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Water For Elephants (2011)
Drama, Romance

Water For Elephants (2011)

After his parents' death, Jacob Jankowski is left penniless and homeless. Events lead him to joining the circus as their vet, working under their unstable boss August whose violent tendencies give everyone reason to be cautious around him, including his beautiful and quiet wife Marlena, whom August is very possessive of and who Jacob finds himself soon falling in love with. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Period:1930s
Story:circus vargas, circus, elephant, circus tent, traveling circus, circus performer, clown makeup, show tent, hand on butt, big top, foreign language, ringmaster, jealous rage, bad temper, trapeze, leaving home, death of parents, determination, university student, animal abuse

Big Fish (2003)
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Big Fish (2003)

United Press International journalist Will Bloom and his French freelance photojournalist wife Josephine Bloom, who is pregnant with their first child, leave their Paris base to return to Will's hometown of Ashton, Alabama on the news that his father, Edward Bloom, stricken with cancer, will soon die, he being taken off chemotherapy treatment. Although connected indirectly through Will's mother/Edward's wife, Sandra Bloom, Will has been estranged from his father for three years since his and Josephine's wedding. Will's issue with his father is the fanciful tales Edward has told of his life all his life, not only to Will but the whole world. As a child when Edward was largely absent as a traveling salesman, Will believed those stories, but now realizes that he does not know his father, who, as he continues to tell these stories, he will never get to know unless Edward comes clean with the truth before he dies. On the brink of his own family life beginning, Will does not want to be the kind of father Edward has been to him. One of those stories from Edward's childhood - that he saw his own death in the glass eye of a witch - led to him embracing life since he would not have to fear death knowing when and how it would eventually come. The question is whether Will will be able to reconcile Edward's stories against his real life, either directly from Edward before he dies and/or from other sources, and thus allow Will to come to a new understanding of himself and his life, past, present and future. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Period:1930s
Story:circus performer, ringmaster, leaving home, parade, circus, falling in love, clown, animal in title, death of father, dancing, husband wife relationship, based on novel, gun, dog

Hugo (2011)
Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Hugo (2011)

Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He learned to fix clocks and other gadgets from his father and uncle which he puts to use keeping the train station clocks running. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his dead father is an automaton (mechanical man) that doesn't work without a special key. Hugo needs to find the key to unlock the secret he believes it contains. On his adventures, he meets George Melies, a shopkeeper, who works in the train station, and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and he discovers it unlocks some memories the old man has buried inside regarding his past. (Read More)

Period:1930s
Story:orphan, traveling circus, train, circus, falling in love, death of father, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:historical fiction, dwarf, elephant, orphan, death of mother, death of father, husband wife relationship, dog

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

On the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams (nee Fuller) is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being diagnosed with several aging diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin's biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations in Benjamin's diary are difficult for Caroline to read, especially as it relates to the time past this reconnection between Benjamin and Daisy, when Daisy gets older and Benjamin grows younger into his childhood years. (Read More)

Period:1930s
Story:circus tent, no title at beginning, retirement home, historical fiction, old age, older woman younger man relationship, death of mother, death of father, dancing

The Elephant Man (1980)
Biography, Drama

The Elephant Man (1980)

John Merrick (whose real name was Joseph, as this is based on a true story) is an intelligent and friendly man, but he is hated by his Victorian-era English society because he is severely deformed. Once he is discovered by a doctor, however, he is saved from his life in a freak show and he is treated like the human being that he really is. This is why The Elephant Man (1980) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Story:dwarf, elephant, circus, animal in title, train, three word title

It (2017)
Drama, Horror, Thriller

It (2017)

In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind bloody remains. In a place known as 'The Barrens', a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and their determination to kill It.

