Silkwood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Silkwood Reviews

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September 3, 2017
Meryl Streep delivers one of her greatest screen performances to date in this deeply flawed but very grounded biopic about Karen Silwood, a plant worker in the heart of Oklahoma who believes that radiation poisoning is occurring rampantly there. It is easy to dismiss the performances of Craig T. Nelson and Ron Silver, as one dimensional villain and hero but at the film's heart are three performances that show how flawed and average humans can be (Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher) and still provide us with a reason to root for them.
½ July 16, 2017
If i have enough from my shitty work, i watch this movie and i know, i'm not alone with this issue.
July 2, 2017
Cher won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role!
Meryl Streep won a KCFCC Award for Best Actress!
The movie was nominated for 5 Oscars, had another 2 wins & 13 nominations.
April 13, 2017
Could have utilised better clarification for what's really going on within the subplots, not to mention a somewhat lazy ending.
Super Reviewer
February 27, 2017
Some fine performances, but let down by a dour pace and a saggy script.
½ May 2, 2015
Tedious and dull. Craig T Nelson? Just kill me now. Kurt Russel before he had muscles. Cher is invisible in her role. Steep plays Karen Silkwood, a woman with round heels.
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2015
"Silkwood" may not be particularly suspenseful, but its portrayal of extraordinary bravery from an ordinary woman does leave an impression. Tons of young, budding stars fill out the cast although their full range of skills has yet to develop. That having been said, it's the best bit of acting I can recall seeing from Kurt Russell. Cher's complete lack of glamour or pretense struck me as unusually authentic. It's worth seeing if for no other reason than reminding yourself how little things seem to change over the years.
April 11, 2015
A real life character study of do wrongers trying to do notch acting in this tense thriller.
February 27, 2015
First film saw of Meryl Streep & though it was fantastic & it also has a fantastic cast wid Kurt Russell,Cher & Craig T Nelson also it made me cry with the song at the end
½ January 20, 2015
Muy buena pelicula y papelazos de Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell y tambien de Cher.
½ November 6, 2014
The last sentence of the summary shows how little the average person and Hollywood in general knows about nuclear electric power. A person doesn't get contaminated by radiation. If you get contaminated , its by contamination. If you get irradiated, its by radiation. Modern nuclear power plants have processes and equipment that aims to prevent people from getting contaminated, but if it does happen, the dire consequences of it happening are.......? You take a shower. Yup, that's it.
½ September 17, 2014
Solid enough, but never quite steps it up to a truly engaging level. The script never delves deeply enough for me to either understand or care more about Karen, or any of the other characters for that matter. I think it's intentions are also muddled.
August 11, 2014
An excellent early Meryl Streep film.. Heart felt and touching
June 30, 2014
½ May 26, 2014
Meryl and Cher are amazing as always in this movie and Mike Nichols is always a wonderful director. It had a nice story but I wasn't all that into it.
April 15, 2014
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2014
A rather ordinary film that is vaguely similar to the Erin Brockovich tale but not as compelling. Would work better as a doc.
½ February 6, 2014
The true story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a Texas chemical plant who campaigned against her company to provide safer measures against exposure to plutonium and it's carcinogenic effects.
The movie itself has a TV movie feel to it, with low-key direction by Mike Nichols, but the trio of performances from Meryl Streep as Karen, Kurt Russell as her boyfriend & Cher as her lesbian housemate make this movie eminently watchable. It's like Erin Brockovich from the 1980's.
One little criticism is maybe due to hindsight and probably wasn't a big deal in 1983 when the movie was made, but it concerns the way Karen Silkwood is a habitual chain smoker. She smokes in every scene. Even when sitting with a union campaigning against the dangers of plutonium and it's potential cancers. It just seemed like Ronald McDonald campaigning against the dangers of eating fast food.
Nevertheless, a very good biopic and a unique insight into the unscrupulous practices of a nuclear plant.
December 29, 2013
Enthralling enough if not fully impactful
½ December 15, 2013
Mike Nichols is one of the few directors who can take a story and, rather than sensationalize it, can make it feel human and kitchen sink real.  "Silkwood", which is non-fiction, normally would be highly fictionalized in order to create entertaining melodrama.  Nichols never resorts to that.  The film moves along at a slow pace, and it doesn't necessarily use that factor to develop characters - it instead creates a setting that is true to any one's life.  "Silkwood" doesn't feel like a movie.  It's almost as if a random group of people were selected to be filmed and tragedy coincidentally occurred.  That's what makes the film work so well. Taking place in Oklahoma in the early 1970s, we are given a glimpse into the life of Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep), a young woman who works at nuclear power plant Kerr-McGee.  She lives in a low-rent bungalow with her boyfriend, Drew (Kurt Russell) and best friend Dolly (Cher), who also work at Kerr-McGee.  They live very ordinary lives, but everything once average and boring is shaken when Karen begins to notice at trend at the workplace - more and more employees are developing health problems due to radiation. Though radiation is known to be extremely dangerous now, at the time, as a character puts it, it's believed to be about as threatening as a sunburn: unhealthy but temporary.  Karen is skeptical, and gets the feeling that her employers are hiding an ugly truth, and so she decides to take matters into her own hands.  She does find hard-hitting evidence that could end Kerr-McGee forever, but her findings eventually lead up to her suspicious demise. "Silkwood" is absorbing from beginning to end, which is quite odd, considering it's over two hours and many of the situations are improvised.  But the way the story moves along, the way the characters talk, and the barren setting all make us feel as though we're in the same room as the people living through it all, because there is no glamour to separate us from the real and the fake. Unlike most (political?) thrillers, there isn't a well-defined villain, and the title character isn't exactly a hero. Even the head honcho of Kerr-McGee doesn't seem "evil"; in fact, all the supposed "baddies" are simply people trying to keep their job and make a living. In their eyes, the "hero", Karen Silkwood, is a villain, as she is uncovering evidence that could destroy their life-hood. It's fascinating to see these two sides of the argument collide, because nobody is necessarily wrong or morally corrupt. Though Silkwood, years later, did the right thing by uncovering some of the true risks of radiation, you can see why so many at the time of her death, weren't rooting for her, but going against her. The final scene (which is not a spoiler, as the death of Karen Silkwood has been a story for the ages) is played so subtly that it doesn't even feel sudden. We see Silkwood driving in the dark for a meeting with the New York Times, when a pair of headlights get so close to her, that she cannot see the road in front of her, leading to a fatal crash. Nichols leaves us to decide if she was murdered or it was simply an accident - which still remains a mystery today. You end up hoping she was murdered - not because she was a bad person, but because it would prove that her findings about radiation were in fact correct. Streep makes Silkwood likable, but we also know from the start that she is flawed, numbed by life (she has undergone a divorce and rarely sees her kids), possibly depressed, but in the end, funny and relatable. Silkwood is a complex woman, and, in the end, it is her that is more fascinating than the story itself. "Silkwood" is an example of how a non-fiction film should be made - entertaining, but not so bent on entertaining the audience that it stands in the way of the lives that were c
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