Water for Elephants - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Water for Elephants Reviews

October 7, 2011
Supporting characters are too hastily sketched in, serving only to further the unsmooth course of true love.
May 6, 2011
Water for Elephants may not be the best show on earth, but it's still quite a show.
Full Review | Original Score: B
May 3, 2011
'Water for Elephants' has charm, and this more grown up role suits Pattinson more than the histrionics of last year's 'Remember Me'.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
May 2, 2011
The movie rather embarrassingly sells chastity in the midst of what feels like a lawless situation. It's handsomely mounted but timid.
April 23, 2011
The great intangible of chemistry isn't present, making Water for Elephants seem longer and slower than one might hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 22, 2011
Isn't it OK, once in a while, just to enjoy the spectacle of two beautiful people kissing in a train car in the shadow of an elephant?
Top Critic
April 22, 2011
Witherspoon makes an incongruously squeaky Marlena, and it doesn't help that Pattinson is about as ardently expressive as a log of wood trying to pass itself off as James Dean.
April 22, 2011
Does the sheer Hollywood hoopla add up to a perversely enjoyable brand of something that can be loosely called entertainment? I think it does.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 22, 2011
Witherspoon sparkles appropriately, Waltz is indeed one scary dude and Pattinson acquits himself well enough, although he leans too much on grinning as a default reaction.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 22, 2011
Water For Elephants is not, to borrow the Benzini Bros. Circus' motto -- "the most spectacular show on Earth." But it is a class act.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
April 22, 2011
The film has a pleasing retro-ness that often mitigates the dullness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 22, 2011
From scene to scene, and plot point to plot point, nothing connects. Pattinson, Witherspoon, and Waltz perform in separate rings of their three-ring circus.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
April 22, 2011
"Pattinson's beauty crowds out just about everything else."
April 22, 2011
"Water for Elephants" is one ring short of a three-ring hit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 22, 2011
How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
April 22, 2011
You know where the thing is headed. Still, it's fun to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 22, 2011
Usually, you have to wait for the end-of-the-year awards season to see an elaborate period piece that fails as spectacularly as "Water for Elephants."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 22, 2011
As usual, Pattinson's acting consists of shaking his head and whimpering.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 22, 2011
Director Francis Lawrence and writer Richard LaGravenese replicate just enough of the novel's fantasy to keep audiences involved, even if the results hardly add up to the most spectacular show at the cineplex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 21, 2011
The script by Richard LaGravenese, who is well-versed in adapting popular fiction such as Bridges of Madison County, lacks the sparkle of his best work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 21, 2011
"Water for Elephants" is a circus tale, full of drunks, tossed-off circus wisdom and forlorn animals, including a beautiful elephant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 21, 2011
Can the film live up to Sara Gruen's best-selling novel, an adored word-of-mouth phenomenon? [Yes.]
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 21, 2011
Short-circuits the novel's quirky charms and period atmosphere by its squeamish attitude toward gritty circus life and smothers the drama under James Newton Howard's insufferable wall-to-wall musical soup.
Read More | Original Score: 1/5
April 21, 2011
Even nonreaders of the book can figure out what happens next. It's all in the telling. Sara Gruen provided grit and pungent detail. The movie settles for gloss.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 21, 2011
There is quite a bit to enjoy in a film that certainly qualifies as broad-based popular entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 21, 2011
Well, it isn't the elephant's fault.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 21, 2011
A splendid period swooner that delivers classic romance and an indelible insider's view of 1930s circus life.
April 21, 2011
The problem isn't just miscasting or the cheesiness of the material. It's Pattinson's increasingly predictable, dour persona.
April 21, 2011
I'd be pleased to see a vibrantly romantic picture defy the Zeitgeist and restore one of Hollywood's central genres. This just isn't the movie to do it.
April 21, 2011
Water for Elephants deftly captures the romantic idea of running away to join the circus and the uglier details of what that life entailed in 1931.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 21, 2011
In an age of prefabricated special effects and obviously phony spectacle, it's sort of old-fashioned (and a pleasure) to see a movie made of real people and plausible sets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 21, 2011
What with its big, lush close-ups of the principals, Rodrigo Prieto's moody, humidor-brown cinematography, and the life-is-a-circus emotionalism, Water provides the basic movie-movie pleasure of beautiful people struggling their way out of ugly situations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 21, 2011
"Water for Elephants" balances the colorful glitz of a three-ring spectacle with the atmospheric realism that a rich drama demands.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 21, 2011
It's a tastefully managed, passionless melodrama, full of brooding looks and reasonably sweet moments, but typified by a scantly characterized central couple who bring no sense of engagement to their relationship.
Full Review | Original Score: C
April 21, 2011
The movie strips away both the grand weirdness of the circus and the dire desolation of the Depression. Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange are exchanged for Vanity Fair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 21, 2011
Add romantic chemistry to the list of things that fall flat in the film, alongside dialogue and acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 21, 2011
If basking in the simulacrum of [Pattinson's] need-filled gaze is your bag, then by all means...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 21, 2011
Like "The Notebook," but with an elephant, the unexpectedly good film version of "Water for Elephants" elevates pure corn to a completely satisfying realm of romantic melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 21, 2011
Will please fans of Sara Gruen's best seller, but it lacks the vital spark that would have made the drama truly compelling on the screen.
April 21, 2011
[Witherspoon and Pattinson] are game, but the pulse between them approaches Dracula's resting heart rate.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 20, 2011
Witherspoon and Pattinson are a three-ring snooze-fest together, bringing little passion to a love story supposedly so fiery, it blows the roof off the big top.