The Weight of Water (2001)



Critic Consensus: The story is too muddled to build any interest.

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Movie Info

Journalist Jean Janes begins researching the 1873 axe-murder of two sisters and discovers new information in the case. Meanwhile, her marriage to writer Thomas begins to fall apart.
R (for violence, sexuality/nudity, and brief language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Sean Penn
as Thomas Janes
Catherine McCormack
as Jean Janes
Sarah Polley
as Maren Hontvedt
Elizabeth Hurley
as Adaline Gunne
Josh Lucas
as Rich Janes
Ciarán Hinds
as Louis Wagner
Ulrich Thomsen
as John Hontvedt
Anders W. Berthelsen
as Evan Christenson
Katrin Cartlidge
as Karen Christenson
Rita Kvist
as Young Maren
Vinessa Shaw
as Anethe Christenson
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Weight of Water

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (25)

The boating scenes have a languid yet charged sexuality, and the performances remain vibrant and rock-solid to the end.

May 30, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

Artistically speaking, Bigelow's drama may be her most ambitous and personal film to date, a multi-layered (period and contemporary) psychological thriller that borrows from Bergman's masterpiece Persona; commercially, however, it's problematic.

Full Review… | December 20, 2006
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The jarring jumps between disconnected stories and watered-down sensationalism make for a soggy experience.

Full Review… | December 19, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

December 16, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

The Weight of Water uses water as a metaphor for subconscious desire, but this leaky script barely stays afloat.

December 13, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Weight of Water


You would have expected more from Bigelow's directorial debut particularly when she had Sean Penn and Sarah Polley to use but this is a boat that seems to drift endlessly with the unlikely revelation of a centuries old murder. A head scratcher by the time the credits roll.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

I enjoyed the plots. It took a while to become comfortable with the dual stories.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Sarah Polley saves a predictable fable from drowning in Sean Penn's ham.

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

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