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Elephant (2003)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  14 November 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 67,681 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 687 user | 210 critic | 37 from

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Deulen ...
Elias McConnell ...
Jordan Taylor ...
Nicole George ...
Brittany Mountain ...
Alicia Miles ...
Kristen Hicks ...
Bennie Dixon ...
Mr. McFarland
Mr. Luce
Ellis Williams ...
GSA Teacher (as Ellis E. Williams)


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


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


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:






Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elefante  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is heavily influenced by the Alan Clarke TV drama from 1989 of the same name (_"Elephant" (1989)_). Both films chronicle senseless killings and contain many long an wandering takes of its main characters. See more »


The shirt that Nate is wearing when he is shot is not the shirt he is wearing when the GSA is having a discussion. See more »


[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 »


References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »


Walk Through Resonant Landscape #2
Written and Performed by Frances White
See more »

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User Reviews

A poorly written film with inefficient editing and amatuer acting
2 May 2004 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

What a disappointment. Gus Van Sant's attempt to write, direct, and edit the film "Elephant" is a miserable failure. The script includes hardly any dialogue or any other devices to develop characters, so consequently the viewer does not feel emotionally invested in any of the characters or what happens to them in the film. The script is minimalist to a fault, and the actors deliver the few lines that they have with no conviction. In an attempt to portray the "high-school kid's point of view," Van Sant trains a camera on the back of each character's head. The first 45 minutes of the film largely consists of excruciatingly long shots of characters walking down school hallways. This would be fine if something significant would happen during these shots, but instead Van Sant wastes minutes that he could be using to show other vignettes to develop characters and the plot. The entire movie has a very pretentious, "student-film" style that detracts from the substance of the story. And speaking of substance, did Van Sant really think that he could top "Bowling for Columbine"? Don't make the mistake I did and waste your time on "Elephant," a film that is as ploddingly slow and insignificant as its name suggests.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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