Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants

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Water for Elephants

Period romance set in a traveling circus, starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Based on the bestselling novel.

Veterinary school student Jacob (Pattinson) meets and falls in love with Marlena (Witherspoon), a star performer in a circus of a bygone era. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for a special elephant. Their relationship faces the wrath of Marlena's dangerous husband, August (Inglourious Basterds' Christoph Waltz).

2011Rating: M, contains violence120 minsUSA
AdaptationDramaRomance
67%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

The filmmakers clearly value their public, crafting a splendid period swooner that delivers classic romance and an indelible insider's view of 1930s circus life.

0
TVNZ

TVNZ

press

Water For Elephants is massively disappointing after such a good set up.

2.0
0
Total Film

Total Film

press

A swoony, enjoyable, old-time romance whose best acts are a period-perfect Pattinson and a playful pachyderm. But despite its best endeavours, it can’t quite punch above ’plex-pleasing weight.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Short-circuits the novel's quirky charms and period atmosphere by its squeamish attitude toward gritty circus life and smothers the drama under James Newton Howard's insufferable wall-to-wall musical soup.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

In an age of prefabricated special effects and obviously phony spectacle, it's sort of old-fashioned (and a pleasure) to see a movie made of real people and plausible sets.

0
Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

press

Clumsy, cruelly disappointing...

1.0
0
Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

press

Clumsy, cruelly disappointing...

1.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Will please fans of Sara Gruen's best seller, but it lacks the vital spark that would have made the drama truly compelling on the screen.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Familiar but enjoyable. Not being funny, the elephant (Rosie, played by nine-foot enchantress Tai) is the real star as the most moving and only joyful presence in sight.

3.0
0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

Water For Elephants is your typical love triangle (or quadrangle), but this swoony, dramatic, high-stakes romance has an old-timey twist.

0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

It's a tastefully managed, passionless melodrama, full of brooding looks and reasonably sweet moments, but typified by a scantly characterized central couple who bring no sense of engagement to their relationship.

0

Water for Elephants

The story itself is wildly unrealistic, but Water for Elephants tells it cohesively with fine performances accompanied with rough, heartbreaking scenes of raw emotion.

3.0
0

I liked it!

I didn't think I could imagine Robert Pattison without fangs and red glowing eyes, so thought that this movie would be terrible. I was happy to proved wrong, and thought he pulled off a great performance in this film. I hadn't read the book, so can't compare it to that. But enjoyed the film from start to finish and would definately recommend it.

3.0
0

Okay

Maybe it's because these type of movies are not my thing, but found it boring and predictable. Would not recommend.

3.0
0

A watchable period piece

I don't get the Robert Pattinson thing so nearly didn't go to this movie, but I'm glad I did. A good adaptation from the book, it wasn't how I pictured it as I read the book and that can be a good thing. I ended up enjoying Pattinson in the role and Reese played her character well too. A good mix of characters, casting worked well and the whole premise of...

3.0
0

Recommended

1931 wasn't a good year. The depression hit America hard. Water for Elephants captures this grim reality but manages to maintain the romanticism of the train-travelling big-top circus era. Pattison handles the leading role with a great deal of competency, though never seeming to transcend that level. This stands out more in comparison to the excellent...

4.0
0

Really a period drama....

I agree it is kind of old school and much of the charm of the movie was in the costumes and setting representing the bygone era of 1931. As such it was entertaining and I wasn't bored (although at one point in the middle I was almost bored !). Robert was OK and Reese, let's face it, was just being Reese and neither of them were outstanding. However...

3.0
0

Worth a watch :)

Thinks its a bit better than the bad review it gets by the movie credits... perhaps wait till it's on DVD?

3.0
0

Which film were you watching?

Geez, Rebecca Barry. "It's not explained why Jacob can suddenly speak a strange language the elephant understands." REALLY? Because remember at the beginning of the film when Jacob is speaking POLISH to his POLISH parents who very soon after die in a car accident? And then remember how when he is frustrated with the elephant Jacob says something...

