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Awakenings (1990)
Biography, Drama

Awakenings (1990)

1969. Dr. Malcolm Sayer is hired as a clinical physician at a psychiatric hospital in the Bronx, despite he only having a research background. The job is not ideal on his side as he has difficulties relating to people which is the reason he has focused on research projects not involving human subjects, while the hospital hires him somewhat out of desperation in not finding anyone else with the qualifications who wants the job. Most of his patients are in a semi-catatonic state and are housed in what some of the orderlies coin the "garden" ward, where all they can do for the patients is water and feed them. He notices that some of the patients, despite their generally catatonic state, respond in unusual ways to certain stimuli. In doing some research, he also finds that some common bonds between these patients are that they suffered from encephalitis in the 1920s or 1930s, and that their physical states are like they have Parkinson's disease frozen in time. As such, he is able to convince, albeit reluctantly, his skeptical boss, Dr. Kaufman, to administer an expensive experimental drug therapy on only one patient with family consent. That patient is forty-one year old Leonard Lowe, who has been in his current state since he was eleven years old, and who has been supported by his loving mother through all these years. As the drug therapy "awakens" Leonard, there are several issues that come into play. Malcolm has to try and convince Kaufman and the hospital administration to extend the therapy to the other patients. Despite not knowing the long term effects, Leonard, who was aware of his surroundings through his catatonic state, may have mixed emotions about his situation, wanting both to be treated as human being and an experiment guinea pig to ensure that what is happening benefits him and others in the long run. Mrs. Lowe may be unprepared for the new Leonard, she expecting who she remembers as a sweet eleven year old boy. Through all these issues, what may be the most illuminating issue for Malcolm is the need to stimulate the human spirit, including his own in dealing with people around him. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope, illness, anger
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Period:1930s, 1960s
Story:doctor patient relationship, patient, paralytic, drug testing, diaper change, earthworm, neurologist, catatonia, influenza, time warp, motivational, medical experiment, psychiatric hospital, medical profession, bronx new york city, mini dress, female director, frustration, miracle, charity

Dragonfly (2002)
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Dragonfly (2002)

Dr. Joe Darrow is a recently widowed doctor. He is grieving due to the death of his pregnant wife in a Red Cross mission in Venezuela. Although being atheist, he began to believe that his dead wife wants to communicate with him, through her young patients in the Pediatrics of a Chicago hospital.

Themes:dying, anger
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:patient, coma, death, one word title

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Drama

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble and is sentenced by the court. To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. McMurphy and the other inmates band together to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Period:1960s
Story:doctor patient relationship, motivational, psychiatric hospital, medical profession, patient, based on novel, death

K-pax (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi

K-pax (2001)

Themes:dying, illness
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Story:catatonia, patient, based on novel, death

Children Of Men (2006) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

Children Of Men (2006)

The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope
Locations:wheelchair
Story:influenza, miracle, hippie, man with glasses, violence, based on novel, death

Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon (2007)
Biography, Drama

Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon (2007)

Forty-three year old Elle magazine editor 'Jean-Dominique Bauby' (qv) - Jean-Do to his friends - awakens not knowing where he is. He is in a Berck-sur-Mer hospital, where he has been for the past several weeks in a coma after suffering a massive stroke. Although his cognitive facilities are in tact, he quickly learns that he has what is called locked-in syndrome which has resulted in him being almost completely paralyzed, including not being able to speak. One of his few functioning muscles is his left eye. His physical situation and hospitalization uncomfortably bring together the many people in his life, including: Celine Desmoulins, his ex-lover and mother of his children; Ines, his current lover; and his aged father who he calls Papinou. Among his compassionate recuperative team are his physical therapist Marie, and his speech therapist Henriette. Henriette eventually teaches him to communicate using a system where he spells out words: she reads out the letters of the alphabet in descending order of their use in the French language, and he blinks his functioning left eye when she reaches the appropriate letter. Although frustrating at start, he learns to communicate effectively but slowly using this method, so much so that with the help of Claude, a full time translator, he decides on the monumental and seemingly impossible task to keep to his pre-injury commitment of writing a book, changing its focus to life in his current state. This is why Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon (2007) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:neurologist, miracle, patient, coma, medicine, man with glasses, based on true story, death

