Box art for Awakenings



Robert De Niro and Robin Williams star in a story of the consequences of a maverick doctor's medical miracle.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5

Robin Williams plays it serious in moving true story.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a moving story and may be tough on sensitive viewers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what they think the neurologist means when he says, "because the implications of that would be unthinkable?" Why would he prefer to believe that the patients are not aware of what is going on? Were you surprised by the way any of the patients reacted to being "awakened?" Which reaction was most like the way you think you might feel? Why is it hard for Malcolm to interact with other people? How does Leonard change the way Malcolm behaves? Why does the staff treat the patients differently after the awakening, even when they go back the way they were?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 13
    see all Awakenings reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews


- Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: A beautifully moving, life-affirming true story.

- Chuck O'Leary,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Tour-de-force performances and one memorable storyline

- Clint Morris, Moviehole, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A very sweet film, tactfully, intelligently and beautifully made.

- SirPant, Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4 stars

Monumentally touching. The beautiful score and cinematography help set the heartwarming mood of this lovely film. Well written and directed (Steven Zaillian; Penny Marshall). Robert De Niro gives one of the best performances I've ever seen, innocent and vulnerable, as well as tough and smart. He nailed this role completely. Robin Williams, who, after seeing this, I no longer hate (I guess I hate him whenever he does comedy, but he's a fine dramatic actor). Penelope Ann Miller and Julie Kavner complete the impressive cast with their sincere performances.

- fernandorafael, Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3 stars

Sad story. It would suck big time to have this disease. This was one of the few Robin Williams roles that I didn't hate.

- puffchunk, Tuesday, July 29, 2008