The Weight of Water (2001)



Critic Consensus: The story is too muddled to build any interest.

Movie Info

Journalist Jean Janes begins researching the 1873 axe-murder of two sisters and discovers new information in the case. Meanwhile, her marriage to writer Thomas begins to fall apart.

Rating: R (for violence, sexuality/nudity, and brief language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Alice Arlen, Christopher Kyle
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 4, 2003
Lions Gate Releasing - Official Site


as Thomas Janes

as Jean Janes

as Maren Hontvedt

as Adaline Gunne

as Rich Janes

as Louis Wagner

as John Hontvedt

as Evan Christenson

as Karen Christenson

as Young Maren

as Anethe Christenson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Weight of Water

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Critic Reviews for The Weight of Water

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (28)

The boating scenes have a languid yet charged sexuality, and the performances remain vibrant and rock-solid to the end.

Full Review… | May 30, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

Artistically speaking, Bigelow's drama may be her most ambitous and personal film to date, a multi-layered (period and contemporary) psychological thriller that borrows from Bergman's masterpiece Persona; commercially, however, it's problematic.

Full Review… | December 20, 2006
Top Critic

The jarring jumps between disconnected stories and watered-down sensationalism make for a soggy experience.

Full Review… | December 19, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The Weight of Water uses water as a metaphor for subconscious desire, but this leaky script barely stays afloat.

December 13, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

There are a few wrong notes, and the ending is too enigmatic for its own good, but for a studio production the film is uncommonly intelligent and uncompromising.

Full Review… | December 13, 2002
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Shreve's graceful dual narrative gets clunky on the screen, and we keep getting torn away from the compelling historical tale to a less-compelling soap opera.

Full Review… | November 15, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Weight of Water

I enjoyed the plots. It took a while to become comfortable with the dual stories.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Sarah Polley saves a predictable fable from drowning in Sean Penn's ham.

Gordon A

Super Reviewer


Very strange intriguing premise - solving a 100-year-old double murder - promises much but ultimately sinks under the weight of its own complexity. Even Sean penn and Elizabeth Hurley's flirtations fail to liven things up.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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