Water for Elephants Synopsis
An orphaned veterinary student joins a traveling circus.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

52
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85

Movieline

By Stephanie Zacharek
One of those big, extravagant-looking romances that you might automatically deem "conventional" - except for the fact that almost nobody...
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75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
Steamy and sexy with a smack of sadism, the movie is a throwback to old-school Hollywood action/romance.
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
In Water for Elephants, Waltz plays a circus owner and ringleader during the Great Depression, and when he's onscreen, every eye is on him,...
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63

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It's all in the telling. Gruen provided grit and pungent detail. The movie settles for gloss.
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63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Mildly entertaining, though the best performances come not from the stars, but the supporting players.
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60

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
The primary drawback is the lack of chemistry between the leads, Reese Witherspoon and "Twilight's" Robert Pattinson.
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58

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Something is wrong under this big tent. Actually made to resemble a good old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing movie, this cinematic Water for...
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50

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
The camera, costumes, and art direction do everything right. Too much so. The movie strips away both the grand weirdness of the circus and...
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50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
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.
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20

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
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A splendid view.

By xxanimebunnyxx
This movie is a true wonder, a real in-depth look at circus life back in the 1930s, and a very talented cast. The story is delivered beautiful, and the actors including Rosy the elephant were superb....

Worth the admision

By fan4movies2
GO see this movie. If you like Depression Era, drama movies, with a twist at the end, this is the movie for you. Although the movie may not be for everyone, it reminded me again of the plight many...

Must See

By vegasbiatch66
Saw it opening afternoon. It was a touching movie.. parts hard to watch but it was very good, well acted. Story moved well, even my 15 year old son was impressed with it. I would highly...

Great Movie!!!

By borjasm
Beautiful movie, great job by Rob, Reese and Christoph and OMG!! Rosie, she is a hero :)...

water for elephants

By georgedye
The movie and story was great. The casting was off. Christoph Walz was amazing as usual and Reese Witherspoon was great. Pattinson was miscast. Good with the animals but definitely not a leading man...

Water for Elephants review

By Punk_Kanellis
Literally, probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Tragic, hopeful, horrifying, and lustful. This movie shows you what it’s like to really be in love when someone is trying to separate you....

not for animal lovers

By carx15
This was a very predictable movie. Which does not always favor my review. Reece is playing a dangerous game and Pattinson just gets sucked right in, this you see coming from miles away. As for...

was alright

By browningsm
Water for elephants was alright; waited to see it on dvd and glad i did. christopher waltz is an excellent actor and his voice and accent are extremely unique. I'd expect to be seeing more of him in...

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By norah1012
Loved it!...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For moments of intense violence and sexual content
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 14+ The Notebook + the circus; some upsetting scenes.
Read the Common Sense Media Review
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF