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A tale 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.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Gus Van Sant's fascinating, mysterious, semidocumentary meditation on the Columbine massacre is not very satisfying, but it's still something to see."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"The approach is oddly riveting, though, because the tension builds slowly, and you know what's going to happen at the end of the day."
‑ Christy Lemire, Associated Press
"Watching it, one is left with the cold realization that a story like this had to be made for the screen, and it had to be done so exactly with this level of intensity."
‑ David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org
"One of the most stimulating and provocative films of the year."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"A film without any easy answers, or answers at all."
‑ Bill Clark, FromTheBalcony
"What I'll remember most vividly about Gus Van Sant's extraordinary "Elephant" is not the violent climax but the state of grace that precedes it."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"The film doesn't try to explain, but to put us in a subjective time and space, a place where it's impossible not to feel the abject horror of random violence."
‑ , Time Out
"Director Gus Van Sant takes a powerful approach to this material, without being heavy-handed."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
"Van Sant's least 'show-offy', most personal, best picture in years (maybe ever), and an honourable attempt at respectfully considering the unbearable."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"A morally dubious waiting game."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Elephant creates gorgeous, wide-open spaces that allow viewers the freedom to reflect without having a point-of-view imposed on them."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Elephant is a lurid tease posing as an art film."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"One of the most disturbing films I've ever seen, one that gave me a rush of emotions of sadness, horror, disbelief, shock, and anguish."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"A failure to communicate"
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Elephant is one of this year's boldest movies....But, in refusing to assert a point of view about what troubles American youth, Van Sant...flees the scene of the crime"
‑ Jay Antani, Los Angeles Alternative
More reviews for Elephant on Rotten Tomatoes

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