User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 123 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 123
  2. Negative: 31 out of 123
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  1. May 10, 2011
    10
    What makes this movie so wonderful is the fact that Van Sant doesn't offer simple answers, because no one knew what was really going through those kids minds. He portrays an ordinary high school taken over and does so with an incredibly haunting style.
  2. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    Gus Van Sant--A **** genius. This is one of the greatest movies that he's done. And that would be saying a lot, considering his track record. It's just brilliant.
  3. Jan 6, 2011
    9
    An absolutely stunning movie. I understand that many doesn't like it, but I loved it.
    It was one of the most beautiful movie I've ever seen, and it is patient and doesn't run to the action. All the characters seems natural, unlike most blockbusters were the characters doesn't act as they would in real life. It shows the beauty of life, and it makes you reflect over everyone 's life.
    Those
    An absolutely stunning movie. I understand that many doesn't like it, but I loved it.
    It was one of the most beautiful movie I've ever seen, and it is patient and doesn't run to the action. All the characters seems natural, unlike most blockbusters were the characters doesn't act as they would in real life. It shows the beauty of life, and it makes you reflect over everyone 's life.

    Those who say it sucked, probably want something to happen in a movie, and they don't go to art exhibitions regularly. When you watch this movie, you have to enjoy it. If you just watch it just for entertainment, you won't get much out of it.
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  4. Apr 29, 2011
    9
    An amazing movie. As you can see by all the negative votes, it's not one of the idiotic, spezial-effect packed movies that you see in the cinemas too often. It showcases the incident without creating the "good ones" and the "bad ones". It's up to one to judge. If all you want to see is pure action without anything even close to a story, skip this one, because this will make you think.An amazing movie. As you can see by all the negative votes, it's not one of the idiotic, spezial-effect packed movies that you see in the cinemas too often. It showcases the incident without creating the "good ones" and the "bad ones". It's up to one to judge. If all you want to see is pure action without anything even close to a story, skip this one, because this will make you think. Overall a great movie, but not really suited for everyone. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2015
    10
    Don't let the title fool you. The movie doesn't have elephant in it, but it has a deep meaning to it that will make your feel like mash after thinking about it to long.

    The story is about high school violence that unfolds on an ordinary school day, inside an American high school, filled with schoolwork, football, gossip and socializing. For each of the students we meet, high school is a
    Don't let the title fool you. The movie doesn't have elephant in it, but it has a deep meaning to it that will make your feel like mash after thinking about it to long.

    The story is about high school violence that unfolds on an ordinary school day, inside an American high school, filled with schoolwork, football, gossip and socializing. For each of the students we meet, high school is a different experience: stimulating, friendly, traumatic, lonely, hard.

    Elephant is loosely based on the school shooting in 1999 known as Columbine High School massacre with the shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. When I say loosely I really mean loosely because this isn't base on a true story bullsh't that you always get in movies, no it's actually Gus Van Sant wanted to make a movie relating to the biggest school massacre of all time and showing loneliness and depression due to bully and the big things around them which later ended violently.

    Now this movie isn't for anyone and those's who are expecting the first, second and third act or just a simple movie, well your not going to get some of that. The ending without giving anything away ended in a way that I felt loads of people are saying to themselves "What the hell, what was that about? what the hell did I just watch and why did it end like that?". I won't lie but I took me time to think over the ending and after doing some research I think I got it, but if I have to explain it to you means spoiling it for you and I like people to go into a movie with only knowing the story and that's it.

    Gus Van Sant directed this movie in a way that it has a depressing and lonely feel to it at time or maybe it's just me, but anywhere he directed this movie excellently and probably my second favorite movie from him.

    The long shot takes and the fact the movie is set in one day and the different day the characters have I thought it was brilliant and a smart move to do. To be honest I didn't notice this until late on in the movie.

    For problems I didn't really have any. The acting was all good, the directing as I said before was filmed top notch and the fact that movie leaves you hanging cold cold.
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Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. 60
    In the end, this odd, beautiful movie is remote and more suggestive than satisfying--a coolly impassive film about catastrophe made at a time when some of us might prefer an attempt at explanation. And yet Elephant is something to see. [27 October 2003, p. 112]
  2. It’s just another example of art-house hokey-pokey. Amazingly, this film won both the Palme d’Or and Best Director Award at Cannes, beating out, among others, "Mystic River."
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    I haven't been crazy about a lot of Van Sant's recent work, but what he does here is simply astonishing. [November 2003, p. 25]