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Dark Waters (2019)

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

Director:

Todd Haynes
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Popularity
61 ( 264)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Anne Hathaway ... Sarah Bilott
Bill Camp ... Wilbur Tennant
Mare Winningham ... Darlene Kiger
Mark Ruffalo ... Robert Bilott
William Jackson Harper ... James Ross
Tim Robbins ... Tom Terp
Bill Pullman ... Harry Dietzler
Victor Garber ... Phil Donnelly
Louisa Krause ... Karla
Kevin Crowley ... Larry Winter
Daniel R. Hill ... DuPont Security Guard
Ming Wang ... Waitress
Sydney Miles ... Laura
Marc Hockl ... Church Goer
Courtney DeCosky ... All American Mom
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth Has a Man on the Inside


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

thematic content, some disturbing images, and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,606, 24 November 2019

Gross USA:

$11,136,084

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,886,643
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Killer Films, Participant See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Todd Haynes' first PG-13 rated film since Far from Heaven (2002). See more »

Goofs

During one of the scenes set in 1998 a TV in the background is shown playing an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (titled One Hundred) despite the show not airing until 2000 and that particular episode airing in 2007. See more »

Quotes

Robert Bilott: The system is rigged. The want us to believe that it'll protect us, but that's a lie. We protect us. We do. Nobody else. Not the companies, not the scientists, not the government. Us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Dark Waters (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't Back Down
Written by Tom Petty
Performed by Johnny Cash
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mark Ruffalo shines in David v. Goliath legal battle
7 December 2019 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Dark Waters" (2019 release; 126 min.) brings the story of Cincinnati lawyer Rob Bilott's long legal battle against DuPont. As the movie opens, it is "1975 Parkersburg, West Virginia" as we see several teenagers (one of them a young Bilott) go swimming in a lake that we later see being sprayed with chemicals. We then go to "1998 Cincinnati, Ohio", and Rob has just made partner at Taft, one of the large law firms in Cincinnati. Then a stranger shows up who is from Parkersburg and knows Rob's grandmother. The stranger, Wilbur Tennant, claims that chemicals have ruined his farm, he has the VHS tapes to prove it, and can Rob please represent him.... At this point we're 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all turns out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from Todd Haynes, whose prior movie, the excellent "Carol" was coincidentally also filmed here in Cincinnati (where I live). But that is where the comparisons stop. Here, Haynes brings to the big screen the long legal battle that Bilott fought against chemical giant DuPont. The film starts a bit tentative in my opinion, but after the first half hour, the tension doesn't let up as DuPont is fighting with all of its might against Bilott. This movie is a labor of love for Mark Ruffalo, who stars and also co-produces. I've seen a lot of the films that Ruffalo has made in his career, and I don't know that he's ever been better, playing the almost mousy yet determined lawyer. Anne Hathaway seems underused as the supportive spouse but as the movie goes deeper, her role expands. The movie was filmed in early 2019 in and around Cincinnati, and the downtown area is featured extensively, including Fountain Square, the Queen City Club, the Hall of Mirrors at the Netherland Plaza, etc.

The movie had a red carpet premiere here in Cincinnati in mid-November, a week before it got a limited theater release. This weekend it got a wide release, and the Friday early evening screening where I saw it at my art-house theater here in Cincinnati was attended okay (about 20 people). This movie will surely create strong word of mouth, and if it manages to pick up some award nominations (as it is expected), this could have a decent run in the theaters. If you are interested in a tense legal drama where Mark Ruffalo shines, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.


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