“Dark Waters”: a movie review


“Dark Waters” movie poster.

“Dark Waters:” Not just another Stranger Things-esque sci-fi thriller, another intense courtroom drama, or your run-of-the-mill ripped from the headlines flick. Mark Ruffalo’s latest film endeavor goes a little farther and hits close to home here at SHS. Without sparing a single detail, “Dark Waters” relays the story of Cincinnati environmental attorney, Robert Bilott, dubbed “The Lawyer Who Became Dupont’s Worst Nightmare” by the incendiary Times article that inspired the movie.

Despite telling the emotional story of Bilott’s fight against Dupont Chemical Co. and their willful poisoning of a West Virginia town, the film draws on our perceptions of the barriers in society: where they come from? who decides them? and what does it take to jump over them? Most importantly, it poses one key question: even when we try our hardest, is it really possible to make a change?

The answer? You’ll have to watch to find out, but “Dark Waters” definitely doesn’t sugarcoat what it takes to fight a billion dollar industry in a self-regulated market. From blocking evidence to setting fires, the chemical industry giant, Dupont, will try every dirty trick in the book, but in the end, the evidence is shocking. Discreetly, but with no less intent, they’ve knowingly dumped “forever chemicals” into food, everyday goods, and even water. And the sucker punch: it’s not just in a little town in West Virginia, it’s in all of us.

Despite the one size fits all courtroom dramas you might be used to, “Dark Waters” isn’t going to be anything like the dry documentaries you are envisioning; it is emotional, moving, and dramatic, and best of all, it’s packed with action. 

On top of an impressive portrayal of an engaging story, “Dark Waters”’s Cincinnati focus places it close to us here at SHS. It is refreshing to see Cincinnati-filmed movie that doesn’t hide its roots (in fact, you can even spot Graeters in an opening scene) and the film’s genuity shows. The movie showcases the gleaming downtown skyline without overlooking our midwestern suburbs. 

All in all, if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind drama flick to shock you past your wildest imaginations, consider trying “Dark Waters” for a fresh take on an age-old issue.