21 Grams (2003)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

21 Grams (2003)

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English emigre; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope, illness, anger
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:patient, coma, medicine, death

Tsotsi (2005)
Crime, Drama

Tsotsi (2005)

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Story:happiness, sadness, one word title, based on novel, death

The Fountain (2006) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama, Sci-fi

The Fountain (2006)

Three stories - one each from the past, present, and future - about men in pursuit of eternity with their love. A conquistador in Mayan country searches for the tree of life to free his captive queen; a medical researcher, working with various trees, looks for a cure that will save his dying wife; a space traveler, traveling with an aged tree encapsulated within a bubble, moves toward a dying star that's wrapped in a nebula; he seeks eternity with his love. The stories intersect and parallel; the quests fail and succeed. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope, illness
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:medical experiment, medicine, death

Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Biography, Drama

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa. (Read More)

Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Period:1960s
Story:doctor patient relationship, medical profession, hippie, patient, based on true story

Les Invasions Barbares (2003)
Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance

Les Invasions Barbares (2003)

In this belated sequel to 'The Decline of the American Empire', 50-something Montreal college professor, Remy, learns that he is dying of liver cancer. He decides to make amends meet to his friends and family before he dies. He first tries to made peace with his ex-wife Louise, who asks their estranged son Sebastian, a successful businessman living in London, to come home. Sebastian makes the impossible happen, using his contacts and disrupting the entire Canadian system in every way possible to help his father fight his terminal illness to the bitter end, while he also tries to reunite his former friends, Pierre, Alain, Dominique, Diane, and Claude to see their old friend before he passes on. This is why Les Invasions Barbares (2003) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope, illness
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:miracle, patient, death

John Q (2002)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

John Q (2002)

John Quincy Archibald's son Michael collapses while playing baseball as a result of heart failure. John rushes Michael to a hospital emergency room where he is informed that Michael's only hope is a transplant. Unfortunately, John's insurance won't cover his son's transplant. Out of options, John Q. takes the emergency room staff and patients hostage until hospital doctors agree to do the transplant. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:medical profession, medicine, death

Ikiru (1952) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama

Ikiru (1952)

Kanji Watanabe is a civil servant. He has worked in the same department for 30 years. His life is pretty boring and monotonous, though he once used to have passion and drive. Then one day he discovers that he has stomach cancer and has less than a year to live. After the initial depression he sets about living for the first time in over 20 years. Then he realises that his limited time left is not just for living life to the full but to leave something meaningful behind... (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Characters:doctor
Story:happiness, medicine, sadness, one word title, death

A Dangerous Method (2011)
Biography, Drama, Romance, Thriller

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient. (Read More)

Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:patient, doctor patient relationship, psychiatric hospital, man with glasses

Adams Aebler (2005)
Comedy, Crime, Drama

Adams Aebler (2005)

Ivan is a priest in a rural church known for the apples that grow on a large tree in front. He's odd: seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, in denial about personal facts, and convinced he's at war with Satan. The rectory is a half-way house for recently paroled convicts. Adam arrives for 12 weeks, a large, tough neo-Nazi, first baffled by Ivan's thick-headed optimism, then angry. He vows to break Ivan's faith. Meanwhile, in exasperation at Ivan's insistence, Adam sets a personal goal: to bake an apple pie. All goes awry for the tree: crows, worms, lightening. The Book of Job gives Adam perverse insight, and his hooligan mates provide the resolution's spring. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness, anger
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:miracle, violence, death

Hable Con Ella (2002)
Drama, Mystery, Romance

Hable Con Ella (2002)

After a chance encounter at a theater, two men, Benigno and Marco, meet at a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco's girlfriend and a bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. It so happens that Benigno is looking after another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions, past, present and future, dragging all of them towards an unsuspected destiny. This is why Hable Con Ella (2002) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:hope
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:coma, miracle, patient

Inside Out (2015) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Inside Out (2015)

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Story:sadness, motivational, happiness

Reign Over Me (2007)
Drama

Reign Over Me (2007)

