Dark Waters is a brilliant film. In my heart and mind, this film deserves to win an award but probably won’t get one.
Mark Ruffalo gives a passionate performance as a chemical company lawyer who turns the tables on his employer. His emotions and actions were on the same level or even better than his role in Spotlight, where he gave this gut-wrenching speech. He may have been a minor character in that Oscar winner, whereas here he is the main guy. This role gave him a chance to be a leading man and to showcase his acting abilities.
I was incredibly moved and brought to tears as this true story unfolded. These emotions had nothing to do with a Hollywood happy ending, it was all about doing the right thing and seeing justice prevail. It is truly amazing to see how corporations, in this case, Dupont Chemicals, get away with murder, and no one ever dares to stand up to them.
Dark Waters reminded me a lot of another movie, A Civil Action (1998) starring John Travolta.
Both feature a lawyer, not trying to make a name for themselves, instead showcase someone with a good heart and the intentions to do the right thing. Sacrifices are common in the lawyer profession, depending on the magnitude of the case, but in Dark Waters, almost two decades go by before actions and settlements occur. This movie isn’t just about the shakedown of a major corporation, it is also about the toll it takes on those involved with the pursuit of justice.
This film was given a limited release and may not have come to your area. I couldn’t recommend this movie enough, and it will definitely be near the top of my list for the best films in 2019. 9/10