Erin Brockovich

"Very Good"

Erin Brockovich Review


Besides having the hardest-to-type title of a movie since Being John Malcovich, what will be the legacy of Erin Brockovich, an unabashed Julia Roberts star vehicle that, coincidentally, also tells the story of the largest direct-action legal settlement in American history?

It won't be for its aura of jurisprudence. As a primer on the U.S. legal system, Erin Brockovich is not terribly compelling. The legal mumbo-jumbo is all there and feels accurate enough, but the heart of the movie simply doesn't rest with the details of the case, which features Pacific Gas & Electric poisoning 600 people in a small California town with chromium (and then telling them it's good for them).

While it's not a class-action lawsuit, the case has essentially the same details as A Civil Action and any number of other Verdict clones, with nearly-bankrupt attorneys who risk it all on One Big Case.

And while the mind wanders when the film turns toward the perils of fighting The System, your eyes light up when Roberts takes the stage. Erin Brockovich is her movie. And while Albert Finney steals a bit of thunder as her grumpy boss, it's Erin's brassy, white-trash, amateur investigator that makes you want to watch this movie, all 2 1/2 hours of it.

That, and the fact that none of Roberts' outfits seem to be able to cover her brassiere. To say the least, Roberts is breaking new grounds in cleavage with this film -- anticipate much to be made of her "new look". That said, it's fabulous to see her in an atypical role, far away from the sap and formula of recent fare like Runaway Bride.

With the exception of Finney, the supporting cast is lackluster. Aaron Eckhart tries awfully hard as Erin's Harley-lovin' yet family-friendly boyfriend, but the role doesn't really suit him. While attempts are made to humanize them, the victims are all pretty much the same character, each battling one tragic disease or another.

It's obvious that indie breath-holder Stephen Soderbergh (Out of Sight, The Limey) is behind the camera. Shots are regularly hand-held, close-ups are regularly extreme. The film looks different, but in the end it's really just more of the same fist-waving we've seen before. A good film, not great, not terribly compelling, but featuring a slam-dunk performance by Miss Roberts in a season of otherwise unwatchable films.

All of which may leave you wondering, Is PG&E still this awful? Last year somebody at the company flipped the wrong switch, and the power went out in San Francisco for a full day. I think a few lawsuits are pending.

Brock with baby.



Erin Brockovich

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 131 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th March 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $256.3M

Budget: $51M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 120 Rotten: 23

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Erin Brockovich, as Ed Masry, as George, as Donna Jensen, as Pamela Duncan, Veanne Cox as Theresa Dallavale, as Brenda, as Charles Embry, as Kurt Potter, as Julia R.

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.