Waking the Dead (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Waking the Dead2000

Waking the Dead (2000)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Waking the Dead Photos

Movie Info

A man finds his melancholy turning to madness in this thriller. Young lawyer Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) has just thrown his hat in the ring for an upcoming congressional election. He has also been haunted by the memory of his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who recently died in a car bombing -- and haunted not just figuratively but literally: he's seeing apparitions of Sarah everywhere, and he's starting to wonder if she's really there or if he's going mad. Waking the Dead is based on a novel by Scott Spencer, who also wrote Endless Love, and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Keith Gordon.

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Billy Crudup
as Fielding
Janet McTeer
as Caroline
Paul Hipp
as Danny
Bill Haughland
as TV Newsman
Nelson Landrieu
as Francisco
Ivonne Coll
as Gisella
Maxine Guess
as Danny's Receptionist
Ed Harris
as Jerry
Robert Harding Pittman
as TV Newsman No. 2
Don Jordan
as Minister with Bertelli on TV
Caroline Sabourin
as Little Sarah Look-Alike
Stanley Anderson
as Fielding's Father
Patricia Gage
as Fielding's Mother
John Carroll Lynch
as Father Mileski
Bruce Dinsmore
as Tony Dayton
Mimi Kuzyk
as Adele Green
Tony Calabretta
as Sonny Marchi
Walter Massey
as Otto Ellis
Norris Domingue
as Congressman at Issac's Party
Dean Hagopian
as Politician at Issac's Party
Bernard Behrens
as Father Stanton
Ranee Lee
as Woman from Fielding's Campaign
Zoe Sakellaropoulo
as `Sarah' in Caroline's Flashback
Scott Spencer
as Man with Sarah in Flashback
Alan Fawcett
as Reporter at Restaurant
Leah King Pinsent
as Reporter from Fielding's Past
Walt MacPherson
as Sarah's Father
John Walsh
as Protest Leader Outside Sarah's Funeral
Vlasta Vrana
as Priest at Sarah's Funeral
Pascal Petardi
as Kids Who Mug Fielding
Leonardo Fuica
as Kids Who Mug Fielding
Qariy Hendrickson
as Kids Who Mug Fielding
Sandra Caldwell
as Concerned Mom from Letter
Justin Bradley
as Adopted Kid from Letter
Richard Hicks
as Young Man from Letter
Ed Cambridge
as Old Man from Letter
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Critic Reviews for Waking the Dead

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (15)

You can embrace this movie's message, which has less to do with political agendas than basic human decency and the enduring power of love. And if that's not enough to make a film worthwhile, we don't know what is.

July 21, 2005 | Rating: A-

Painfully earnest.

May 20, 2003

Waking the Dead may put you to sleep.

April 25, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A powerful story of love and politics.

August 15, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Waking the Dead is bad in just about every way that a movie can be bad.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

As involved as Crudup and Connelly beseech you to be with this story, their very youthfulness, their nagging lack of adulthood, keeps the film from being anything more credible than a tight grad-school tryst.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Waking the Dead

This film was heavy, that's for sure. I thought the nonlinear storyline was effective. Visually this film won me over. The imagery was starkly beautiful, lighting was used to great effect; sometimes to provide warmth at other times to make a room uncomfortably bright. It reminds me of the Constant Gardener, the version that would have unfolded if the man hadn't sought answers to his partner's death. What would've happened if he had tried to simply move on with his life.

Laura Cameron
Laura Cameron

Super Reviewer


I kick myself for actually liking this movie. Billy Crudup is understatedly wonderful. This is how the terrible book should've been paced.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


I loved the dichotomy of Waking the Dead's story right off the bat - part political flick, part romance, part ghost mystery? Interesting roots, but sadly the movie most often plays to its obvious avenues, and where there should have been atmosphere and melancholy there instead exists cliche. The problem is that the crux of Waking the Dead, its love story, is the weakest part. Fielding and Sarah are good characters, but there's something missing - a lack of focus on the couple's good times, I think. They spend a lot of their time together locked in political repartee, which generally ends in some personal barb and all parties involved being pissed off or upset. They should just gone out for ice cream or roller bladed or something; you know, a tether to prove that these people ACTUALLY liked each other. Without it, the final moments of the movie kind of fall flat, and turns a movie that could have been genuinely affecting into something strong, if not forgettable. There's no denying that it is a strongly written movie, literate and full of governmental allegory. The lead performances are equally excellent, though Billy Crudup occasionally trips up on the admittedly dense dialogue. Unfortunately, it's just not enough - the movie spends too much time on Fielding's uninteresting campaign when it should be showing us more about the relationship that was taken away from him. Show us what he's missing.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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