Water for Elephants


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.



Total Count: 196


Audience Score

User Ratings: 68,264
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Movie Info

Based on the acclaimed bestseller, Water for Elephants presents an unexpected romance in a uniquely compelling setting. Veterinary school student Jacob meets and falls in love with Marlena, a star performer in a circus of a bygone era. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for a special elephant. Against all odds -- including the wrath of Marlena's charismatic but dangerous husband, August -- Jacob and Marlena find lifelong love. (c) Fox


Hal Holbrook
as Old Jacob
Mark Povinelli
as Kinko/Walter
James Frain
as Rosie's Caretaker
Sam Anderson
as Mr. Hyde
John Aylward
as Mr. Erwin
Brad Greenquist
as Mr. Robinson
Tim Guinee
as Diamond Joe
Donna Wilson
as Barbara
E.E. Bell
as Cecil the Barker
Aleksandra Kaniak
as Mrs. Jankowski
Ilia Volok
as Mr. Jankowski
Bruce Gray
as Proctor
Jim Jansen
as Dean Wilkins
James Keane
as Chaplain
Ivo Nandi
as Grocer
Karynn Moore
as Catherine Hale
Andrew Connolly
as Weehawken Officer
Doug McDougal
as Big Top Band Leader
Tracy Phillips
as Coochie Girl (Nell)
Rowan O'Hara
as Stampede Girl
as Rosie
as Queenie
as Silver Star
as Rex
Sita Acevedo
as Circus Performer
Danny Castle
as Circus Performer
Michael Coronas
as Circus Performer
Aloysia Gavré
as Circus Performer
Chobi Gyorgy
as Circus Performer
David Hunt
as Circus Performer
George Landkas-Coronas
as Circus Performer
Kerren McKeeman
as Circus Performer
Rebecca Ostroff
as Circus Performer
Bianca Sapetto
as Circus Performer
Katia Sereno
as Circus Performer
Vladimir Sizov
as Circus Performer
Russell Stark
as Circus Performer
Sebastien Stella
as Circus Performer
Lee-Anne Telford
as Circus Performer
Dreya Weber
as Circus Performer
Tara Ferguson
as Showgirl
Molly O'Neill
as Showgirl
Aryiel Hartman
as Coochie Girl
Michelle Lavon
as Coochie Girl
Mark Barnett
as Sideshow
Rob Crites
as Sideshow
Mary Newman
as Sideshow
Brad Potts
as Sideshow
Jackie Zane
as Sideshow
Jon Weiss
as Clown
Wyatt Biessel
as Big Top Band
Chris Blim
as Big Top Band
Duff Dugan
as Big Top Band
Marcus Everett
as Big Top Band
Joe Langer
as Big Top Band
Glen McDougal
as Big Top Band
Stefan Rollins
as Big Top Band
William Scott Morse
as Big Top Band
Evan Silverman
as Big Top Band
Beresford Bennett
as Sideshow Band
Johnny Britt
as Sideshow Band
Garnett Brown
as Sideshow Band
George Harper
as Sideshow Band
Bobby Haynes
as Sideshow Band
Todd Cochran
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
Mike Davis
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
Keith Friddmont
as Speakeasy Jazz band
Wynton McCurty
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
Deryl Patterson
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
Kabin Thomas
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
Karl Vincent
as Speakeasy Jazz Band
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News & Interviews for Water for Elephants

Critic Reviews for Water for Elephants

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (118) | 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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