Magic in the Water (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Magic in the Water (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, this magical family tale centers on a divorced radio talk show psychiatrist who has been so immersed in his career that he has neglected his two kids, Ashley and Josh. To rectify the situation, he takes them to a beautiful lakeside cabin in Glenorky, BC, the supposed home of a giant mythological reptilian monster. Though he has ostensibly come to spend time with the kids, the lure of working on his book is too strong and soon he is locked away in the cabin amidst papers, a cellular phone and a lap-top, busily clacking away while the children head out to explore. It is Ashley who first sees the mythical monster. She tells her dad, and of course, he initially disbelieves her, but the girl seems so earnest that he begins to wonder. His investigation of the matter leads him down a magical road to reconciliation with his children and the rediscovery that there is a wonderful life outside of his career. He even manages to find a little love along the way. This film is also known as Glenorky.

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Mark Harmon
as Jack Black
Joshua Jackson
as Joshua Black
Harley Jane Kozak
as Dr. Wanda Bell
Sarah Wayne
as Ashley Black
Morris Panych
as Mack Miller
Tamsin Kelsey
as Sheriff Stevenson
Ben Cardinal
as Joe Pickled Trout
Frank S. Salsedo
as Uncle Kipper
P. Adrien Dorval
as Wright Hardy
Marc Acheson
as Lefty Hardy
Garrett Bennett
as Christian
David Rasche
as Phillip
Lesley Ewen
as Private Nurse
Will Sasso
as Shy Young Orderly
Nathan Begg
as Kid in Cowboy Hat
Philip Baer
as Boy in Boat
Peter Baer
as Boy in Boat
Elisa Wayne
as Girl in Tutu
Cole Halleran
as Boy on Leash
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Critic Reviews for Magic in the Water

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (11)

A singularly unconvincing parable, ultimately hamstrung by awkward, choppy storytelling.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On the minus side are a heavy-handed dose of political correctness and a needless flight into dubious whimsy in an already fanciful situation.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

If Magic in the Water had been written smarter, both children and adults would have enjoyed it more.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Orky is very concerned with the environment and can repair relationships between parents and children. But Orky cannot save this movie.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Orky isn't shown until near the end, and then only briefly. At first, I thought this was an attempt to build suspense, but after a while, I began to suspect that the high cost of sea-monster footage was the real explanation.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Director Rick Stevenson and co-writer Icel Dobell Massey tell their fanciful story with an appreciable amount of wit and imagination.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Magic in the Water


A family flick mostly forgotten by today (and mostly for good reason); Magic in the Water was made seemingly to take up space in theatres until better films were released. Combining intriguing elements like a rumored sea creature living in the nearby lake with other components like father and child relationships, one may have high hopes for this one. Sadly, most will be disappointed by the long stretches of boringness leading to the dull conclusion. This promising yet dismal premise finds young Ashley (played by a charmingly cute Sarah Wayne in her only film to date) joining her brother and father on a vacation to a lake near British Columbia where legend has it that a sea creature named "Orky" inhabits the water. The young girl becomes officially convinced this legend is true when she leaves some cookies on a doc and they are magically eaten the next day. Coincidence??? Whether this premise may be considered fascinating or entirely too corny will depend on the viewer's tolerance for straight up absurdity. Yes it is a fantasy, but this seemingly is just a copycat job of earlier (and better) Steven Spielberg movies. Some viewers may look deeper into the fact that the father and daughter relationship factor seems to be the prime focus, but the job does not quite get done here. An appealing cast does its best, but they've all surely done better projects before and after (save for Wayne). Though some sentimental viewers may remember this one fondly (if they were a VERY undemanding youngster), few will argue that there is nothing here that has not been done better in other family/fantasy films. One would think that a film with a good cast, attractive filming locations and overall good intentions would produce better results. Don't get your hopes up, folks!

Jeffrey Leppart
Jeffrey Leppart

If you combine a Loch Ness type of monster in a lake with a couple of kids, some toxic waste, two sub-marines and an old man claiming to be connected to the monster, you have the movie Magic in the Water (1995; 60% rating). This turned out to be a much better movie than I expected. Heck, it is even a family movie. While it is billed as a fantasy movie, I'd be more likely to call it a kids action movie. Is the monster real or an old story? You decide. I do recommend Magic in the Water.

Jim Gateley
Jim Gateley

Very good made-for-tv film from the mid-90s. I've always been fascinated by the Loch Ness Monster, and this reminded me of that, with a great family movie tied into it.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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