The Water Diviner

2014, Drama/War, 1h 52m

152 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

The Water Diviner finds Russell Crowe on somewhat uncertain footing as a director, but he's rescued by a strong performance from himself in the leading role. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli, Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey to find his three sons, who never returned home from the war. When he arrives in Istanbul, he meets others who have also suffered losses: hotelier Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and her son, Orhan, who befriends Connor; and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), a Turkish officer who fought against Connor's sons and now may be their father's only hope in finding closure.

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Critic Reviews for The Water Diviner

Audience Reviews for The Water Diviner

  • Oct 18, 2015
    All the excitement you'd expect from a film about the battle for Gallipoli -- or, rather, from slogging through the mud of the battle field four years later in order to inexplicably, magically divine the places where your three sons died...one...by...one....in order to fulfill a promise to a depressed woman who killed herself long ago. Quick tip: Save you ticket money and take a two hour nap instead!
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2015
    A cheesey love story that has an equally absurd plot. Well acted shame about the rest.
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2015
    Russell Crowe's performance is the only thing that prevents this from being a complete disaster, since his awful direction and the lame script turn the film into a Mexican telenovela for alpha males, with ludicrous situations, cheesy dialogue and Olga Kurylenko as an irritating caricature.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2015
    Deserving more attention that it has thus far received, The Water Diviner represents Russell Crowe's directorial debut and the result is relatively successful, if unspectacular. While the plot involves an Australian man traveling to British-occupied post-Ottoman Turkey, trying to recover his sons' remains in the aftermath of WWI (all three were presumably killed at The Battle of Gallipoli), it is framed as a journey of self- discovery with light romantic elements. Crowe proves to be a competent but not exceptional director. His true talents lie in front of the camera and he is still an able lead, provided he has something to work with. Olga Kurylenko perks up the picture a bit with her charms, even if her casting as a Turkish woman is questionable. (She's French Russian, but Hollywood has been doing this shit forever, so who cares right?) There are many historical elements that go nowhere - the British Occupation, Turkish Nationalist movements, the Greek Invasion, women's lack of rights in an Islamic society, among others that just form noise and an interesting backdrop. What proves more substantial is the film's true subtext about the aftermath of the WWI itself. I would argue that The Water Diviner is a light, somber epitaph to the generation of young men lost on both sides of the Middle Eastern campaign and the people they left behind. It's not perfect and lacks the punch it might have had, but the topic is something more Americans need to be familiar with, and you could do far worse things with your time.
    Joshua S Super Reviewer

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