The Elephant in the Living Room Image
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69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Elephant in the Living Room is a documentary film about the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world as common household pets. Director Michael Webber follows the journey of two men at the heart of the issue. One, Tim Harrison, a man whose mission is to protect exotic animals and the public, and the other, Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted man who struggles to keep his two pet African lions that he loves like his own family. (NightFly Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Josh Modell
    Apr 16, 2011
    83
    Gripping, maddening, well-told stories.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 5, 2011
    80
    Audiences can't possibly predict the upsetting twist to Landry's story, nor the welcome surprise that precedes it, but these two scenes -- both of which Webber was fortunate enough to capture on camera -- are documentary gold.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Apr 5, 2011
    80
    This impeccably made film is chock-full of enlightening and sometimes bizarre moments.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Apr 5, 2011
    70
    The film ultimately serves as an edifying (who knew Ohio's Amish were big into exotic-animal auctions?) and unsensational (excepting one horrifying scene involving Brumfield's beloved male lion) look into a peculiar corner of American acquisitiveness.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Apr 14, 2011
    70
    Partly funded by the Humane Society, this gripping documentary by Michael Webber rips the lid off a scandal that periodically turns up on local newscasts but then disappears from public consciousness.
  6. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 7, 2011
    70
    Fair to a fault, "Elephant" omits what could be considered crucial voices - like lawmakers, the Humane Society (which helped finance the film) and mental-health professionals - in its attempt to understand those who believe their particular beast is as harmless as a kitten. At least until it rips someone's face off.
  7. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Apr 8, 2011
    50
    As my cat, Audrey, will confirm, I love animals. But I draw the line at having lions, tigers, gigantic snakes, bears and other predators as pets. Other people have different opinions.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Dec 4, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Michael Webber Expand
  2. Jul 17, 2013
    0
    this movie infuriated me.....how can nothing have been done to remove these lions from this mans non care?Made me sick to see how these animals were being treated and kept. Why was there no intervention? And to film it nothing being done!!!!!!!! Disgusting!!!!!! I would never donate to something that proves nothing is being done about the abuse suffered by these animals and documenting nothing being done .Appalling Expand