User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 99
  2. Negative: 21 out of 99

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  1. Apr 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 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.
  2. Dec 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.
  3. Sep 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 in any film. You'll walk out of it thinking differently.

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 80
    Like being jacked directly into Linklater's alpha waves, and the experience is bracingly new to movies.
  2. The film is truly special, truly different -- a wondrous talky roundelay about and for people who love life.
  3. An amazing thing -- a work of cinematic art in which form and structure pursues the logic-defying (parallel) subjects of dreaming and moviegoing.