asleep...
H_Spengler11 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was wary about watching this movie ever since I found it it was "starring" Jessica Alba & Hayden Chrsitensen. Specifically more for Alba.

The anesthesia awareness takes a back seat to tepid "tension" anyway. The anesthesia problem had no bearing or effect on the ultimate outcome of the movie would have happened regardless. In fact, it's only use is to flash back to the same scenes we've already witnessed, over and over again. The writers lack the storytelling skills to be innovative on revealing a dastardly plot, and must rely on shoving the same scenes down your throat for you to pick up on "something ain't right here."

Hayden plays boy billionaire Clay Beresford Jr. Clay, also has an undiagnosed generic movie heart condition that is apparently so severe he requires a heart transplant and is on the transplant list. He actually looks pretty damn good for someone who is sick enough to need a new heart. He walks around, runs, fishes, conducts business, and even has a healthy sex life. Absent are any signs of what someone might normally expect from a heart patient, like cyanosis, fatigue, being bed ridden, edema, pale color, breathing problems (neigh for one scene that involves some slight asthma like wheezing.) Clay seems nothing like a heart patient.

I wonder, did anyone do ANY medical research? The answer is a resounding "NO" as this is just the beginning of medical inaccuracy.

Clay's surgeon (Terrance Howard, is confident about his ability to successfully transplant a new heart into him, despite the fact that the guy has 4 medical malpractice suits against him, both the hospital, and Clay are dumb enough to let him operate.

In a rapid succession of events, Clay's relationship with Samantha (Alba, who is also his mother's personal assistant)is revealed, mother disapproves, they get married, and after healthy honey moon sex (again for severe heart patient?) his beeper goes off indicating a donor heart has been found.

Once in the hospital, in a final act of childish defiance, Clay sticks to his malpractice ridden surgeon, over the top heart surgeon in the country.

The medical team assembled to transplant his heart, is atrociously laughable...first off, they have a room about the size of a broom closet, no real equipment, and there's a total of 4...yes count them....4 people conducting this delicate and life threatening surgery. (Malpratice surgeon, evil doctor, and crooked nurse.) And they're all out to kill Clay for his money neigh the Anasthesiologist who is a drunk (complete with flask) and a last minute replacement for the evil one. Turns out even Samantha is in on the kill Clay conspiracy as she is the one time nurse, and lover of the evil surgeon.

I always wondered...Clay is such good friends with this surgeon, and despite his malpractice suits, failed to notice the framed large photograph in this guys office which prominently features the evil team, complete with a scrub clad Samantha in the foreground, looking exactly the same way she does when they meet.

Throughout the surgery, the evil doctors and nurses come and go from the room, take their masks off, make phone calls, fight with each other. (the unsuspecting anesthesiologist actually leaves the room for a lengthly amount of time.) NONE of these things would be allowed by any real hospital. Even former nurse Samantha comes in at one point, completely ungloved and injects some sort of a poison into the new heart, to ensure he won't survive. Tell me, what kind of hospital would allow this apparent high traffic with a minimal medical team, a surgeon accused in 4 malpractice suits to operate on a high profile billionaire?! The plot holes are just terrible.

Somehow Clay (who is awake but paralyzed.) is able to channel the extreme pain of being cut open with a dull scalpel, having his ribs cut and chest spread apart, by thinking about Samantha....yeah...right. After being slapped with the repeat scenes you witnessed earlier in the movie, and some silly "ghost" plot involving Clay running around the hospital and his home.

The mother through an unbelievable series of events figures out the conspiracy, phones hero top surgeon, OD's on a bunch of pills, and sacrifices herself to save her son's life. Top surgeon arrives in time complete with team, takes bad heart out, transplants mother's heart in (guess it was just an assumed match, who needs to test compatibility anyhow right?) And Clay after a heart felt goodbye in ghost land with his mother, wakes up.

