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11,075 Ratings


Directed by Gus Van Sant
United States, 2003
Drama, Cult


Students at a suburban high school drift through a seemingly uneventful day, until two arrive with sinister intentions. A semi-improvised exploration of how violence makes its way into a typical American high school that won the Best Director and the Palme d’Or at 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

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Elephant Directed by Gus Van Sant

What are people saying?

  • Lucas Granero's rating of the film Elephant

    Van Sant no juzga ni victimiza y en esa decisión encuentra un modo posible de mostrar lo impensado. La violencia circula por los pasillos al igual que el resto de las acciones cotidianas del colegio y ese gesto amplifica el problema sin subrayarlo: ¿es que nadie notaba que ésto iba a suceder? La inteligente austeridad de la pelicula es tal que que ni siquiera parece preguntarse nada, aunque nos deja llenos de dudas.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Elephant

    A great, Great film. Very sobering. The film exacted such a wide range of emotions from me; it's so tranquil and solemn but also very brutal and painful. The ending is one of the most unnerving sequences ever put to film.

  • Zach Closs's rating of the film Elephant

    Aesthetically, it's impressive. But this is a film that should be about people; it intends to be about real people, but what it gives us instead are hollow, cold, insulting clichés. The jock? The popular girl? The nerdy loser? I would expect a little more thought from anyone making a film about Columbine. I'm beginning to think it is impossible for anyone to commit a realistic view of highschool to celluloid.

  • ramosbarajas's rating of the film Elephant

    It's very experimental and takes many liberties. That, I feel, turns off many people. However, it enhances the viewing for me. The long tracking shots create a monotonous atmosphere, and it works because it establishes these kids' daily lives. The format was awesome, recreating many of the same moments many times, each adding a little something.

  • Subterranean Cinema's rating of the film Elephant

    If Kubrick had lived another decade and done a film based upon a Columbine type school shooting incident, it would have been very similar in style and content to Elephant. An excellent film that is very close to being a masterpiece, albeit flawed by Van Sant's rather fumbling and unnecessary tacking on of homosexuality into the storyline (as he does with most of his films). 4.5 stars.

  • Filmy's rating of the film Elephant

    Elephant, is a superb examination of incidents before and during a school shooting tragedy (based on columbine), it is appalling to know and realise how a normal day in people's lives who were involved turned into a nightmare.Instead of focusing depply on how's, why's or the aftermath, Gus Van Sant creates a mood that a usual day in anybody's life bears and lets the events uncover by themselves. simple yet effective.

  • HSBilly's rating of the film Elephant

    the cinematography its remarkable, even better than lubezki's long takes, although i know they have different style

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Elephant

    That steadicam, those long shots, the unexplained violence, the long silences, the haunting, escalating exposition, allusions to video games. What a nuanced adaptation of British auteur Alan Clarke's 'Elephant'. Van Sant's skill to appease HBO in adapting and still find a way to parallel and comment on the Columbine tragedy shows a gift, not just in his visionary filmmaking but his savvy with the industry in general.

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