Waking Life
Waking Life (2001)

A boy has a dream that he can float, but unless he holds on, he will drift away into the sky. Even when he is grown up, this idea recurs. After a strange accident, he walks through what may be a dream, flowing in and out of scenarios and… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 19, 2001
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2002
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Waking Life's inventive animated aesthetic adds a distinctive visual component to a film that could easily have rested on its smart screenplay and talented ensemble cast.

Emanuel Levy

This inventive animated film, which takes Linklater back to his roots in Austin and Slacker, represents a summation of all the philosophical concerns that have defined him as spokesperson for Gen-X.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

If there was ever a film that made ontological exploration fun, this is it.

John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

a commercial ripoff designed to confuse art-house patrons

Full review…
Time Out

The endless philosophising is a bit sophomoric and more jokes would help, but this is one of a kind that grows more absorbing the longer it runs.

Full review…
Stephanie Zacharek

Exhilarating, transporting, funny and haunting -- and at times maddeningly heady or narcotically logy -- Waking Life doesn't compare to any other movie experience I've ever had.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Love-it-or-hate-it film best for older teens.

Full review…
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune

For a movie heralded as the cutting edge of visual innovation, Waking Life is disappointingly dull in every other respect.

Full review…
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

An instant cult classic, one that's tailor-made for multiple viewings and bound to be popular among college students.

Nick Rogers

A far-out-man poetry slam, art exhibit and imaginative philosophical discourse all at once drifts gently down a stream of consciousness until merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, "Waking Life" is but a dream. Who says existential fiction must be dreary?

Full review…
More reviews for Waking Life

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Sam Barnett
As with "Slacker", some of the pieces will likely feel more underwhelming depending on the viewer, but as a compilation of concepts and emotions all… More
Chris Weber
Boy, now this is a polarizing film. I wouldn't blame or argue with someone if they were to dismiss this film as boring, pretentious, intellectual bullshit.… More
Alice Shen
A fuck for all senses.
Mark Walker
Richard Linklater has always been an interesting director. He has ranged from his debut independant hit "Slacker" to romantic drama "Before… More
Graham Jones
Basically an animated sequel to Linklater's debut (Slacker). Very impressive.
Dan Schultz
An insanely dull exercise in philosophical mumbo-jumbo that doesn't go anywhere in it's 100 minute life span. While the animation itself is ambitious… More