The cast is anchored by two wonderful actresses: Imelda Staunton and Rebecca Hall, whose talents are squandered on this lackluster horror drama.
- Claudia Puig, USA Today, August 23, 2012
When these sudden surprises work, as in "A Beautiful Mind" or "The Others," you're too stunned to swallow that next handful of popcorn; when they don't, you're tempted to throw your whole box at the screen.
- Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, August 17, 2012
A dull British import that never lives up to the pretensions of its period setting.
- Chris Berube, Globe and Mail, August 17, 2012
An enjoyably old-fashioned ghost story in the vein of "The Others" and "The Orphanage."
- Sara Stewart, New York Post, August 17, 2012
"The Awakening" is nonsense, but with its posh British cast and colors drained to near-gray, it's very solemn nonsense.
- Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, August 17, 2012
A lot of tension and buildup leads us to ... well, it's hard to say.
- David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, August 16, 2012
"The Awakening" takes so many unnecessary twists and turns that the final one, which should be a biggie, ends up feeling inconsequential.
- Stephanie Zacharek, Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2012
For all of its airs of refinement, "The Awakening" is pretty stale stuff.
- Stephen Holden, New York Times, August 16, 2012
The film benefits enormously from having the luminous Rebecca Hall as its lead. It also gains an ominous gravity from the haunted, wounded and wobbly England in which it's set.
- John Anderson, Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2012
This stately chiller owes a lot to 1960s British flicks like "The Innocents" and "The Haunting," but unfortunately heads towards cliches with every step.
- Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, August 16, 2012
There is nothing in the film that will keep you awake at night. Instead, "The Awakening" works much more subtly, with a profound sense of dread and resignation, a death-obsessed movie given life by Hall's performance.
- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, August 16, 2012
It's routine stuff as horror setups go, especially if you've seen such obvious influences as The Orphanage and The Others.
- Peter Howell, Toronto Star, August 16, 2012
Hall's committed performance validates even the maddest developments, and she slips into the period well, recalling Virginia Woolf in her lank, swan-necked bearing and tremulous suffering.
- Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice, August 14, 2012
If cinema is a dream, 'The Awakening,' I suppose, has just enough oomph to keep you hitting snooze
- Jordan Hoffman, Film.com, August 14, 2012
Dominic West personifies the melancholia of a country overwhelmed by death.
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, August 08, 2012
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, August 30, 2012
Though the story spirals a little out of control in the film's final scenes, "The Awakening" offers the low-key pleasures of an old-fashioned thriller and a lovely central performance.
- Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, August 30, 2012
This handsomely made spook story (love those echo-prone hallways!) becomes less involving the more the narrative's mysteries are solved.
- Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York, August 14, 2012
The Awakening is both a ghost story and an exploration of mourning and survivor's guilt, though a late twist turns the film away from its delicate merging of these two themes into something both more plotty and stilted.
- Alison Willmore, AV Club, August 16, 2012
The film takes pains to ensure that the story feel like laborious toil rather than a trip through the dark side of the ethereal.
- Chris Cabin, Slant Magazine, August 15, 2012