Deepwater Horizon movie poster
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Deepwater Horizon
Deepwater Horizon movie poster

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

Deepwater Horizon is a slick, intense action-thriller, a legitimate true-life disaster flick that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

From director Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg (who will team up for another national tragedy flick later this year with Patriots Day), Deepwater Horizon does exactly what it was designed to do: look great and make you never want to go anywhere near an oil rig. As with any “based on a true story” film, especially one that emphasizes action and excitement, liberties are made, facts are fudged and characters are altered, but if the real incident was even slightly as harrowing as what’s depicted on screen…

Well, holy shit.

Peter Berg has made a couple other action-dramas over the last decade, but Deepwater Horizon feels more balanced and personal than Lone Survivor and The Kingdom. Aside from Mike Williams, played by Mark Wahlberg, most of the characters are skin deep, and much of the nearly incomprehensible dialogue in the first 20 minutes is chitchatter to set up shallow relationships and dynamics between the various people. But once you get through the filler--which really isn’t all that bad--Berg delivers a thrill ride that works quite well.

Wahlberg is solid in the lead, and Kurt Russell is also great in a supporting role. The women fare less well: Kate Hudson is fine, but gets the unenvious “concerned wife on the phone” role, while Gina Rodriguez, who I was hoping was going to get near-equal screen time to Wahlberg, isn’t given a whole lot to do for much of the movie (and when she does, it’s up to Wahlberg to save her). Rodriguez gives a good performance, but a somewhat thankless one.

Deepwater Horizon isn’t perfect, but it’s an exciting, fast-paced thriller that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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