The Weight of Water - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Weight of Water Reviews

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November 22, 2016
Sean Penn ruins it, as he does any movie.
September 17, 2016
I found this dual story of frustrated sexual passion and murderous jealousy and rage to be intriguing. A group of skilled actors (minus Elizabeth Hurley, just there for eye candy and temptation), bring both stories to climatic and violent end, in each case built around a floundering marriage. I know that critics and audiences didn't really like it, but I did, and found it a rewarding watch, and Sarah Polley's performance brilliant.
½ June 21, 2016
It could be a better one
October 11, 2015
While I had high hopes for this film, if fell flat, from beginning to end. The apt acting on of Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, Kathryn Bigelow and Josh Lucas (modern day love triangle) kept the story movie flowing and wanted me to finish it. I feel the acting of Sarah Polley (best of), Ciaran Hinds, Katrin Cartlidge and Vinessa Shaw was also very good, gave the feeling of self-isolation as well as the obvious isolation of living on a big rock (olden days love triangle).

Not to spoil the story line, which I felt it was very jumbled and unimaginative. A soon-to-be writer (Bigelow) and her famous poet husband (Penn) decide to take a "workation" with his brother (Lucas) and his current girlfriend du jour (Hurley) on his sloop racer. They travel off the coasts of New Hampshire to a small group of islands (the Shoals) in order to study an 1873 murder case that took place there. As well as I could have guessed, art imitates life with tragic consequences.

I do realize it is based on fact, somewhat on the old 19th Century murder case. But I feel that the film overstepped it's bounds with a denouement that was a true deus ex machina which I felt cheated (both in the modern and olden times stories). Overall, the film was trying to be daring and bold, while having some good scenes and dialogue, it was too opaque and really didn't deliver what it promised.
July 19, 2015
Starts slow, but then gets rolling and leaves you hooked until the very end.
½ June 16, 2015
The Weight of Weight is a decent film. It is about a news photographer who researches the lurid and sensational axe murder of two women in 1873 as an editorial tie-in with a brutal modern double murder. Sean Penn and Catherine McCormack give good performance. The screenplay is a little slow in place. Kathryn Bigelow did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and mystery.
½ April 25, 2015
Using an ax requires intimacy.

A newspaper reporter, her husband, brother-in-law, and brother-in law's girlfriend head out on a yaught towards an island off New Hampshire. The island has a historic tale of two girls who were murdered and a lone survivor who was found in a cave. The mysteries uncovered in the historic tale unlock dark issues in the reporter's own relationship.

"Love is never as ferocious as when you think it's going to leave you."

Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Point Break, Near Dark, Blue Steel, and K19: The Widower, delivers The Weight of Water. The storyline for this film was fairly entertaining but I didn't feel the way the two plots were intertwined worked well. The cast delivers okay performances and includes Sean Penn, Josh Lucas, Elizabeth Hurley, Sarah Polley, Ciaran Hinds, and Vinessa Shaw.

"We drew strength from the rhythm from our labors...and God."

The Weight of Water was a movie I came across on Netflix and decided to add it to the queue. I thought this was well done and worth viewing but isn't a classic. This is another lazy Sunday fun flick. I recommend seeing this but I wouldn't go to out of my way.

"Why take the time to drink tea?"

Grade: B-
½ October 2, 2014
A Dead Again-type of tale, about relationship problems and crimes committed generations apart--a very different kind of film than we're used to seeing from Bigelow. I 'got' and enjoyed it--unlike most people--but it's clear she was experimenting, trying something different, out of her comfort zone, which is commendable. It probably proved a beneficial learning experience for her, like Strange Days was, on her road to much bigger and better things. I recommend it for its cast, performances, and very intriguing, if ultimately flawed, plot. If you're patient and are curious about a sensual mystery plot like Bigelow presents here, it will prove a satisfying diversion for you.
July 21, 2014
A very bad film for all involved.
February 27, 2014
This film is awful. Bad direction. Stinks right from the beginning.
January 14, 2014
A good film from Bigelow who's done much much better ever since. still this story is nicely shot, the cast is good & there is enough qualities here to keep you entertained from start to finish. A pleasant film.
½ September 14, 2013
I definitely disagree with Rotten Tomatoes review. The acting was great and I felt that the actors were well chosen for their roles. Sean Penn is always great and Catherine McCormack did a great job portraying Jean. Also Sarah Polley was very believable as Maren Hontvedt. I believe the movie conveyed a sense of suspense and mystery, both about Jean and Thomas with Rich and Adaline. When they go back in time, the Norwegian fishing family is also portrayed very well, showing the sense of depression which Maren endures along with disappointment with her new life in America. The suspense builds up with the coming of Evan and his new bride, Anethe. You can almost sense the tension and discontent building up, with Karen's sharp words and Maren's more subtle criticism of her sister and of her husband allowing her to live with them. The director creates a sense of foreboding and gloom on the island and also inside their home. Then with Jean and Thomas, there is tension as Jean becomes aware that Adaline is drawn to her husband. Finally Jean confronts Adaline about this and she realizes that Adaline is not really attracted to Thomas, except for his poetry.

I do not understand why this movie received such bad criticism and reviews. I certainly do not agree with their review and think this is one of the best suspense movies I have ever seen.
August 2, 2013
I have unquestioning faith in Sean Penn's ability to choose his roles diversively and passionately, despite wastes like Gangster Squad, and it was for this reason, and for Bigelow's direction, that I decided to watch The Weight of Water. I was disappointed. I think the film suffered from Better-As-A-Book syndrome, which is to say that the only aspect that was immersive and fascinating, other than Elizabeth Hurley's body, was the actual plot, which relates a ghastly, lust-filled double murder to a "Knife in the Water"-esque sailing trip between two brothers and their respective female companions. This could work as a film, much like Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again, which also relates an old murder to a modern love story. However, Bigelow doesn't seem to know how to amalgamate the two plot lines very smoothly. The transitions seem awkward and ill-placed. Worst of all, the performances, much to my surprise, were lackluster and uninspired.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2013
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.
March 4, 2013
I saw this because I was a huge Kathryn Bigelow fan. I was a bit disappointed.
February 11, 2013
When a movie gets itself over certain hurdles, establishing believably, mainly, and creating audience sympathy with/for one or more characters-- I am willing to silence my nagging inner critic, who is perhaps a thwarted pleasure principle raising its head to be fed.

Sarah Polley makes this film. Her acting was excellent, but I found myself, at first, most delighted by her "Norwegian" accent. As the movie went on, I got addicted to that accent, which for me had become integral to her performance. She, not Hurley, not Penn, was the centerpiece of this movie.
June 21, 2012
A plot muddled with simple dialogue and cliches, Anita Shreve's wonderful book is awfully ignored by the actors. Sean Penn pathetically tries to make horrible writing into something worth listening to ,yet Sarah Polley actually delivers a chilling performance that makes the movie bearable to watch.
May 17, 2012
This film could have been better had Bigelow ditched the modern half of the story and focused solely on Polley's character, which I found intriguing, even if her story wasn't fully fleshed out.
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