Dark Waters

Critics Consensus

Dark Waters powerfully relays a real-life tale of infuriating malfeasance, honoring the victims and laying blame squarely at the feet of the perpetrators.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 94

96%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 251
User image

Tap to review this movie

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    Step 1 of 2

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

    Verify I bought my ticket from

    How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

  • How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

Tickets & Showtimes

The movie doesn't seem to be playing near you.

Go back
Enter your location to see showtimes near you.

Dark Waters Videos

Where to watch

Dark Waters Photos

Movie Info

Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney (Mark Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world's largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything -- his future, his family, and his own life -- to expose the truth.

Cast

News & Interviews for Dark Waters

Critic Reviews for Dark Waters

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (7)

  • Bilott's story is a serious one and demands a responsible retelling. Fortunately, Haynes finds a way to do so without mistaking such a weighty task as an excuse to be plodding or bone-dry procedural.

    Dec 3, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a David and Goliath story with a central figure who knows what's right and keeps chipping away, bit by bit, until he gets to the truth.

    Dec 1, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • It's enough to make you want to chuck all of your non-stick and waterproofed products after seeing this movie.

    Nov 29, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Robert is every bit as determined as any underdog attorney in recent movie history.

    Nov 26, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Haynes also provides a sense of crushing dread-the kind of unsolvable paranoia these procedure-bound movies usually work to counter.

    Nov 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • "Dark Waters" doesn't aspire to be something it's not. Like Bilott himself, it gets the job done, not by showboating, but by laying out the facts.

    Nov 26, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dark Waters

  • 6d ago
    BARELY LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY - My Review of DARK WATERS (3 1/2 Stars) I've often wondered if Wes Anderson were to drop his dioramas and deadpan style, could he make a good, straight up drama? What does a Christopher Nolan musical look like? Does Quentin Tarantino have a Tiffany Haddish comedy in him? Can auteurs put their stamp on made-for-hire movies? These questions keep me up at night. Well, finally when it comes to Todd Haynes, as idiosyncratic as they come, we now know what he brings to a procedural drama. The answer? Hmmmmm. Be careful what you wish for? That doesn't mean Dark Waters, the true story of a corporate attorney who sues his own client doesn't have merit. I actually think the movie works really well, but I can't identify the filmmaker who brought us Velvet Goldmine, Carol or Far From Heaven here. Written by Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan, the story spans decades, promisingly opening with an eerie Jaws-like sequence in which some 1970s teens swim naked in a polluted West Virginia lake. You can feel Haynes in this scene more than anywhere else in the film, considering its haunting, dreamlike imagery. Flashing forward to the late 1990s, the story properly starts when a farmer named Wilbur Tennant (a magnificent Bill Camp) barges in on Cincinnati Corporate Attorney Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) to demand he return to his home town in West Virginia to investigate why his cattle have all started dying. At first dismissing him as a crazy rube, Bilott decides to make the 120 mile drive to see for himself. It doesn't hurt that his biggest client, DuPont, has a plant there which just may be poisoning the water supply. Spoiler alert: They are! One night at a fancy dinner, Bilott confronts a DuPont executive (a perfectly insidious Victor Garber) and gets such an obvious brush-off that he can't help but go down that rabbit hole. Risking his standing at his law firm, presided over by Tom Terp (an unpredictable and passionate performance by Tim Robbins), to launch an investigation which takes over 20 years to complete. It nearly kills him and deeply affects his marriage to his wife, a former attorney played by Anne Hathaway, and relationship with his son. Think Erin Brockovich without the humor and you'll get a good sense of the tone of this dreary, dark, nihilistic film. In 1995, Todd Haynes made the film, Safe, starring Julianne Moore as a woman with severe environmental allergies. It was weird, experimental, and abstractly haunting. Dark Waters feels like the straightforward cousin to that film as it explores corporate greed and cover-ups and the lives left in the balance. Yes, the great cinematographer Ed Lachman has a wonderful way of making you feel every bitter cold early sunset with his black, grey and dark blue color schemes. Yes, the very talented and versatile production designer Hannah Beachler knows her way around working class homes. It all comes together as a consistently bleak presentation, tailor made to make you feel the sheer hopelessness of taking on "the man". Ruffalo does incredible work as a defeated, hunched over workaholic who never gives up the fight. We see nothing showy in his performance. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders when he realizes that DuPont has exposed almost the entire population on earth to harmful chemicals. Hathaway also does excellent work as someone in the typical "wife" role who refuses to be identified as such. She very slyly walks that fine line to give us something heartfelt and strong. Bill Camp, however, walks away with the film with his almost indecipherable drawl and righteous anger at a system which ignores the safety and well being of the hard working citizens of the world. Often specializing in low key characterizations, he switches gears and goes unforgettably big and loud. In what amounts to a compelling yet quite ordinary telling of an important story, it's Camp who cuts through. Todd Haynes may not have made a "Todd Haynes Movie" with Dark Waters, but at least he has given us Great Camp.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer

Dark Waters Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features