Dark Waters (2019) Movie Review

Director: Todd Haynes

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnhan, Mario Correa (Screenplay) Nathaniel Rich (Magazine Article)

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, William Jackson Harper, Mare Winningham, Victor Garber

Plot: A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.


Tagline – The Truth Has a Man on the Inside

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important Case, Told Too Slowly

Story: Dark Waters starts when defence attorney Robert Bilott (Ruffalo) gets invited to put a lawsuit against the very chemical company who works for by Wilbur Tennant (Camp) who has lost his whole herd of cows to different illness, ones he believes to be environment.

Robert decides to take the case, much to his boss Tom Terp (Robbins) annoyance, which will see him take on one of the biggest firms in America, with the claim they deliberately poisoned the water for years.

Thoughts on Dark Waters

Characters – Robert Bilott has been working to defend chemical companies for years, now he is asked to lead a case against one of the biggest firms DuPont, which could put his own career as a lawyer on the line to expose one of the biggest poisoning and lack of care in America. Sarah is the wife of Robert’s she doesn’t like his work to start with, but sees how it might even be effecting people in their own life, backs him in his fight against the company. Tom Terp is Robert’s boss, he isn’t happy with him putting the case together to start with, only once he sees his case, he will back him to do the right thing. Harry Dietzler is the lawyer that handles to trial for Robert, he knows how to play the courtroom to get the best out of the situation.

PerformancesMark Ruffalo in the leading role is the highlight of the film, he shows the sacrifice the man made to win the case. When it comes to the supporting case Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman are all strong with their roles in the film.

StoryThe story follows a defence attorney that will risk his career to take on a giant firm accused of dumping chemicals into the water supply causing countless numbers of side effects that affects millions, this case does go on for decades and we see the ups and downs along the way. The story is important because it shows how bad the corruption in a company can be, which is sadly, one of the weaknesses in the story, we are trying to get too much information out, while not having enough to work with because of the number little cases involved. With the scale of the story being this big, it would have been better to get a mini-series, which could have explored more of what was going on in the grand scale of things.

BiopicThis was the important story of one man’s struggle to try and make a difference when taking on a massive company that will do anything to keep the little man down.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just what the company was doing and how the people had been affect by their careless action.


Scene of the Movie – The cases start.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is too much to cover in just a movie.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at the important case that showed how hard one person worked to make a different against a company that wouldn’t give him a chance.

Overall: Could have had more.

3 comments on “Dark Waters (2019) Movie Review

  1. Interesting review…I wanted to LOVE it – the subject matter reminded me of “Erin Brockovich”….so it was disappointing in that it didn’t reach those heights. That said, a good movie and an important story to tell.

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