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PG-13| 2 hr. 1 min.

Plot Summary
The story of a doctor's extraordinary work in the Sixties with a group of catatonic patients he finds languishing in a Bronx hospital. Speculating that their rigidity may be akin to an extreme form of Parkinsonism, he seeks permission from his skeptical superiors to treat them with L-dopa, a drug that was used to treat Parkinson's disease at the time.

Cast: Robert De Niro , Robin Williams , Julie Kavner , Ruth Nelson , John Heard , Penelope Ann Miller , Alice Drummond , Judith Malina

Director: Penny Marshall

Genres: Drama

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Awakenings (1990)

Release Date: December 20th, 1990|2 hr. 1 min.

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critic reviews ( 3 )
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • Awakenings is a troubling film, but it's also a courageous one that dares to tackle a difficult subject with sensitivity and honesty. [20 Dec 1990, p.E1] show more

  • De Niro's widely praised performance is like the rest of the film: competent, a product of hard work and borderline mechanical. I like much of Awakenings, including several supporting performances - but like Big, it left me just a little cold. [20 Dec 1990, p.5D] show more

  • The director Penny Marshall has gone straight to the heart of this complex story and made a powerfully poignant and illuminating film. She doesn't hesitate to push for the grand sentimental moment, but balances the teary stuff with restraint and humor. To be sure, Awakenings seems calculated to induce weeping -- and it does, without making the weeper feel cheap. [20 Dec 1990, p.A14] show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com
  • July 31, 2008 Sweetrose
    Report This User

    WIlliams plays roles in slapstick and humor,but this is a more serious challenge for him; As Dr. Sayer,he plays someone willing to help his patients enjoy a healthier life.DiNiro plays Leonard Lowe,who is desperate for a way to stop his shaking all over;WhenSayer tries various formulas and changes to the patients' medication,he notices things don't go right.I enjoy this film, because it portrays a medical hero who is a champion for all people.

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