'Water for Elephants' Critic Reviews

82%
MovieWeb:   8 reviews
61%
Rotten Tomatoes:   194 reviews
  • Mary Elizabeth Williams Salon.com (Top Critic)
    The problem isn't just miscasting or the cheesiness of the material. It's Pattinson's increasingly predictable, dour persona.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Dana Stevens Slate (Top Critic)
    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?
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    63
    The great intangible of chemistry isn't present, making Water for Elephants seem longer and slower than one might hope.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • David Germain Associated Press (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Richard Corliss TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    63
    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 » 4 years ago
  • Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    60
    There is quite a bit to enjoy in a film that certainly qualifies as broad-based popular entertainment.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Moore McClatchy-Tribune News Service
    50
    Whatever romance Gruen summoned forth from this rough and tumble world of show people living by their own laws in a traveling, self-contained world of poverty and cruelty, director Francis Lawrence has hacked and ground it off.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jeff Beck Examiner.com
    75
    "Water for Elephants" is a surprisingly good film that once again shows that first impressions aren't everything.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Leonard Maltin ReelzChannel.com
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Scott A. Mantz Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
    70
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Nell Minow Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
    67
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Dequina TheMovieReport.com
    75
    Effectively hits the right emotional beats with crucially the right amount of restraint.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • James Plath Movie Metropolis
    70
    I love it when a film surprises me.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Laurence Boyce The Baltic Times
    40
    The film is certainly striking to look at but the story is hackneyed with too much exposition
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Eric Melin Scene-Stealers.com
    50
    It plays like a book with half of its pages ripped out. It moves quickly enough, but it's never convincing and the actors never get much to chew on. The end result isn't really a 'whirlwind' romance; it's more like a tumbleweed.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kevin Carr 7M Pictures
    60
    The real appeal of this movie is the epic backdrop of the 1930s-era train circus. This is where the special effects and costuming budget went.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Leah Rozen The Wrap
    Supporting characters are too hastily sketched in, serving only to further the unsmooth course of true love.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Neil Pond American Profile
    60
    Pattinson and Witherspoon may be the movie's heart, but Christoph Waltz provides the hydropower that drives Water For Elephants to its explosive, destructive conclusion.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Sarah Sluis Film Journal International
    All the eye candy of the circus, along with one-dimensional characters and an unfulfilling storyline.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Digital Spy
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stella Papamichael Digital Spy
    60
    This is sweet, but it's pure candyfloss.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Mark Kermode BBC Radio Five Live
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Jim Schembri The Age (Australia)
    50
    There's no doubting the luscious detail and feel for the period, but the love triangle that inevitable kicks in is a little too rote, even for those in a forgiving mood.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.5 GREAT
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