Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Awakenings Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Robin Williams plays it serious in moving true story.

PG-13 1990 121 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 7 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 13+

Fine duo of performances bogged down with sentimentality

Just a little research will prove that this was a successful Oscar bait movie: it was up for Best Picture among giants like "Dances with Wolves" and "Goodfellas." The other ultra-sentimental date favorite "Ghost" was also up for the prize. Though this isn't as sappy as that, it does have your OB staples: an Oscar-winner playing a man with a disease, Williams going against type as a shy, reserved doctor. If the human story hadn't shone out so well I would've deducted even more points. It's impossible not to smile when De Niro is able to use his own two legs to get from one place to the other. This isn't either of the two leads' best films, although De Niro gives a tremendous performance as recovering encephalitis victim Leonard Lowe, not just nailing the tics and speech, but the man's soul. Williams is wonderful, and even in a quiet role his explosive humor leaks out in small places if you watch carefully. It's like a much better, awards-friendly Lifetime movie.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing
age 11+

Good Psychological Medical Drama

Movie Details

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