Alan Johnson has everything he needs to get through life: a good job, a beautiful and loving wife, and their wonderful children. Yet he feels isolated because he finds having a hard-working job and managing a family too much to handle and has no one to talk to about it. Charlie Fineman, on the other hand, doesn't have a job or a family. He used to have both until a terrible loss, and the grief caused him to quit his job and isolate himself from everyone around him. As it turns out, Alan and Charlie were roommates in college, and a chance encounter one night rekindles the friendship they shared. But when Charlie's problems become too much to deal with, Alan is determined to help Charlie come out of his emotional abyss. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Locations:hospital
Story:motivational, patient, sadness, man with glasses, violence, death

Garden State (2004)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Garden State (2004)

Andrew Largeman is a semi-successful television actor who plays a intellectually disabled quarterback. His somewhat controlling and psychiatrist father has led Andrew ("Large") to believe that his mother's wheelchair bound life was his fault. Andrew decides to lay off the drugs that his father and his doctor made him believe that he needed, and began to see life for what it is. He began to feel the pain he had longed for, and began to have a genuine relationship with a girl who had some problems of her own. (Read More)

Themes:hope
Locations:wheelchair
Characters:doctor
Story:neurologist, coma, medicine, sadness, based on true story, death

Malcolm X (1992)
Biography, Drama, History, Romance

Malcolm X (1992)

Biograpical epic of Malcolm X, the legendary African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Garveyite Baptist minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. He is assassinated on February 21, 1965 and dies a Muslim martyr. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Period:1930s, 1960s
Story:sadness, man with glasses, death, violence

The Elephant Man (1980) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Biography, Drama

The Elephant Man (1980)

John Merrick (whose real name was Joseph, as this is based on a true story) is an intelligent and friendly man, but he is hated by his Victorian-era English society because he is severely deformed. Once he is discovered by a doctor, however, he is saved from his life in a freak show and he is treated like the human being that he really is. This is why The Elephant Man (1980) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, medical profession, happiness, based on true story, violence

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
Drama

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

A small community is torn apart by a tragic accident which kills most of the town's children. A lawyer visits the victims' parents in order to profit from the tragedy by stirring up the their anger and launching a class action suit against anyone they can blame. The community is paralyzed by its anger and cannot let go. All but one young girl, left in a wheelchair after the accident, who finds the courage to lead the way toward healing. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Locations:wheelchair
Story:charity, hippie, sadness, based on novel, death

The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Crime, Drama

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

Themes:anger
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Period:1960s
Story:frustration, happiness, sadness, man with glasses, based on novel, violence, death

The Natural (1984)
Drama, Sport

The Natural (1984)

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman. (Read More)

Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Period:1930s
Story:motivational, based on novel, death

Tyrannosaur (2011) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama

Tyrannosaur (2011)

The story of Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph's life spirals into turmoil, a chance at redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating consequences to both of their lives. (Read More)

Themes:dying
Story:charity, violence, one word title, death

50/50 (2011)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

50/50 (2011)

Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are. This is why 50/50 (2011) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:illness, anger
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, patient, man with glasses, based on true story, death

Frequency (2000)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Frequency (2000)

A rare atmospheric phenomenon allows a New York City firefighter to communicate with his son 30 years in the future via HAM radio. The son uses this opportunity to warn the father of his impending death in a warehouse fire, and manages to save his life. However, what he does not realize is that changing history has triggered a new set of tragic events, including the murder of his mother. The two men must now work together, 30 years apart, to find the murderer before he strikes so that they can change history--again. (Read More)

Themes:dying
Locations:hospital
Period:1960s
Story:medical profession, hippie, cynicism, patient, death, one word title

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015)
Comedy, Drama

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015)

Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Themes:dying, illness, anger
Locations:hospital
Story:coma, based on novel, death

The Human Stain (2003) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama, Romance, Thriller

The Human Stain (2003)

The Human Stain is the story of Coleman Silk (Hopkins), a classics professor with a terrible secret that is about to shatter his life in a small New England town. When his affair with a young troubled janitor (Kidman) is uncovered, the secret Silk had harbored for over fifty years from his wife, his children and colleague, writer Nathan Zuckerman, fast explodes in a conflagration of devastating consequences. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. (Read More)

Themes:illness, anger
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:psychiatric hospital, man with glasses, based on novel, violence, death

Nixon (1995)
Biography, Drama, History

Nixon (1995)

