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Deepwater Horizon makes effective use of its titular man-made disaster to deliver an uncommonly serious -- yet still suitably gripping -- action thriller.
All Critics (245)
| Top Critics (49)
| Fresh (204)
| Rotten (41)
Viewers will leave with a fine sense of how it felt to be on that blazing rig, but they'll still have plenty of questions about how and why things went so wrong.
Admittedly, the heroics are overblown but there's a devastating clarity in the way the script defines the causes of the disaster.
In short, Peter Berg has done it again. You come out shaken with excitement, but with a touch of shame, too, at being so easily thrilled.
My only serious complaint about Deepwater Horizon is that it's not quite the muckraker I'd hoped for.
The film depicts the worst oil spill in American history and director Peter Berg recreates the cataclysm of that day with unbearable tension and healing compassion.
You can't help marveling at the tightrope the filmmakers walk: honoring their courage and sacrifice while making an action flick entertaining enough to justify the more than $100 million it took to make it come alive on-screen.
Horizon is visually spectacular, positively bludgeoning you with that emotional baseball bat. But it's the strong performances from Wahlberg, Russell, and co. that firmly secure the ORWAV seal of approval.
Deepwater Horizon manages to find the sweet spot between taking itself seriously and providing intense, engaging action.
There's no showboating, just a plain, clinical and violent dissection of a distant catastrophe.
Cinematographer Enrique Chediak captures the inferno from every angle, assigning it a fearsome quality, with the towering conflagration almost emanating from the screen.
At the very least, Peter Berg was able to craft a movie with emotional honesty that respects the lives lost that day, as well as the lasting environmental damage.
It's also a shame Berg glosses over the environmental impact that the oil spill had. A few oil-covered pelicans flying into windows is the best he does, and ... it's not really enough to convey the sheer enormity of this disaster from that standpoint.
The story of the biggest oil rig explosion in US history takes its time getting off the ground. Oddly enough, you still only really get to know three characters, mostly Wahlberg's. The acting is top notch, especially Russell and Malkovich are great. The film tries to give a sense of the daily mundane conversations and routines on board, which mostly works. It really shines when the shit literally hits the fan, though. The action is pretty breath-taking and unique enough, considering there wasn't an oil rig catastrophe film yet. Oddly enough, it's already over soon after. You can't blame a film for sticking close to actual events and not pushing fake drama into the story, but ultimately I expected more. The consequences for nature are merely hinted at with some text in the very end.
The duo of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg continue their string of true-to-life stories of heroism and courage with Deepwater Horizon. With solid efforts of highlighting the perilous moments and establishing a decent amount of backstory on its real-life workers/survivors and the situations before and after, the film is a heart-drenching trial of survival and disaster. 4/5
Despite weak acting from Wahlberg, "Deepwater Horizon" is a fairly impactful film with drama and suspense. It's worthwhile for a Friday evening alone.
There's not a lot of exposition here, not a lot of getting-to-know the characters, just here-are-some-people and then a hellacious amount of crap exploding. And so its not too bad at all.
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