The Water Diviner

Out Now On-Demand

A father's journey in search of his sons.

Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut with this war story set after the Battle of Gallipoli in 1919 - the World War I campaign fought by ANZAC, Turkish and Allied troops - about an Australian farmer (Crowe) who travels to Turkey to find his three missing sons. Co-stars Olga Kurylenko.


Directed by

Drama, War, Historical


Rating: M Mature themes and violence

Australia, Turkey, USA

Russell Crowe was always likely to choose a big story as his first directing effort - as well as his next lead role - and in The Water Diviner he has certainly found that.

Crowe is Connor, a rugged Australian outback farmer who travels to Turkey soon after World War I in search of his three sons, all lost at Gallipoli. What ensues is a sweeping romantic adventure taking in everything from the shifting allegiances and epic clean-up brought about by the end of the war, to the individual turmoil and undiagnosed post-traumatic shock disorder of those who survived.

It is a hugely ambitious project and for the most part Crowe succeeds, displaying his magnetic screen presence while creating some tremendously cinematic moments of immense visual and theatric scale.

It is however also peppered with decisions that attest to Crowe’s novice director status. From an overly melodramatic Jacqueline McKenzie to a woefully miscast Isabel Lucas, many of the smaller roles are not only single-note but out of tune with the ensemble. At other times heavy-handed camera placement, effects or repetition of a key scene break the audience out of Connor’s journey.

Thankfully, the key cast are given the freedom and material to genuinely support Crowe, and in Olga Kurylenko and Yilmaz Erdogan, the director has cast two immensely talented lieutenants who rise to the occasion.

Ultimately The Water Diviner is an old-school epic tale that improves in the memory as the smaller errors fade. With far more good about it than not, it is a tale that many will find resonance and inspiration from and is certainly best consumed on the big screen.

At The Movies (Australia)


A very, very handsome film... it's really good to see Crowe come back here and direct a film that was obviously close to him.

Hollywood Reporter


Russell Crowe taps a deep well of symbolism, cultural empathy and good old-fashioned storytelling.

Variety (USA)


Marks an ambitious if emotionally manipulative directing debut for Russell Crowe.

Guardian (UK)


A postcard war melodrama illuminated by beautiful colours and sunshine-through-leaves lighting.

SBS (Australia)


The movie's not without its problems, but it's hard to fault its reverent determination to look beyond the jingoism of the Anzac Legend, to make salient points about reconciliation.

Film Ink (Australia)


An awkward beast, one that's too large and unwieldy for intimate drama, yet too small for the enormous frame that it hopes to fill.

Sydney Morning Herald


The romanticism and sentiment take hold; repetitions and flashbacks crowd in, along with slow-motion camera effects that no-one really needs.

Based on true events

This was a touching and meaningful film, that combined the horror & devastation of war with the love and devotion of a father.

An uplifting story based on true events, that inspires you to be glad for the era we live in now and to not forget the thousands of sons who died and never returned home.




An excellent watch,

interesting story, even if a bit cheesy in parts.




Great Movie

The story is what all Australians should know how these young men died for our country and never came home, how a family would feel, good story, Russell Crowe showing how much a father can love his children.

Stick to acting please Russ.

No, sorry. Russell Crowe is not a great actor but he was the best actor in this mess of a film.

The casting was bizarre. How could anyone think a russian b grade actress could play a feisty turkish woman? As for the editing well I think they must have been on too many tea breaks while leaving the film running and don't get me started on the music. The worst crime is that this film makes the story seem overblown and unbelievable which is sad because the subject matter is so tragic and deserving of respect. Crowe should never have been allowed to direct this one.

Crowe Brings to Rememberance

A great film completely carried by Crowe's performance as he restrains himself and the film from very easily falling into the mire of sentimentality but still managing to rightly convey the weight of the loss at Gallipoli. The film was well paced until the last 30 minutes which felt like a canter to the finish line. But all and all a great way to spend a lazy, summer afternoon and a way to reflect and remember the ultimate sacrifice of those who never made it home.

an 80% of A Very Long Engagement

If you have seen the French counterpart, you just times 80% for everything and then you get this film.