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:clown, determination, maniac, based on novel

Gangs Of New York (2002)
Crime, Drama

Gangs Of New York (2002)

Having seen his father killed in a major gang fight in New York, young Amsterdam Vallon is spirited away for his own safety. Some years later, he returns to the scene of his father's death, the notorious Five Points district in New York. It's 1863 and lower Manhattan is run by gangs, the most powerful of which is the Natives, headed by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He believes that America should belong to native-born Americans and opposes the waves of immigrants, mostly Irish, entering the city. It's also the time of the Civil War and forced conscription leads to the worst riots in US history. Amid the violence and corruption, young Vallon tries to establish himself in the area and also seek revenge over his father's death. (Read More)

Story:animal abuse, no title at beginning, parade, elephant, orphan, dancing, dog

The Legend Of Tarzan (2016) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance

The Legend Of Tarzan (2016)

Following his parents' death in Africa, John Clayton has been be raised by an ape, was known by the name Tarzan, but eventually left Africa and for his parents' home in England, along with the woman he fell in love with and married, Jane Porter. He is asked by Belgian King Leopold to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country. Initially, he refuses. But an American, George Washington Williams, wants him to accept so he can accompany him. He says that Leopold might be committing all sorts of atrocities to achieve his goal, like slavery. Clayton agrees and his wife insists that she accompany him because she misses Africa. When they arrive, a man named Rom, who works for Leopold, attacks their village and captures Tarzan and Jane. With Washington's help he escapes and sets out to rescue Jane by going across the jungle. Washington joins him despite being told that he might not make it. (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Story:historical fiction, lion, elephant, orphan, death of mother, death of father, train, husband wife relationship, based on novel

The Dark Knight (2008)
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Dark Knight (2008)

Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new district attorney Harvey Dent successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman's struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to "confront everything he believes" and improve his technology to stop him. A love triangle develops between Bruce Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:clown makeup, no title at beginning, parade, maniac, clown, love triangle, three word title, husband wife relationship, dog

The Deer Hunter (1978)
Drama, War

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Michael, Steven and Nick are young factory workers from Pennsylvania who enlist into the Army to fight in Vietnam. Before they go, Steven marries the pregnant Angela, and their wedding party also serves as the men's farewell party. After some time and many horrors, the three friends fall in the hands of the Vietcong and are brought to a prison camp in which they are forced to play Russian roulette against each other. Michael makes it possible for them to escape, but they soon get separated again. This is why The Deer Hunter (1978) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:hand on butt, domestic violence, animal in title, three word title, dancing, husband wife relationship, gun

Gone With The Wind (1939)
Drama, History, Romance, War

Gone With The Wind (1939)

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:determination, horseback riding, death of mother, death of father, love triangle, train, dancing, husband wife relationship, based on novel, dog, gun

The Lobster (2015) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi

The Lobster (2015)

A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods.

Themes:fear
Story:animal abuse, falling in love, animal in title, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog, gun

Road To Perdition (2002)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Road To Perdition (2002)

1931. Mike Sullivan and Connor Rooney are two henchmen of elderly Chicago-based Irish-American mobster John Rooney, Connor's father. In many respects, John treats Mike more as his son, who he raised as his own after Mike was orphaned, than the volatile Connor, who nonetheless sees himself as the heir apparent to the family business. One evening, Mike's eldest son, twelve year old Michael Sullivan Jr., who has no idea what his father does for a living, witnesses Connor and his father gun down an associate and his men, the situation gone wrong initiated from an action by Connor. Caught witnessing the incident, Michael is sworn to secrecy about what he saw. Regardless, Connor, not wanting any loose ends, makes an attempt to kill Mike, his wife and their two sons. Mike and the surviving members of his family know that they need to go on the run as Connor, who has gone into hiding, will be protected through mob loyalty, especially by John, who cannot turn on his own flesh and blood. Still, Mike has to figure out a way for retribution for what Connor did, while still protecting him and his family, not only from Connor, but from John and his fellow associates. Through it all, Mike wants those in his family that had no say in what he chose as a living, to have some redemption for their eternal souls. (Read More)

Period:1930s
Story:orphan, death of father, train, three word title, dancing, based on novel, gun, dog

Alexander (2004)
Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, Romance, War

Alexander (2004)

Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:lion, parade, elephant, death of father, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog

Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
Crime, Drama

Once Upon A Time In America (1984)

Epic tale of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York, from childhood, through their glory years during prohibition, and their meeting again 35 years later. This is why Once Upon A Time In America (1984) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011).

