Wide Awake
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The death of his grandfather several months before has had a profound effect on young Joshua A. Beal (Joseph Cross). His family assures him that his grandpa (Robert Loggia) is in a better, happier place, but Josh is having trouble believing it. For the longest time, the boy could barely awaken in the morning and his only interests have been in his action cartoons, action figures and Captain Crunch cereal. All that changes, however, on the morning of his first day in the fifth grade. Then and there, he decides to stop sleeping through life and to actively live it. He also wants to know for sure… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A wonderful family film that deals sensitively, and even with humor, with a fairly unusual situation for the screen: a 9-year-old's struggles with his faith in God."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"The fact is, just too many of the characters and plot points are right out of the stock room: the obligatory fat kid; the obligatory bully; the obligatory kid whose parents can't really afford Catholic school tuition ..."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"Earnest, overly familiar coming-of-age tale"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The movie's greatest strength is in its willingness to admit that the mysteries of life and death are as difficult for children as for adults."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Its rather facile treatment of its serious themes will leave older audiences less than satisfied."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"Children, too, will be bored to tears navigating through some of the talky spiritual gunk."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"Beneath its suffocating, smug sentimentality, you have to look hard to uncover a single moment of truth and genuine feeling."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"A pretentious, preachy first movie from an arguably great filmmaker."
‑ Blake Davis, KFOR Channel 4 News
"In a moviemaking world dominated by attention to secular matters, the parochial Wide Awake is a refreshing change of pace."
‑ Kim Williamson, Boxoffice Magazine
"What better place to look for God than in a Catholic school, right?"
‑ Eric Lurio, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"I was aware of the problems, but that didn't diminish the warm, fuzzy glow I was experiencing."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"I wonder who the movie was made for."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The film pursues its sensitive material with the appropriate degree of care, but the direction by M. Night Shyamalan turns potentially provocative moments into dull eddies of melodrama."
‑ Tom Meek, Film Threat
"This wonder-filled film proves that questions can be powerful allies on a spiritual journey."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A meandering script, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and the candy coating it's wrapped in, undermine its effectiveness."
‑ Jane Ganahl, San Francisco Examiner
More reviews for Wide Awake on Rotten Tomatoes