Director Oliver Stone's exploration of former president Richard Nixon's strict Quaker upbringing, his nascent political strivings in law school, and his strangely self-effacing courtship of his wife, Pat. The contradictions in his character are revealed early, in the vicious campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas and the oddly masochistic Checkers speech. His defeat at the hands of the hated and envied John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, followed by the loss of the 1962 California gubernatorial race, seem to signal the end of his career. Yet, although wholly lacking in charisma, Nixon remains a brilliant political operator, seizing the opportunity provided by the backlash against the antiwar movement to take the presidency in 1968. It is only when safely in office, running far ahead in the polls for the 1972 presidential election, that his growing paranoia comes to full flower, triggering the Watergate scandal. (Read More)

Themes:illness
Locations:hospital
Period:1930s, 1960s
Story:man with glasses, one word title

The English Patient (1996)
Drama, Romance, War

The English Patient (1996)

October 1944 in war torn Italy. Hana, a French-Canadian nurse working in a mobile army medical unit, feels like everything she loves in life dies on her. Because of the difficulty traveling and the dangers, especially as the landscape is still heavily booby-trapped with mines, Hana volunteers to stay behind at a church to care solely for a dying semi-amnesiac patient, who is badly burned and disfigured. She agrees to catch up to the rest of the unit after he dies. All the patient remembers is that he is English and that he is married. Their solitude is disrupted with the arrival at the church of fellow Canadian David Caravaggio, part of the Intelligence Service, who is certain that he knows the patient as a man who cooperated with the Germans. Caravaggio believes that the patient's memory is largely in tact and that he is running away from his past, in part or in its entirety. The patient does open up about his past, all surrounding his work as a cartographer in North Africa, which was interrupted by the war. He may not be running from his work as a spy for the Germans as Caravaggio believes, but rather the memory of an affair he had with married Katherine Clifton, the love of his life, and the memory of a promise not totally fulfilled. Hana may also test her theory of her fates with love and death as she embarks on a relationship of her own with Kip Singh, a Sikh from India, whose unit has camped on the now overgrown lawn of the church. Their work entails sweeping for and diffusing mines, the discovery of one such mine which had earlier saved her life. This is why The English Patient (1996) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:dying
Period:1930s
Story:patient, death, based on novel

Patch Adams (1998)
Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Patch Adams (1998)

Patch Adams is determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. Unfortunately, the medical and scientific community does not appreciate his methods of healing the sick, while the actual patients, medical professors, and hospital nurses all appreciate the work *he* can do, because they are unable to do it. (Read More)

Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, medical profession, patient, man with glasses

Toki O Kakeru Shojo (2006) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Sci-fi

Toki O Kakeru Shojo (2006)

Themes:anger
Story:frustration, sadness, mini skirt, based on novel

Don't Say A Word (2001)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Don't Say A Word (2001)

A group of thieves steal a rare gem, but in the process, two of the men double cross the leader of the thieving group, Patrick, and take off with the precious stone. Ten years later, prominent psychiatrist Nathan Conrad is invited to examine a disturbed young woman named Elisabeth. Patrick immediately kidnaps Nathan's daughter, forcing Nathan to attempt to get Elisabeth to reveal a secret number which will ultimately lead Patrick to the whereabouts of the precious gem that has eluded him. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Story:doctor patient relationship, psychiatric hospital, patient, based on novel, death, violence

Irreversible (2002)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Irreversible (2002)

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect, and how time destroys everything. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Story:happiness, coma, sadness, one word title, death, violence

Big Fish (2003)
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Big Fish (2003)

United Press International journalist Will Bloom and his French freelance photojournalist wife Josephine Bloom, who is pregnant with their first child, leave their Paris base to return to Will's hometown of Ashton, Alabama on the news that his father, Edward Bloom, stricken with cancer, will soon die, he being taken off chemotherapy treatment. Although connected indirectly through Will's mother/Edward's wife, Sandra Bloom, Will has been estranged from his father for three years since his and Josephine's wedding. Will's issue with his father is the fanciful tales Edward has told of his life all his life, not only to Will but the whole world. As a child when Edward was largely absent as a traveling salesman, Will believed those stories, but now realizes that he does not know his father, who, as he continues to tell these stories, he will never get to know unless Edward comes clean with the truth before he dies. On the brink of his own family life beginning, Will does not want to be the kind of father Edward has been to him. One of those stories from Edward's childhood - that he saw his own death in the glass eye of a witch - led to him embracing life since he would not have to fear death knowing when and how it would eventually come. The question is whether Will will be able to reconcile Edward's stories against his real life, either directly from Edward before he dies and/or from other sources, and thus allow Will to come to a new understanding of himself and his life, past, present and future. This is why Big Fish (2003) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Period:1930s, 1960s
Story:based on novel, death

