People Staff
November 30, 2007 AT 11:00 AM EST

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Cast: Jessica Alba, Hayden Christensen, Lena Olin

Director: Joby Harold

Script: Joby Harold

Rated: R, for strong language, a disturbing situation and a scene with drugs

Grade: B+

The plot of Awake revolves around Clay (Hayden Christensen), a powerful, yet humble young millionaire in New York who was born with a defective heart, which makes a transplant his only chance at survival. Jack (Terrence Howard), his best friend and a surgeon, will perform the operation, and his overprotective mother, Lilith (Lena Olin), will guard his fortune. But everything changes when Clay meets his mom’s assistant, Sam (Jessica Alba), falls desperately in love and marries her against Lilith’s wishes.

But the story doesn’t end there. As soon as Clay finds out a heart is available, the plot speeds up, taking new shape with some surprising twists and shocking scenes.

Awake is an example of how Christensen and Alba are maturing as actors. Christensen wins the audience’s good graces by upholding the humility and romanticism of his character. As for Alba, she gives us perhaps the best performance of her career. Her portrayal of Sam – the simple, charismatic and ambitious lovebird – will make the audience applaud at the film’s end, but not just for the reasons she’s praised in this review.

Awake is a suspenseful psychological thriller that will keep you tied to your seat.

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