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The Weight of Water (2000)

tomatometer

34

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 64
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 42

The story is too muddled to build any interest.

36

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 16

The story is too muddled to build any interest.

audience

39

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 4,436

My Rating

Movie Info

A woman studying a crime of the past finds her own life becoming a morass of suspicion and deceit in this drama based on the novel by Anita Shreve. Jean Janes (Catherine McCormack) is a photographer working on a project that would document surviving evidence of a multiple murder that occurred a hundred years ago -- when a man named Louis Wagner (Ciaran Hinds) brutally killed two immigrant women from Norway with an axe, only to discover a third, Maren Hontvedt (Sarah Polley), witnessed the mayhem

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Alice Arlen, Christopher Kyle

Mar 4, 2003

Lions Gate Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (42) | DVD (10)

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

May 30, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop 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.

December 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop 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.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nem as ótimas performances de Sarah Polley e Sean Penn conseguem conferir energia a este filme, cujas histórias desenvolvidas paralelamente se anulam de forma implacável.

November 12, 2003
Cinema em Cena

The film might appeal to those who've already read the book, but it's unlikely those who haven't will find much of anything to enjoy here.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It doesn't surprise me that this film sat for two years in storage before released, as the final version appeared clunky.

March 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Bigelow offers some flashy twists and turns that occasionally fortify this turgid fable. But for the most part, The Weight of Water comes off as a two-way time-switching myopic mystery that stalls in its lackluster gear of emotional blandness.

February 2, 2003 Full Review Source: TheWorldJournal.com
TheWorldJournal.com

Despite an impressive roster of stars and direction from Kathryn Bigelow, The Weight of Water is oppressively heavy.

January 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The superior plotline isn't quite enough to drag along the dead (water) weight of the other.

January 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Elegantly crafted but emotionally cold, a puzzle whose intricate construction one can admire but is difficult to connect with on any deeper level.

December 30, 2002 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

[Two] fairly dull -- contrasting and interlocking stories about miserable Scandinavian settlers in 18th-century Canada, and yuppie sailboaters in the here and now.

December 13, 2002
Philadelphia Daily News

Sarah Polley deserves some kind of recognition for her role in this film.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

None of the characters or plot-lines are fleshed-out enough to build any interest.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Works better in its various parts than as a whole.

December 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

It's a 100-year old mystery that is constantly being interrupted by Elizabeth Hurley in a bathing suit.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

A well-acted movie that simply doesn't gel.

November 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

You can feel the restlessness in the repressed emotions and unspoken passions of the characters, but exactly what they yearn for is not always clear.

November 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for The Weight of Water

I enjoyed the plots. It took a while to become comfortable with the dual stories.
August 27, 2008
Redlats

Super Reviewer

Sarah Polley saves a predictable fable from drowning in Sean Penn's ham.
February 9, 2008
gor41
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.
August 13, 2007
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

You would have expected more from Bigelow's directorial debut particularly when she had Sean Penn and Sarah Polley to use but this is a boat that seems to drift endlessly with the unlikely revelation of a centuries old murder. A head scratcher by the time the credits roll.
April 10, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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