Beginners (2010) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Beginners (2010)

It's 2003. Thirty-eight-year-old graphic artist Oliver Fields has just lost his father Hal Fields to cancer, after Oliver's mother Georgia Fields passed away five years earlier. Oliver is naturally a sullen man due to his growing up relationships with his parents (his mother who had a unique view on life) and watching his parents' cordial but somewhat distant relationship with each other, but is more so now because of his personal family losses. Oliver embarks on a relationship with Anna, a French actress, hoping that his re-energized relationship with Hal following Georgia's death, and Hal's new outlook on life during that time, will show Oliver how to act in a loving relationship. After Georgia's death, Hal came out of the closet and began to live with a joie de vivre that did not exist before, which included an open relationship with a much younger man named Andy. Oliver's relationship with Anna has other obstacles, including Anna's own vagabond lifestyle and Oliver needing to take care of who was originally Hal's very needy Jack Russell terrier, Arthur. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:happiness, sadness, death, one word title

Raging Bull (1980)
Biography, Drama, Sport

Raging Bull (1980)

When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Period:1960s
Story:bronx new york city, sadness, violence

Boy A (2007)
Drama

Boy A (2007)

A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Story:earthworm, frustration, based on true story, based on novel, violence, death

Before I Go To Sleep (2014)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Before I Go To Sleep (2014)

Forty-year-old Christine Lucas wakes up in bed with a man she does not know, in an unfamiliar house. The man explains that he is her husband, Ben, and that she suffered brain damage from a car accident ten years earlier. Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of her life from her early twenties onwards. Christine receives treatment from Dr. Nasch, a neurologist at a local hospital who provides her a camera to record her thoughts and progress each day, and calls her every morning to remind her to watch the video in the camera. Soon, she starts to discover the truth around her. (Read More)

Themes:illness, anger
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, neurologist, based on novel, violence

Winter's Tale (2014) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Winter's Tale (2014)

New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake ('Colin Farrell (I)' (qv)), orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter, an Irish burglar in his early 20's, and Beverly Penn ('Jessica Brown Findlay' (qv)), a young girl, who is dying. This is why Winter's Tale (2014) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Themes:dying
Story:miracle, happiness, sadness, based on novel

Die Falscher (2007)
Crime, Drama, War

Die Falscher (2007)

The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936. Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch is the king of counterfeiters. He lives a mischievous life of cards, booze, and women in Berlin during the Nazi-era. Suddenly his luck runs dry when arrested by Superintendent Friedrich Herzog. Immediately thrown into the Mauthausen concentration camp, Salomon exhibits exceptional skills there and is soon transferred to the upgraded camp of Sachsenhausen. Upon his arrival, he once again comes face to face with Herzog, who is there on a secret mission. Hand-picked for his unique skill, Salomon and a group of professionals are forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program Operation Bernhard. The team, which also includes detainee Adolf Burger, is given luxury barracks for their assistance. But while Salomon attempts to weaken the economy of Germany's allied opponents, Adolf refuses to use his skills for Nazi profit and would like to do something to stop Operation Bernhard's aid to the war effort. Faced with a moral dilemma, Salomon must decide whether his actions, which could prolong the war and risk the lives of fellow prisoners, are ultimately the right ones. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Characters:doctor
Period:1930s
Story:cynicism, medicine, based on true story, death, violence

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

On the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams (nee Fuller) is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being diagnosed with several aging diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin's biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations in Benjamin's diary are difficult for Caroline to read, especially as it relates to the time past this reconnection between Benjamin and Daisy, when Daisy gets older and Benjamin grows younger into his childhood years. (Read More)

Themes:dying, hope
Locations:wheelchair, hospital
Period:1930s, 1960s
Story:man with glasses, death

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Biography, Drama

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize. (Read More)

Themes:anger
Locations:wheelchair
Characters:doctor
Period:1960s
Story:motivational, psychiatric hospital, medicine, based on true story

Le Notti Di Cabiria (1957) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama

Le Notti Di Cabiria (1957)

Rome, 1957. A woman, Cabiria, is robbed and left to drown by her boyfriend, Giorgio. Rescued, she resumes her life and tries her best to find happiness in a cynical world. Even when she thinks her struggles are over and she has found happiness and contentment, things may not be what they seem.

