out of 100
Metascore®Mixed or average reviews Based on a weighted average of all critic review scores.
A sample of reviews from critics across the country.
The filmmakers clearly value their public, crafting a splendid period swooner that delivers classic romance and an indelible insider's view of 1930s circus life.
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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.
If the circus is a hierarchical pyramid, August is at the very top. It's a part tailor-made for the accomplished Waltz, an Oscar winner for "Inglourious Basterds," and he eats it alive.
Mildly entertaining, though the best performances come not from the stars, but the supporting players.
Something is wrong under this big tent. Actually made to resemble a good old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing movie, this cinematic Water for Elephants droops and lumbers like Rosie the elephant herself.
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.
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.
How do I count the ways this movie goes wrong?
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Not for Freaks fans.
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Step right up for a charmingly old-fashioned romance.
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