Themes:brutality, fear
Period:1930s
Story:dancing, based on novel, gun

Dances With Wolves (1990) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Adventure, Drama, Western

Dances With Wolves (1990)

Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways. (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Story:animal abuse, horseback riding, animal in title, three word title, based on novel

Cidade De Deus (2002)
Crime, Drama

Cidade De Deus (2002)

Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: Li'l Ze has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bene is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:domestic violence, death of mother, death of father, three word title, dancing, gun

Natural Born Killers (1994)
Crime, Drama

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:maniac, death of mother, death of father, three word title, dancing, husband wife relationship

Hotaru No Haka (1988)
Animation, Drama, War

Hotaru No Haka (1988)

The story of Seita and Satsuko, two young Japanese siblings, living in the declining days of World War II. When an American firebombing separates the two children from their parents, the two siblings must rely completely on one another while they struggle to fight for their survival.

Themes:fear
Story:orphan, death of mother, death of father, train, three word title, based on novel

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, War

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant 'T.E. Lawrence' (qv) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali, Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port. This is why Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Period:1930s
Story:horseback riding, train, gun

The Lion King (1994)
Adventure, Animation, Drama, Family, Musical

The Lion King (1994)

A young lion prince is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who claims he killed his father. While the uncle rules with an iron paw, the prince grows up beyond the Savannah, living by a philosophy: No worries for the rest of your days. But when his past comes to haunt him, the young prince must decide his fate: Will he remain an outcast or face his demons and become what he needs to be? (Read More)

Similarities:lion

Public Enemies (2009)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Romance

Public Enemies (2009)

This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Period:1930s
Story:no title at beginning, train, dancing, gun

The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)

A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:traveling circus, no title at beginning, circus, death of father, dancing, husband wife relationship, gun, dog

J. Edgar (2011) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Romance

J. Edgar (2011)

Biopic of J. Edgar Hoover told by Hoover as he recalls his career for a biography. Early in his career, Hoover fixated on Communists, anarchists and any other revolutionary taking action against the U.S. government. He slowly builds the agency's reputation, becoming the sole arbiter of who gets hired and fired. One of his hires is Clyde Tolson who is quickly promoted to Assistant Director and would be Hoover's confidant and companion for the rest of Hoover's life. Hoover's memories have him playing a greater role in the many high profile cases the FBI was involved in - the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the arrest of bank robbers like John Dillinger - and also show him to be quite adept at manipulating the various politicians he's worked with over his career, thanks in large part to his secret files. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Period:1930s
Story:old age, parade, maniac, death of mother, dancing, gun

K-pax (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi

K-pax (2001)

Themes:fear
Story:death of father, train, husband wife relationship, based on novel, dog

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)

The big-screen version of Hunter S. Thompson's seminal psychedelic classic about his road trip across Western America as he and his large Samoan lawyer searched desperately for the "American dream"... they were helped in large part by the huge amount of drugs and alcohol kept in their convertible, The Red Shark. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:dwarf, circus, based on novel

Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)

Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:horseback riding, parade, death of father, husband wife relationship, dog

Papillon (1973) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Biography, Crime, Drama

Papillon (1973)

A semi-fictional account of 'Henri Charriere' (qv)'s time in the penal system in French Guyana - some of it spent on infamous Devil's Island - is presented. It's the early 1930s. Charriere - nicknamed Papillon because of his butterfly tattoo - and Louis Dega are two among many who have been convicted in the French judicial system, they now being transferred to French Guyana where they will serve their time, never to return to France even if they are ever released. A safe-cracker by criminal profession, Papillon is serving a life sentence for murdering a pimp, a crime for which he adamantly states he was framed. Dega is a wealthy counterfeiter, who expects his well-to-do wife eventually to get him released. On Papillon's initiative, Papillon and Dega enter into a business arrangement: Papillon will provide protection for Dega, while Dega will finance Papillon's escape attempt. As Papillon and Degas' time together lasts longer than either expects, their burgeoning friendship ends up being an important factor altering their original plans, needed as they work with and against others who are trying to achieve their own goals, sometime conflicting with Papillon and Dega's. (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Period:1930s
Story:animal in title, based on novel, gun

