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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A talented but terminally parched piece of literary cinema."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Swift's elegant, descriptive phrases coexist inelegantly with classroom vulgarisms. And there almost making it all work as a portrait in despondency and realization is Irons, a walking requiem to lost innocence."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"A flawed adaptation of Swift's novel, though the acting of Jeremy Irons and others is good."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's a brave endeavour, held together by Robert Elswit's poetic photography, and by Irons' authoritative impression of the crumbling desperation behind the chalk-dusted facade of a pensive history man."
‑ , Time Out
"The strange fact about "Waterland" is the way the performances and the dialogue are worthier than the story itself."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Gyllenhaal refers to Waterland as "a world of the mind." and it is an experience definitely worth exploring."
‑ Pamela Bruce, Austin Chronicle
"With a dazed, frightened expression and the keen sense that his life is coming undone, Mr. Irons's Tom becomes a rivetingly sad figure, and a sharp focus for the film's many reveries."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The adaptation doesn't quite hold. But in this flashback narrative, set in England's beautiful eastern wetlands, there are many passages of filmic -- and geographic -- beauty."
‑ , Washington Post
"Too often the film is overly impressed with its own devices, and the story unfolds in such a haphazard manner that its emotions are muted."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for Waterland on Rotten Tomatoes