Water for Elephants 2011

Water for Elephants

Critics Consensus

It's a tale tastefully told and beautifully filmed, but Water for Elephants suffers from a pronounced lack of chemistry between its leads.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 197

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 68,321

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Movie Info

Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson), a veterinary student, is close to graduating when a terrible tragedy forces him to leave school. With nowhere else to go, he hops on a passing train and finds it belongs to a traveling circus. Jacob takes a job as an animal caretaker and meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), a beautiful circus performer. Their shared compassion for a special elephant named Rosie leads to love, but August (Christoph Waltz), Marlena's cruel husband, stands in their way.

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Critic Reviews for Water for Elephants

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (119) | Rotten (78)

Audience Reviews for Water for Elephants

  • Nov 12, 2013
    I don't know if this story adds up. But it was nice to look at. If you need to "run away and join the circus", this might do the trick.
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2013
    I LOVED the book and I figured that the movie wasn't going to live up to it, and I was right so it wasn't a major letdown. The book was so intense, throughout the entire thing and I could not put it down. I wanted the movie to be just as intense but it really wasn't. I didn't care about what happened to the characters in the movie as much as I cared about the characters in the book.
    Megan S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 01, 2012
    In 1931, Jacob's(Robert Pattinson) plans for the day involving him passing his final exam to become a veternarian and getting in the skirts of an attractive classmate. His plans for the future are dashed when his parents die tragically in a car crash, leaving him nothing due to mortgaging everything for his college education. So, he takes to the road to seek his fortune elsewhere. When the light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel turns out to be a literal train, it is not all bad news for Jacob as Camel(Jim Norton) takes him under his wing and shows him that a person is never too old to run away to the circus. There, Jacob impresses August(Christoph Waltz), the boss, and his wife Marlena(Reese Witherspoon) enough with his training that he is trusted with the new star attraction. Admittedly, "Water for Elephants" is a slow moving, old fashioned and more than a little anticlimactic movie. On the plus side, it does a very good job of recreating a bygone era of traveling circuses with excellent cinematography while not overlooking that period's cruelties. Along these same lines, the movie neatly reinforces some of the lessons on animal training taught in the documentary "Buck." I only wish the focus was broader with "Water for Elephants" than just the love triangle but then this is Jacob's story to tell which is a reminder to consider how much really happened, especially with his fortuitous timing, in this movie set in the land of reinvention. Plus, maybe, there is some hope for this Pattinson kid, yet
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    This was a really cute movie. There was definitely no chemistry between Witherspoon or Pattinson, but it was pretty good. Nothing special or different about it. It's just an average drama. I'd totally watch it again, but not any time soon.
    Japes . Super Reviewer

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