HBO Films | Release Date: October 24, 2003
7.2
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 108 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
79
Mixed:
11
Negative:
18
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4
KiwgistaJul 23, 2013
I pretty much liked the style of the film, I thought it was interesting. But at the end of the movie, there were too many walking sequences, and too little character development. I felt like they could have done more with it. At least, that'sI pretty much liked the style of the film, I thought it was interesting. But at the end of the movie, there were too many walking sequences, and too little character development. I felt like they could have done more with it. At least, that's my opinion. Expand
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6
BenD.Jun 21, 2006
this movie was too much like the actual columbine shooting. it was extreamly painful to watch during the shooting scene. there was really no plot to the movie at all and no explanations to the events in the movie whatsoever. the worst part this movie was too much like the actual columbine shooting. it was extreamly painful to watch during the shooting scene. there was really no plot to the movie at all and no explanations to the events in the movie whatsoever. the worst part is that there was really nothing that i took away from the movie apart from the numb feeling i had inside when it all ended. it was very disturbing and i feel that i could have done without this movie being made. however, the cinimatograpy was absolutely beautiful. watching the movie feels as if you're looking at a piece of fine art. this alone, completely saves this film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
Compi24Nov 28, 2012
The subject matter is utterly appalling, but there's no doubting it's a very well made film.
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6
joey-clemenzaApr 12, 2013
it disturbs me as to how many of those "users" who reviewed this film did so only at face value, and did nothing more than judge it by it's superficial exterior without giving any thought of it's social commentary. Maybe they'd forgotten thatit disturbs me as to how many of those "users" who reviewed this film did so only at face value, and did nothing more than judge it by it's superficial exterior without giving any thought of it's social commentary. Maybe they'd forgotten that typical high school tropes (once viewed as benign) had taken a dramatic and violent left turn over the course of the last 30 years. Maybe they've forgotten the dirty ramifications of our countries past and flippant attitude pertaining the law of guns (using the second amendment as the proverbial crutch to further purify their agenda). Maybe, and just maybe, a movie like 'Elephant' gives supporters of lax gun laws another reason to cry bloody murder, re-thrown back towards the film industry. Who knows. regardless, there is a story to tell in Gus Van Sant's shocking (though cathartic) tale of a typical (or "typically violent") day in america's public school system......and for once, it doesn't have to be soft, or even pretty.

not a bad film (though not an extraordinary film) 'elephant' is a vivid and fictional depiction of a typical American high school shooting; one that nearly mimicks to the 'T' the events of April 20, 1999....or simply, the Columbine Massacre. Whether it mimicks it or not, it follows in a series of many shootings that has kept the nation in proverbial stalemate, often times being the catalyst to current gun laws and the feasability of an archaic second amendment to the American constitution. No matter what side of the fence you reside on, the connotations of lax gun laws in this film are not only prevalent, but glaring. Take for instance a scene depicting an 18 year old kid purchasing a high powered assault rifle over the internet. Is that troubling enough for you?

This isn't exactly a far fetched Suspense/Horror film shot with an art-house aesthetic.......these things actually happen.

Whether there is validity in the films claims, it really doesn't matter. Albeit, not entirely a moot point, the fact that the fllm was still met with a barrage of unnecessary bad reviews says a lot about our nations apathy towards gun violence, and the kids who remain victim of it today.

As for the movie......it is a bit trite and somewhat pretentious at times. It still manages a decent commentary on today's standards of low morals, false empowerment (by both the bullies and those who kill them) and the collective apathetic eye of the world. If you are bothered by this movie, or in any way find it to be in bad taste, try to remember what you did the day you learned about the Sandy Hook Murders. If you only read an article about it, congrats. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, absolute congrats. If you can tell me the name of the killer, some of the names of the children, the rifle that was used in the killings and some of the conspiracy theories passed around the internet........well, then you are in fact the reason major news corps love reporting on these things; 24/7 and for the world to see. *3.5 out of 5 stars"
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