• Released
  • April 22, 2011
  • PG-13 , 2 hr 0 min
  • Drama
  • 2,468 Fan Ratings
Synopsis: An orphaned veterinary student joins a traveling circus.

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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Fan Reviews

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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