Elephant - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Elephant Reviews

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Kent Turner
April 9, 2004
This slight film raises questions that it doesn't explore, let alone answer. Far from probing, there's barely any character or theme development.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
March 22, 2004
Watching 'Elephant,' you begin to understand how Scrooge must have felt during the evening he spent with the ghosts in 'A Christmas Carol.'
| Original Score: 4/4
Brian Orndorf
March 16, 2004
I recognize the artistic exercise that director Gus Van Sant is trying to undertake with Elephant. But that's no excuse for Van Sant to put the audience through 80 minutes of something, and then have it add up to absolutely nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
Dan Jardine
February 23, 2004
Beautifully made, but ultimately a pretty facile treatment of a deadly serious tragedy
Full Review | Original Score: 59/100
Rick Kisonak
Film Threat
February 17, 2004
I'll be honest: I'm not sure there isn't something unsavory about a picture made for no other purpose than to build suspense and anticipation toward something so monstrous.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Harry Guerin
RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
February 13, 2004
Van Sant deserves credit for tackling what mainstream cinema sees as a taboo subject - right now - but why does it have to be so slapdash?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ed Colley
Future Movies UK
February 7, 2004
It is clear that something terrible is going to happen, which makes the seemingly everyday lives that are being led by the film's characters all the more poignant.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Edward Douglas
February 7, 2004
The camerawork and cinematography by frequent Van Sant collaborator, Harris Savides, are nothing short of amazing, making even the most mundane scenes a gorgeous look.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
February 2, 2004
For a story about a shooting, Van Sant completely misses the target.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Stephen Schaefer
Boston Herald
February 2, 2004
Gus Van Sant's poetic, disturbing Elephant demonstrates once again how a no-frills, low-budget script with an intelligent point of view is all a film needs to be compelling or, in this instance, unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Matthew Turner
January 31, 2004
Impressively directed, this is audacious, frustrating and horrifying in equal measure -- Van Sant's film raises plenty of questions but refuses to provide any answers.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Anton Bitel
Movie Gazette
January 30, 2004
An intelligent reflection on Columbine, preferring difficult questions to easy answers, with the sort of quiet subtlety that one would never expect from an elephant.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
January 22, 2004
A living, breathing work that's distinctively different from the regular hyper-reality of Hollywood films.
| Original Score: 4/5
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
January 22, 2004
Elephant is neither exploitive nor informative, although it's certainly a crock.
| Original Score: 2/4
Bryant Frazer
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
January 21, 2004
An almost metaphysical sigh heaved in response to the Columbine slayings.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Nev Pierce
January 20, 2004
Pseudo-important posturing without either original thought or the excitement of an unashamed exploitation movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
January 14, 2004
achieves profundity-not through didactic Oliver Stone style exposť-but by presenting an ordinary day in the life of various students as prelude to unthinkable tragedy
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
January 13, 2004
One could fault the poetic distance of Elephant's approach as inhumane, cruel, but it's this reserve that cuts through the disaffectedness of high school experience.
Full Review
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
January 2, 2004
A haunting, maddening, scary and very sad portrait of America as it enters a new millenium.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ian Grey
Orlando Weekly
December 25, 2003
Taking on the modern horror of the Columbine school shootings, the only answer writer/director Gus Van Sant comes up with is "beats me."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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