Elf (2003)
Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Elf (2003)

Buddy was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa's sack and ended up at the North Pole. Later, as an adult human who happened to be raised by elves, Santa allows him to go to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Hobbs, on Santa's naughty list for being a heartless jerk, had no idea that Buddy was even born. Buddy, meanwhile, experiences the delights of New York City (and human culture) as only an elf can. When Walter's relationship with Buddy interferes with his job, he is forced to reevaluate his priorities. (Read More)

Story:dwarf, orphan, death of mother, dancing, husband wife relationship

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)
Drama, Horror, Romance

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. This is why Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:falling in love, train, based on novel, dog

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Drama, Romance, Sci-fi

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake.

Themes:fear
Story:parade, elephant, love triangle, train, husband wife relationship, dog

The Danish Girl (2015) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Biography, Drama, Romance

The Danish Girl (2015)

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1926. Einar Wegener (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) are a happily married couple. Both are artists, Einar preferring landscapes and she portraits. One day Einar poses for a portrait of Gerdas while wearing a dress. This is initially done as a lark, as is the later attendance at a party dressed as a woman. However, Einar soon discovers that she is in fact a woman and over time prefers being Lili. At first she and Gerda try to have her situation "cured" but this leads nowhere (other than to many doctors trying to have Lili locked up as a pervert and/or lunatic). Her voyage of self-discovery will ultimately lead to her undergoing the first ever sex-change operation. (Read More)

Period:1930s
Story:love triangle, train, three word title, dancing, husband wife relationship, based on novel

Before Sunrise (1995)
Drama, Romance

Before Sunrise (1995)

American tourist Jesse and French student Celine meet by chance on the train from Budapest to Vienna. Sensing that they are developing a connection, Jesse asks Celine to spend the day with him in Vienna, and she agrees. So they pass the time before his scheduled flight the next morning together. How do two perfect strangers connect so intimately over the course of a single day? What is that special thing that bonds two people so strongly? As their bond turns to love, what will happen to them the next morning when Jesse flies away? (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:train, veterinarian, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog

Inside Out (2015)
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Inside Out (2015)

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:elephant, clown, train

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Drama

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's _"Kaun Banega Crorepati?" (2000)_ (qv) (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out. At the heart of its storytelling lies the question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love. This is why Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Story:orphan, no title at beginning, death of mother, train, dancing, based on novel, gun

The Girl On The Train (2016) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Girl On The Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson's life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down -- Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:train, abusive husband, maniac, husband wife relationship, based on novel

Logan (2017)
Action, Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

Logan (2017)

In 2029 the mutant population has shrunken significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins - In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are aging, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:old age, orphan, train, husband wife relationship, gun, dog

Raging Bull (1980)
Biography, Drama, Sport

Raging Bull (1980)

When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone. (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Story:domestic violence, animal in title, husband wife relationship

Les Miserables (2012)
Drama, History, Musical, Romance, War

Les Miserables (2012)

Jean Valjean, known as Prisoner 24601, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. Set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion.

Story:no title at beginning, falling in love, orphan, love triangle, based on novel

Lawless (2012) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Crime, Drama

Lawless (2012)

In 1931, in Franklin County, Virginia, Forrest Bondurant is a legend as immortal after surviving the war. Together with his brothers Howard and the coward Jack, the Bondurant family has a distillery and bootlegging business. When the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell arrives in Franklin with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursues the brothers and unsuccessfully tries to find their distillery. Meanwhile Forrest hires the waitress Maggie, a woman with a hidden past in Chicago, and they fall in love with each other. Jack courts the preacher's daughter Bertha Minnix and deals a great load of alcoholic liquor with the powerful gangster Floyd Banner. Jack shows off in Franklin attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pete, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities. This is why Lawless (2012) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Period:1930s
Story:younger version of character, dancing, based on novel

Black Mass (2015)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History

Black Mass (2015)

Based on a true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, an Irish Mob godfather and FBI informant who had a "secret trading" deal with his brother, William "Billy" Bulger, a state senator and a Boston public figure, and John Connolly, an FBI agent. They planned to take down the Italian mob and mafia in Boston, which went awry and things turned massively violent. When the credence for each other began fading out, drug dealing, murders, and extortion started to rise, and forced the FBI's Boston office to confirm that Whitey Bulger was one of the most notorious criminals in US history and also one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List criminals. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:parade, maniac, death of mother, husband wife relationship

American Psycho (2000)
Crime, Drama

American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:maniac, dancing, based on novel, dog, gun

El Laberinto Del Fauno (2006)
Drama, Fantasy, War

El Laberinto Del Fauno (2006)

In 1944 falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again. (Read More)

Themes:brutality, fear
Story:no title at beginning, horseback riding, death of mother, death of father, train, husband wife relationship, gun

The Bucket List (2007) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Adventure, Comedy, Drama

The Bucket List (2007)

Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life. (Read More)

Story:no title at beginning, lion, elephant, three word title, husband wife relationship, gun

The King's Speech (2010)
Biography, Drama

The King's Speech (2010)

England's Prince Albert must ascend the throne as 'King George VI' (qv), but he has a speech impediment. Knowing that the country needs her husband to be able to communicate effectively, Elizabeth hires Lionel Logue, an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence. This is why The King's Speech (2010) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011). (Read More)

Themes:fear
Period:1930s
Story:horseback riding, death of father, three word title, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog

Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Blood Diamond (2006)

A story following Archer, a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds. Political unrest is rampant in Sierra Leone as people fight tooth for tooth. Upon meeting Solomon, and the beautiful Maddy, Archer's life changes forever as he is given a chance to make peace with the war around him. (Read More)

Themes:brutality
Story:elephant, death of mother, death of father, dancing, husband wife relationship, dog, gun

El Secreto De Sus Ojos (2009)
Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

El Secreto De Sus Ojos (2009)

In 1999, retired Argentinian federal justice agent Benjamin Esposito is writing a novel, using an old closed case as the source material. That case is the brutal rape and murder of Liliana Coloto. In addition to seeing the extreme grief of the victim's husband Ricardo Morales, Benjamin, his assistant Pablo Sandoval, and newly hired department chief Irene Menendez-Hastings were personally affected by the case as Benjamin and Pablo tracked the killer, hence the reason why the unsatisfactory ending to the case has always bothered him. Despite the department already having two other suspects, Benjamin and Pablo ultimately were certain that a man named Isidoro Gomez is the real killer. Although he is aware that historical accuracy is not paramount for the novel, the process of revisiting the case is more an issue of closure for him. He tries to speak to the key players in the case, most specifically Irene, who still works in the justice department and who he has always been attracted to but never pursued due to the differences in their ages and social classes. The other issue is that Gomez is still at large, no one aware if he is alive or dead. But as Pablo at the time mentioned that passion is one thing that cannot be changed in behavior, Benjamin learns now that that premise still holds true. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Story:no title at beginning, younger version of character, train, husband wife relationship, based on novel, gun, dog

Don Jon (2013) is one of the best movies like Water For Elephants (2011)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Don Jon (2013)

Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull "10s" every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don't compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women. (Read More)

Story:older woman younger man relationship, narration, dancing, husband wife relationship

The Book Thief (2013)
Drama, War

The Book Thief (2013)

In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, "The Gravediggers Handbook", which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man. Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Mayor's wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg, who is the son of a deceased friend that saved his life in the war, in the basement of his house and Liesel becomes his friend. One day, Rosa asks Liesel to deliver laundry to the Mayor and Ilsa invites Liesel to go to her library and tells that she can visit her to read whenever she wants. But in times of war there are many threats and the lives of Liesel, her family and friends will never be the same. (Read More)

Story:death of mother, death of father, train, three word title, husband wife relationship, based on novel

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