The Weight of Water (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Weight of Water (2001)



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

The Weight of Water Trailers & Photos

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.more
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


Sean Penn
as Thomas Janes
Sarah Polley
as Maren Hontvedt
Elizabeth Hurley
as Adaline Gunne
Josh Lucas
as Rich Janes
Ciarán Hinds
as Louis Wagner
Ulrich Thomsen
as John Hontvedt
Anders W. Berthelsen
as Evan Christenson
Katrin Cartlidge
as Karen Christenson
Rita Kvist
as Young Maren
Vinessa Shaw
as Anethe Christenson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Weight of Water

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 Anderson

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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