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Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants
  • PG-13
  • 2h 1m
  • 2011
Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
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ACADEMY AWARD® Winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz join Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga) for this epic tale of forbidden love based on Sara Gruen’s acclaimed best seller. Against all odds, a veterinary student (Pattinson) and a beautiful circus performer from a bygone era (Witherspoon), meet and fall in love through their shared compassion for a special elephant. But their secret romance incurs the wrath of her dangerously volatile husband (Waltz).
© 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

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.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
Common Sense Says
The Notebook + the circus; some upsetting scenes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romantic drama based on Sara Gruen's best-selling novel features some disturbing scenes of domestic abuse, animal cruelty, and other violence. The romance includes a few kisses and one love scene between stars Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, but it's dimly lit and shows very little skin. Violence includes an animal being put down, another animal bloody and lethargic after a beating with a hook, a woman nearly being strangled to death, and the then-common practice of "redlighting" -- throwing circus workers off a moving train. Two "redlighted" characters are shown dead and sprawled among rocks, and the main character's dead parents are briefly shown in the morgue. With its mature themes and the central abusive relationship, this movie isn't always easy to watch, but it does encourage women to leave abusers before it's too late.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:April 22, 2011
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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