Themes:hope
Story:miracle, charity, happiness, based on novel

Private Parts (1997)
Biography, Comedy, Drama

Private Parts (1997)

Having always wanted to be a disc-jockey, Howard Stern works his way painfully from radio at his 1970's college to a Detroit station. It is with a move to Washington that he hits on an outrageous off-the-wall style that catches audience attention. Despite his on-air blue talk, at home he is a loving husband. He needs all the support he can get when he joins NBC in New York and comes up against a very different vision of radio. This is why Private Parts (1997) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990). (Read More)

Period:1960s
Story:hippie, mini skirt, title directed by female, based on true story, based on novel

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Biography, Drama

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas 1985. Electrician and sometimes rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof lives hard, which includes heavy smoking, drinking, drug use (primarily cocaine) and casual sex. He is racist and homophobic. While in the hospital on a work related injury, the doctors discover and inform him that he is HIV+, and that he will most-likely die within thirty days. Ron is initially in angry denial that he would have a disease that only "faggots" have, but upon quick reflection comes to the realization that the diagnosis is probably true. He begins to read whatever research is available about the disease, which at this time seems to be most effectively treated by the drug AZT. AZT, however, is only in the clinical trials stage within the US. Incredulous that he, as a dying man, cannot pay for any drug which may save or at least prolong his life, he goes searching for it by whatever means possible. It eventually leads him to Mexico and a "Dr." Vass, an American physician whose license was revoked in the US because of his AIDS related work against US regulations. Dr. Vass leads Ron to a cocktail of other drugs, some vitamins, he believes are more effective in treating the symptoms, since the virus, as Ron learns, will always be in the system of those who have been exposed to it. Ron begins to smuggle these drugs not approved by the FDA into the US, not only for his own use but for sale to other HIV+ persons. In this venture, he goes into an unlikely partnership with a HIV+ transgender woman named Rayon, who he met in the hospital and who has greater contact with AIDS patients through the gay community. As they try to work both above ground to get the meds to those that need them and underground to avoid detection by especially the FDA, Ron comes up with an idea to circumvent the fact of selling the drugs - which are not considered drugs yet since they are not FDA approved - directly to the HIV+ population, which then should should not be against the law. Richard Barkley and Dr. Sevard, the FDA's lead man on the file and one of Ron's doctors respectively, the latter who sees clinical trials as the only way to determine the efficacy of drugs despite the fact that Ron and others would have probably died already without these drugs, try to stop Ron and Rayon at every turn. Caught in the middle is Dr. Eve Saks, another of Ron's doctors, who understands why policies are in place, but who can sympathize with Ron, Rayon and others - all her patients, directly or indirectly - in their situation. (Read More)

Themes:dying, illness
Locations:hospital
Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, patient, medicine, man with glasses, based on true story, death

Serpico (1973)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Serpico (1973)

Serpico is a cop in the 1960s-early 1970s. Unlike all his colleagues, he refuses a share of the money that the cops routinely extort from local criminals. Nobody wants to work with Serpico, and he's in constant danger of being placed in life threatening positions by his "partners". Nothing seems to get done even when he goes to the highest of authorities. Despite the dangers he finds himself in, he still refuses to 'go with the flow', in the hope that one day, the truth will be known. (Read More)

Themes:hope
Locations:hospital
Period:1960s
Story:hippie, cynicism, one word title, violence

What Dreams May Come (1998) is one of the best movies like Awakenings (1990)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

What Dreams May Come (1998)

After Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert. His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie, commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert's warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he'd imagined. (Read More)

Characters:doctor
Story:doctor patient relationship, motivational, happiness, based on novel, death

Forever Young (1992)
Drama, Romance, Sci-fi

Forever Young (1992)

A 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel McCormick wants to be frozen for a year so that he doesn't have to watch his love lying in a coma. The next thing Daniel knows is that he's been awoken in 1992.

Period:1930s
Story:medical profession, coma

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