AWAKE (2021) Reviews of Netflix sci-fi survival thriller

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Awake is a 2021 American sci-fi survival film about a devastating global event that disrupts electronics and sleep patterns. Meanwhile, a female former soldier may have found a solution with her daughter.

Directed by Mark Raso (Kodachrome; Copenhagen) from a screenplay co-written with Joseph Raso (Z-O-M-B-I-E-S and sequels; Zombies and Cheerleaders), based on a story by Gregory Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets; The Stranger 1995 Death Riders).

The movie stars Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos, Shamier Anderson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.


Global hysteria ensues after a mysterious catastrophe wipes out all electronics and takes away humanity’s ability to sleep. Scientists race against the clock to find a cure for unexplained insomnia before its fatal effects eliminate the human race.

When Jill (Gina Rodriguez), a former soldier, discovers her young daughter may be the key to salvation, she must decide: protect her children at all costs or sacrifice everything to save the world?

[May contain spoilers] Reviews:

” …writer-director Mark Raso is unexpectedly uncompromising, but the time crunch is never as urgent as it needs to be. Despite being deadly serious with a few misplaced attempts at humor (Matilda finds out that Noah and his girlfriend “did it”), Awake too often dares you to laugh at this silly sci-fi nonsense.” The Artful Critic

“The actual resolution of the story isn’t satisfying, but it does present baptismal imagery that some viewers might respond to in a more spiritual way, with Raso trying to work in Christian ideas without giving up the coarseness of the effort. Awake has its issues with Bird Box-ing and cruelty, but the production pulls out of a few dramatic tailspins competently, and the general stress of the premise is felt throughout the viewing experience.”

“Clearly, this movie does not want audiences to think and blink their eyes. It’s beautifully shot and does contain lots of kinetic action sequences, but aside from that, it’s an appalling piece of sci-fi debris that got dumped onto the Netflix slate. After a good night’s sleep (and even without), Awake is one dystopian thriller that is easily forgotten.” Critical Movie Critics

Awake is teeming with potential from its catastrophic concept, yet it fails to deliver anything fresh or exciting. The imagery is possibly the most disappointing of all […] When the final act devolves into gunfire, experimentation, and medical mumbo jumbo, it becomes even more obvious that this Netflix thriller is a letdown.” Josh at the Movies

“For all of its predictability and set pieces limited by a modest budget, though, Awake benefits from lean, efficient storytelling, a cast wholly committed to the central premise, and a climax/denouement that refuses to cheat the audience of a proper ending (i.e., as opposed to a sequel-ready one).” Screen Anarchy

“As for the film’s climax, it involves a defibrillator and some magical thinking whose arbitrariness the script doesn’t even try to mask behind the hyper-vague science-y talk it had deployed up to that point. Watching Awake is less like experiencing the delirium and stress of a sleepless week and more like being stuck in a confusing but not particularly interesting dream.” Slant

Release date:

Awake will stream on Netflix from June 9, 2021.

Cast and characters (where known):

Gina Rodriguez … Jill
Ariana Greenblatt … Matilda
Lucius Hoyos
Shamier Anderson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Barry Pepper
Frances Fisher
Gil Bellows
Finn Jones
Sebastian Pigott … Clarence
Sergio Di Zio
Alex House … Scarred Soldier
Michael Hough … Burly man
Trevor Hayes … Actor
Shawn Ahmed … Hub Technician
Julia Dyan … ‘Spiders’ Nurse
Helen Hayden … Carrillo
Jim Carey … Sunrise cultist
Robert Bazzocchi … Seaman Apprentice
Chai Valladares … Male Nurse
Julia Chantrey … Nurse
Katerina Taxia … Greek Mother
Martha Girvin … Church Member
Liz Adjei … V.A. Nurse
Elias Edraki … Petty Officer Diaz
Meaghan O’Connor … College Student
Greg White … Church Member
Richard Cunningham … Sunrise Cultist

Technical details:

96 minutes


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