It's too bad the movie ended up this way, it was an interesting idea "what if someone experienced this anesthesia awareness?" But it is lazily, inaccurately, and stupidly written, with shallow characters, medical inaccuracies, and large plot holes that suspension of belief couldn't even fill. The cast (except for Olin) is terrible.

I'll give in credit in the way of I didn't see the two major twists coming, they managed to do that right. But just sloppy, and terrible overall. 2/10
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Worst movie of the year
coolsisterjames3 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, the big named actors must need the money... The surgical scenes were laughable.... and surely they must know that people who have a little knowledge of medicine would find this utterly absurd......Anesthesiologists do not leave the room during a heart transplant....nor do they do the surgery in a tiny room devoid of instruments, heart lung equipment and sterile techniques... just a joke... couldn't concentrate on the story line because of all the stupid surgery scenes... no blood, no personnel and then the hero doc coming in and taking over... it is not a film for thinking adults....Also the budget must have been limited... the street scenes were OK but who was the technical adviser....Seems like it was directed by a total idiot.. Save your money and wait until it comes out on DVD and Don't rent it..
42 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Intense and indulging
Dragoneyed3635 April 2008
When I rented Awake I had no expectations really, just another quick grab off the shelf to try my luck. However, I was quite surprised to find that I liked this cunning thriller more than your ordinary every day "waste some time" flick. I thought that the plot and scheme to the story were wonderful. Yes, there were some parts that bored me, and the film seemed even a little egotistical at times, but I was surely concentrated through the whole movie. It certainly knew the sense of keeping the audience on a string whether they cared to be or not.

This is a movie that I had wanted to see ever since the trailer was let out on TV because it looked more interesting than other trailers I had seen at the time, even though I had forgotten what it was about by the time I rented it. There was probably about a few things that bothered me about this film, but I am not going to reminisce on them because overall the movie delivers and you really overlook it's minor problems. Anyway, this movie was entertaining, brilliantly scripted, and shockingly suspenseful. The twist you never see coming and the performances are believable and professional. I loved it for what it was, and a little bit more so..
27 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
leereed20098 March 2008
Awake adds new levels to the title of psychological thriller. Just when you think you know what's going on, a new twist rocks you with a shock bigger than the one before. With a charismatic cast and Jessica Alba going to new lengths as an actress, this movie is sure get your heart pumping. Hayden Christiansen gives new depth to the term anesthetic awareness. This movie grabs you and refuses to let go. This movie "does for operations, what Jaws did for the water"-Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter. Terrence Howard is slightly confusing and makes you wonder. Every thing is achieved, and this movie deserves more recognition than it is getting. I thank the writer Joby Harold for allowing me to slip into a deep sleep for almost two hours filled with frightening, disturbing, and brilliant dreams.
28 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
bob-rutzel-17 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Clayton (Christensen) undergoes heart transplant surgery, but something goes wrong and he can hear the medical team talk about him……about killing him. He is paralyzed, can feel the pain of the operation, but cannot react. What to do, what to do………….what can he do? OMG, is it over?

The first thing new doctors are taught is: DO NO HARM. After seeing this movie, the first thing a prospective patient, about to undergo any surgery, should ask is: how many malpractice suits are filed against the surgeon who is to perform the surgery. This is the gist of it all in a nutshell, but how we get to that conclusion is quite entertaining. I thought this would be a horror-type movie, but it was actually not that and was quite good giving us all something to think about before we will be faced with a surgical blade while out under anesthesia.

The acting by all was first rate and let's give Jessica Alba her due. She is a good actress when there is a good director about. See her Dark Angel TV shows of years past…..she did good there, and she did good here too. And, of course, she is beautiful.

And, Terrance Howard has a most soothing voice and delivery that no matter what the occasion is that voice assures you he can be trusted and what he says is the absolute truth. Oh, to have a voice like that. Pure gold.

There are some twists to all of this and the entire cast sells them solidly. I was entertained and cautioned too.

Violence: Not really Sex Heavy make-out in some early scenes Nudity No Language Yes
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews