Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: October 19, 2001
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 144 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
111
Mixed:
9
Negative:
24
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10
[Anonymous]Sep 14, 2007
I'm not sure how a movie can go deeper into the human-experience and still be intelligible. An incredible film.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
ChelseaE.Apr 8, 2008
This film was simply mind blowing. I watched it every night before I went to bed for about 3 months, until I let someone borrow it and they lost it. It really opens your mind and your eyes to the simple truths of life and existence. From This film was simply mind blowing. I watched it every night before I went to bed for about 3 months, until I let someone borrow it and they lost it. It really opens your mind and your eyes to the simple truths of life and existence. From scenes of optimism to existentialism, there is a story for every type of perspective. One of my favorite quotes from the movie: "Hey. Could we do that again? I know we haven't met, but I don't want to be an ant. You know? I mean, it's like we go through life with our antennas bouncing off one another, continuously on ant autopilot, with nothing really human required of us. Stop. Go. Walk here. Drive there. All action basically for survival. All communication simply to keep this ant colony buzzing along in an efficient, polite manner. "Here's your change." "Paper or plastic?' "Credit or debit?" "You want ketchup with that?" I don't want a straw. I want real human moments. I want to see you. I want you to see me. I don't want to give that up. I don't want to be ant, you know?" Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
StevenFApr 1, 2013
Masterful and mind-blowingly brilliant, Waking Life is basically a documentary for the mind and how different reactions are dealt with with the events and scenarios that take place around us.
This film documents a series of life views in
Masterful and mind-blowingly brilliant, Waking Life is basically a documentary for the mind and how different reactions are dealt with with the events and scenarios that take place around us.
This film documents a series of life views in regards to the simple occurrences in our life, politics, post-moderism, the human mind and even reactions to other people around us.
Not only is the film a series of interviews, but it is an entirely animated affair, using similar techniques to rotoscope that are beneficial to the dream state to which the film is told in, seemingly inside of the head of the dreamer (Wiley Wiggins)
The film contains some of the most inspiring and 'wake-up' moments of your life, whether its from a middle-aged sitting in leathers and drinking beer or from a wise old man, the thought-provoking dialogue and fast paced animation is enough to make you ponder your life choices.
The animation seems purposely low-budget, combining shifting colours with random screen situations, flying, clouds etc. It is truly unique and beautiful to watch.
Probably the most wonderful part of the film is the dialogue itself, one of the most quotable films in recent memories, it provides humour with realistic expectations, and one stand out is four men walking along a footpath, and one says "On the way to discovering what we love, we will find everything we hate, everything that blocks our path to what we desire".
This is just one of the many experiences at play here, and hating this film is perhaps a choice of film preference, but shouldn't be one that goes amiss.
The protagonist is taken on a wild ride of his imagination, with all these insightful people invading his mind, and the message of the title becomes clear, wake up your life and think, listen to the things going on around you, listen to peoples emotions and understand their choices.
A truly magical film that is simply flawless in its delivery of the state of dreaming but more importantly, the state of approaching your life with a confrontational and emotional stance, whether its basic human interaction or your decisions.
Beautiful and insightful.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
ApexrisingDec 22, 2012
Absolutely astonishing movie. Definitely in my top 3 favorite movies of all time. I recommend this film to everyone, especially if you have an interest in lucid dreaming.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
10
theunholymesiahSep 25, 2013
This is pretty much like what other people say. There's not much of a plot it's pretty much a philosophy session and there are so many things they say for you to ponder upon. The animation is some of the most interesting visuals I've seen inThis is pretty much like what other people say. There's not much of a plot it's pretty much a philosophy session and there are so many things they say for you to ponder upon. The animation is some of the most interesting visuals I've seen in any film. You'll walk out of it thinking differently. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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2
CraigA.May 4, 2005
I'm an academic and I love that this film has been made and that there is an audience for it. But don't ask me to watch it again. Waking Life is new age pretension masquesarding as philosophy.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
SteveJun 30, 2005
The film succumbs to the post-modern self-indulgence that it attempts to escape with its montage of misquoted topics covered in philosophy lectures. Moviemaking has lost a great deal of its originiality these days. It is tempting to like a The film succumbs to the post-modern self-indulgence that it attempts to escape with its montage of misquoted topics covered in philosophy lectures. Moviemaking has lost a great deal of its originiality these days. It is tempting to like a movie like this because it's glossy and revolutionary to the eye. The writer and director of "Waking Life" is like that guy in the bar in "Good Will Hunting" who tries to pass of what he learned in class as his own, seemingly profound thoughts. It gets a 1 for visual creativity. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
PatC.Sep 7, 2005
Unique and cerebral, but probably should be regarded more as a philosophical tutorial or documentary. I found the jittery animated visualization hard on the eyes and the lack of plot and character development disruptive of the continuity Unique and cerebral, but probably should be regarded more as a philosophical tutorial or documentary. I found the jittery animated visualization hard on the eyes and the lack of plot and character development disruptive of the continuity required for attentive viewing of a full length feature. The film appears to be a compilation of fleeting thoughts that didn't fit into other projects. While interesting to the introspective mind and containing an undeniably positive message, I didn't think they constituted a movie. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
0
DavidT.Mar 29, 2007
I feel as though this film created exactly what I believe it was trying to escape, an effortless post-modern dichotomy. "Being wierd...for the sake of being wierd!" Terrible film.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
TomH.May 12, 2007
Graphics were nausea inducing. First 20 minutes of the story were very hard to follow.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
drecool95May 31, 2015
This might be an incredible, mindbending experience for someone with no knowledge of philosophy or someone who's more interested in the visuals than the content. But for me, someone with a major interest in philosophy who's really familiarThis might be an incredible, mindbending experience for someone with no knowledge of philosophy or someone who's more interested in the visuals than the content. But for me, someone with a major interest in philosophy who's really familiar with a lot of these topics, this film really hits you over the head in an uncomfortable way. It's just the character walking from one giant mouth of a character to another, listening to their didactic rambling about introductory philosophical debates that really fall flat if you know the background to each of the fragments. Linklater might as well have written a series of short essays on philosophy, because that's really all he does here. No true message, no philosophical thought left to the viewer, just a series of disconnected moments that don't really offer any sort of deeper meaning. I enjoy the visuals of the film, but everything about the writing comes off as sloppy, preachy, and far too heavy-handed for my taste. Maybe my opinion will change with further viewings, but after my first viewing, I'd much rather watch a truly cerebral film that doesn't spoonfeed you ideas, and then later read a philosophy article, than be bombarded with this silly sort of "philosophical" movie. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
BaileyC.Oct 7, 2002
This movie blew my mind. I can't wait to see it again.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarkD.May 1, 2004
Simply Awesome!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BigLOJan 30, 2006
A movie which challenges the viewer, there is just so much content that you could watch it again end to end and not get bored. Film is the most complete and influentual media format out there and a film like this shows not only what is A movie which challenges the viewer, there is just so much content that you could watch it again end to end and not get bored. Film is the most complete and influentual media format out there and a film like this shows not only what is possible but what we are missing. It wakes you up to and makes you want to re-evaluate and explore the relationship between your conscious and subconscious states of mind in a world dominated by logic and need driven by boredom resulting from the absence of creative energy. This movie addresses this nicely. Thumbs up! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarkR.Nov 30, 2001
This is the best movie I have seen in several years. The content is provocative and intelligent. The images are creative. The experience is original. The impact is real and lasting, like a recurring dream.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
SeanA.Sep 24, 2002
This movie is bizzare to say the least. It tosses you into a barrage of philosphical and spiritual and scientific melee of how man relates to the universe, etc. The visuals are nauseating at some moments, but are never dull. The overall This movie is bizzare to say the least. It tosses you into a barrage of philosphical and spiritual and scientific melee of how man relates to the universe, etc. The visuals are nauseating at some moments, but are never dull. The overall storyline is incredible, if you can get past the boring lectures and only pick up the key dialogues. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
YoonC.Sep 21, 2003
Highly uneven. At its best Waking Life uses images like music, where colors and shape resonate to the intensity of emotions, the topsy-turvy confusion of ideologies, the contemplative mood of philosophical musings, the surreal boundary Highly uneven. At its best Waking Life uses images like music, where colors and shape resonate to the intensity of emotions, the topsy-turvy confusion of ideologies, the contemplative mood of philosophical musings, the surreal boundary between waking life and sleep, between life and death. It's less an animated work than the craft of painting merging with elements of music and film. A bold experiment. However, not everything sustains interest and some passages just seem pointless or indulgent. Nevertheless, a landmark achievement. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AnselmFernandezJan 6, 2007
This film is not for the faint of heart: those that are too comfortable that their laziness keeps them stationarily conditioned into a dead state of existence. This is for those who choose life and not survive life. This is for all of you This film is not for the faint of heart: those that are too comfortable that their laziness keeps them stationarily conditioned into a dead state of existence. This is for those who choose life and not survive life. This is for all of you inspired by the possibility of freedom. Take it and enjoy the moment after moment, story after story, and become aware of how much you live life on autopilot, which is equivalent to dreaming. But the paradoxes bug me but I find that I can love and make love to them. And on great nights of SELF, I go salsa dancing with my confusion. And when one realizes that one is a dream character in another person dream. That is SELF AWARENESS. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BobE.Apr 8, 2007
A film that requires repeated viewings, and even short 'rewinds' withing the film. Watch it once and then decide if you'd like to study it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MisaG.Nov 11, 2001
So thought provoking it hurts. But not really.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
GillS.Nov 10, 2001
Like having taken some shrooms in your apartment, and then on your way out being trapped in an elevator for 99 minutes with a drunk who insists on pretending he is an Oxford Don, specializing in philosophy and you are his student. That, or Like having taken some shrooms in your apartment, and then on your way out being trapped in an elevator for 99 minutes with a drunk who insists on pretending he is an Oxford Don, specializing in philosophy and you are his student. That, or getting repeatedly hit on the head by a few Hackett editions, wrapped in the manuscript pages of publisher-refused monographs on Derrida. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
RyanM.Nov 4, 2001
The visuals hurt your eyes, the dialogue teases your mind, and then you think better of wasting your time.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JamesM.Oct 19, 2001
Needs to be seen multiple times...
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnM.Nov 9, 2001
A thought provoking and extremely creative film. One of the few films in the past two or three years that I actually continued to contemplate after leaving the theater.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AlexK.Dec 8, 2001
To those of you who call this movie pointless or egocentric, I challenge you to recall any other movie this year, or any year since Linklater's "Slacker," that so boldly attempts to use the medium of film as an extension of a more To those of you who call this movie pointless or egocentric, I challenge you to recall any other movie this year, or any year since Linklater's "Slacker," that so boldly attempts to use the medium of film as an extension of a more universal, classical artform and impress upon its viewers the pure value of art... if such a thing even exists anymore. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
IanC.Oct 19, 2002
This is possibly the most intellectual, most philosophical, and most observant movie about sociology, and psychology. There are not many movies like thses made in such a fashion. Not only does the animation represent something, but how its This is possibly the most intellectual, most philosophical, and most observant movie about sociology, and psychology. There are not many movies like thses made in such a fashion. Not only does the animation represent something, but how its presented and drawn. If people don't enjoy this movie, they don't enjoy life or is curious about it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarkP.Oct 24, 2002
Most Critics that rated this film poorly are all action and no theory. but i am all theory and no action so i don't know which is worse.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ElijahB.Jan 31, 2002
As an intellectual vibration, smacked dab in the middle of spectrum - green can be a problem. That's because there are so many different kinds of green, inside of green. And each one has a different IQ...
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JosiahR.Apr 20, 2002
Mind bending in both dialogue and visuals. Philosophical masturbation of the highest order.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
KimmieK.Jun 15, 2002
Of the recent films dealing with this subject matter, Waking Life is the least satisfying. I fell asleep 30 minutes into the first viewing, and barely got through the second. The animation gave me a headache, although it did capture facial Of the recent films dealing with this subject matter, Waking Life is the least satisfying. I fell asleep 30 minutes into the first viewing, and barely got through the second. The animation gave me a headache, although it did capture facial expressions and gestures better than any animation that I can recall. Far from 'thought-provoking' 'intriguing' or 'astounding,' Waking life is a collage of highlights from every philosophy class I've ever taken, with less satisfaction, because of the lack of group discussion after each rant. For example, in my metaphysics class, there was a dream discussion that would have rendered the Delpy/Hawke scene thoroughly ineffectual. Perhaps Waking Life would be suitable for an intro to philosophy, but there are other movies that handle similar discussions better. In addition, just because an art form has a modicum of originality to it doesn't mean that everyone should automatically believe it's genius. However, if you like trite, pretentious, and derivative movies and want to know what hallucinogenic drugs are like, then go see this critical darling! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful