7.2/10
74,577
695 user 217 critic

Elephant (2003)

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

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Writer:

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4,204 ( 425)

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From $7.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jordan Taylor ...
Jordan
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Carrie
Nicole George ...
Nicole
Brittany Mountain ...
Brittany
Alicia Miles ...
Acadia
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Michelle
Bennie Dixon ...
Benny
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Nathan
...
Mr. McFarland
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Mr. Luce
Ellis Williams ...
GSA Teacher (as Ellis E. Williams)
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Storyline

A day in the lives of a group of average teenage high school students. The film follows every character and shows their daily routines. However two of the students plan to do something that the student body won't forget. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, language, brief sexuality and drug use - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elefante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,229,210 (France) (24 October 2003)

Gross:

$1,227,000 (USA) (26 December 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Nate is first shown at the GSA meeting, he is seen wearing a tan shirt, then later when he walks to the door and is shot, he is wearing a blue shirt. When you see him laying on the floor after Benny enters the classroom, he's wearing a tan shirt again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. McFarland: What? Hey! Where are you going? Come here.
John McFarland: Oh, my God, Dad.
Mr. McFarland: Get in the car. You're gonna be late for school. Come on.
John McFarland: Mom's gonna kill you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sur les traces de Gerry (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Beneath the Forest Floor
Written and Performed by Hildegard Westerkamp
Courtesy of empreintes DIGITALes
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User Reviews

 
What we learn when we look from the inside out...
5 April 2004 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

I just finished watching this movie and I am struck by how quickly I forgot how the world looks when you are a teenager. The movie was excruciatingly slow to start. Instead of formulaic pacing, this film forced us to move at its pace, where we were committed to each long slow camera pan or walk through with the characters. As I have grown up the scope of my life has been ever widening. It stands to reason then that during my younger years I barely conceived of life outside of what I knew, or where I was able to walk. This is what stands out to me about Elephant. When events like this take place, we immediately contextualize them and are unable to look at it from the level of those involved. What Gus VanSant does is bring us very close to the story. I don't see that he attempted to answer many questions, or to portray any specific characters in any light, but he attempts to bring the audience inside such a situation. To the villains in this film there is no deep reasoning, and no evil justification. Aside from revenge over minor school harassment they want to play a more realistic video game. They have created their own reality and carry out their deeds inside of it. This film was made without exploiting the memory of those who have actually been involved in such an event. Since it has been 5 years since these events took place, I am surprised to see a fresh look at this subject matter. What is especially heartbreaking about these tragedies is that when there is no meaning and just random violence there is nothing we can learn by investigating it. The irony of course is that I got this message from viewing a movie that explores this subject matter. I think the movie tells us we can only move on after senseless tragedy, and not solve the problems that caused them. When there is nothing behind the eyes of the people carrying this out, there is no great value in making sense of their actions. It is human nature to do so, and you would think that logically there would be theories, conclusions, etc about the causes. However we would gain much more by focusing on the people who were the victims, and learning about them. In this way they may make a positive mark on us.


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