3.0
0

Didnt like it.

Terrible casting and acting apart from Reese. Predictable and far fetched. Save your time and money.

2.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

The filmmakers clearly value their public, crafting a splendid period swooner that delivers classic romance and an indelible insider's view of 1930s circus life.

0
TVNZ

TVNZ

press

Water For Elephants is massively disappointing after such a good set up.

2.0
0
Total Film

Total Film

press

A swoony, enjoyable, old-time romance whose best acts are a period-perfect Pattinson and a playful pachyderm. But despite its best endeavours, it can’t quite punch above ’plex-pleasing weight.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Short-circuits the novel's quirky charms and period atmosphere by its squeamish attitude toward gritty circus life and smothers the drama under James Newton Howard's insufferable wall-to-wall musical soup.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

In an age of prefabricated special effects and obviously phony spectacle, it's sort of old-fashioned (and a pleasure) to see a movie made of real people and plausible sets.

0
Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

press

Clumsy, cruelly disappointing...

1.0
0
Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

press

Clumsy, cruelly disappointing...

1.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Will please fans of Sara Gruen's best seller, but it lacks the vital spark that would have made the drama truly compelling on the screen.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Familiar but enjoyable. Not being funny, the elephant (Rosie, played by nine-foot enchantress Tai) is the real star as the most moving and only joyful presence in sight.

3.0
0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

Water For Elephants is your typical love triangle (or quadrangle), but this swoony, dramatic, high-stakes romance has an old-timey twist.

0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

It's a tastefully managed, passionless melodrama, full of brooding looks and reasonably sweet moments, but typified by a scantly characterized central couple who bring no sense of engagement to their relationship.

0

Water for Elephants

The story itself is wildly unrealistic, but Water for Elephants tells it cohesively with fine performances accompanied with rough, heartbreaking scenes of raw emotion.

3.0
0

I liked it!

I didn't think I could imagine Robert Pattison without fangs and red glowing eyes, so thought that this movie would be terrible. I was happy to proved wrong, and thought he pulled off a great performance in this film. I hadn't read the book, so can't compare it to that. But enjoyed the film from start to finish and would definately recommend it.

3.0
0

Okay

Maybe it's because these type of movies are not my thing, but found it boring and predictable. Would not recommend.

3.0
0

A watchable period piece

I don't get the Robert Pattinson thing so nearly didn't go to this movie, but I'm glad I did. A good adaptation from the book, it wasn't how I pictured it as I read the book and that can be a good thing. I ended up enjoying Pattinson in the role and Reese played her character well too. A good mix of characters, casting worked well and the whole premise of...

3.0
0

Recommended

1931 wasn't a good year. The depression hit America hard. Water for Elephants captures this grim reality but manages to maintain the romanticism of the train-travelling big-top circus era. Pattison handles the leading role with a great deal of competency, though never seeming to transcend that level. This stands out more in comparison to the excellent...

4.0
0

Really a period drama....

I agree it is kind of old school and much of the charm of the movie was in the costumes and setting representing the bygone era of 1931. As such it was entertaining and I wasn't bored (although at one point in the middle I was almost bored !). Robert was OK and Reese, let's face it, was just being Reese and neither of them were outstanding. However...

3.0
0

Worth a watch :)

Thinks its a bit better than the bad review it gets by the movie credits... perhaps wait till it's on DVD?

3.0
0

Which film were you watching?

Geez, Rebecca Barry. "It's not explained why Jacob can suddenly speak a strange language the elephant understands." REALLY? Because remember at the beginning of the film when Jacob is speaking POLISH to his POLISH parents who very soon after die in a car accident? And then remember how when he is frustrated with the elephant Jacob says something...

3.0
0

Didnt like it.

Terrible casting and acting apart from Reese. Predictable and far fetched. Save your time and money.

2.0
0