Erin Brockovich (2000)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama


Erin Brockovich (2000) Poster

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

7.3/10
157,997

Photos

  • Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • Julia Roberts at an event for Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • Gina Gallego in Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • Aaron Eckhart at an event for Erin Brockovich (2000)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


12 August 2000 | Buddy-51
dazzling performance by Julia Roberts
In its story, `Erin Brockovich' breaks little new ground. Essentially, it joins the ranks of earlier films such as `Silkwood,' `The Insider,' `A Civil Action,' `The Rainmaker,' among others, each of which tells the tale of a common `David' (be it in the form of a whistleblowing employee or compassionate, righteous lawyer) who, against all odds, mounts a seemingly quixotic crusade against a corporate Goliath. All the above five films expose the shoddy and often malevolent business practices of companies that have resulted in major health care crises for both their own employees as well as the residents who live near the companies' facilities. In the case of `Erin Brockovich,' the villain is the PG&E electrical plant located in the desert community of Hinckley, near Barstow, California. It seems that the residents of this small town have been experiencing a mind-bogglingly high number of serious illnesses and miscarriages that PG&E has assured them are not in any way related to the activities at their site. The company has even brought in medical professionals and toxicologists to assuage the residents' growing fears. Almost by chance, Erin Brockovich stumbles onto this information and takes up the challenge of fighting for the rights of these victims and exposing PG&E's gross malfeasance in the process.

Looking at its bare-boned plotting, one must concede that there really isn't much that is new here. However, thanks to a pair of utterly smashing performances by Julia Roberts and Albert Finney and a beautifully well-rounded portrait of a real-life heroine, this Steven Soderbergh film emerges as a true crowd-pleasing triumph. This may, in fact, be not only Roberts' best performance, but her finest role as well. Erin is not a conventional do-gooder heroine. First of all, she is often abrasive and off-putting in her demeanor. Dressed more like a fashion devotee of Roberts' `Pretty Woman' call girl character than a serious legal executive, Erin often launches into unrestrained, obscenity-laced tirades at her boss, her loving boyfriend, even the corporate lawyer bigwigs sent to help her when the case she is making comes close to completion. Yet, it is just this no-nonsense directness that earns her the confidence of the people she is trying so desperately to help. A twice-divorced mother of three, she is as passionate in the defense of her own children as she is in the defense of her case. Yet, she is a woman made up of any number of internal contradictions. Much as she loves her children, she has made a shambles of her life in recent years. Rootless and lacking the skills necessary to procure a well-paying job, she practically has to beg to get hired in the office of a lawyer who has failed to win her a settlement in a traffic accident case. Staunchly individualistic, she refuses to tone down her rhetoric or her temper – or to adopt the more `professional' attire of the business world – even if it might mean that she would be taken more seriously by those around her. She assumes that no man would be willing to consider having a serious relationship with her because of her children and marital track record, yet, when a man enters her life doing just that, her insecurities and her intense commitment to the cause for which she is fighting begin to drive him away – and her children as well. Most fascinatingly, perhaps, we are led to wonder whether it is really the suffering people who motivate her obsessive commitment or rather, as she herself admits, the personal recognition she receives now when she walks into a room and people clamor desperately to know what she thinks on an issue. All credit to Susannah Grant for writing a character so full of believable paradoxes. Obnoxious as Erin is at times, her innate vitality, wisdom and warm-hearted compassion consistently shine forth. Grant, by making her such a three-dimensional figure, mitigates much of the incredibility that lies at the root of this story, true though it may be.

And, given this juicy role, Roberts is nothing short of a revelation. She conveys each conflicting mood and character trait perfectly. Never before has this actress brought such a breezy assurance to her every action and statement. She literally holds this rich film together, forcing us to focus intently on the storm of emotions taking place deep inside this complex woman. This is definitely Oscar-caliber work. Equally brilliant is Albert Finney as Ed Masry, the lawyer for whom Erin works, a jovial, easygoing man who watches with a bemused appreciation as Erin hurls colorful invective at him, rages against the system and dresses down with withering sarcasm not only the legal representatives from PG&E but the seasoned lawyers Masry himself has hired to help bring home the case. One of Erin's most endearing traits is that she is an equal opportunity harridan – a fact that wins Masry over every bit as much as it does us.

If `Erin Brockovich' has a weakness, it comes in the form of Erin's romantic relationship with the unemployed motorcycle rider next door. He seems simply too good to be true, and, although we know that it is necessary to fill in this particular part of Erin's life to make her portrait a well-rounded and complete one, it is still the least interesting and believable part of the tale. We feel we are being too often distracted from the meaty center of the story.

Still, this is a minor quibble about a film that works so beautifully on so many levels. As Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts has finally found the role uniquely suited to her enormous talents and she blazes forth more brightly than she has ever done before. I, for one, will be roundly rooting for her come Oscar night.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Runaway Bride

    Runaway Bride

  • Stepmom

    Stepmom

  • Pretty Woman

    Pretty Woman

  • My Best Friend's Wedding

    My Best Friend's Wedding

  • Notting Hill

    Notting Hill

  • Sleeping with the Enemy

    Sleeping with the Enemy

  • Bridget Jones's Diary

    Bridget Jones's Diary

  • Mona Lisa Smile

    Mona Lisa Smile

  • Dirty Dancing

    Dirty Dancing

  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

  • Eat Pray Love

    Eat Pray Love

  • Ghost

    Ghost

Did You Know?

Trivia

can be seen over the shoulder of Julia Roberts in the scene with her kids in the restaurant.


Quotes

Ed Masry: You're emotional, you're erratic. You say anything, you make this personal, and it isn't.
Erin Brockovich: Not personal? That is my work! My sweat! My time away from my kids! If that's not personal, I don't know what is.
Ed Masry: Hey, come on. Come on. Go home. Get well. ...


Goofs

After Erin comes up from the PG&E well with the water sample, she is chased to her car by two PG&E employees. She gets in and frantically tries to make her getaway. Apparently the car doesn't start the first time and she tries again. However, when the starter is heard cranking the second time, Erin's hand is already off the ignition switch and moving to the gearshift.


Crazy Credits

The settlement awarded to the plaintiffs in the case of Hinkley vs. PG&E was the largest in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history.


Alternate Versions

In the TV version aired on NBC, it mutes the several uses of the f-word [usually changing it from f*cking to freaking, or sometimes even cutting out the line[s] of dialogue]. It also, to supposedly make up for lost time during editing, adds a scene not shown on the theatrical or home video version of the film [although it was added as a deleted scene in the DVD]: Erin goes out to her car after storming into the office and shouting at Ed. She feels still feels very sick and then faints. It lands her in the hospital where George comes to visit [explaining why George would come and take care of Erin's kids while she went to get the signatures]. Ed also comes to visit and pleads her to not make stunts like she did again. Erin apologizes and says she's coming to the town meeting, sick or not.


Soundtracks

Two Shots Of Rye
Written by
Paul Kerr & Andy Dewar
Courtesy of Opus 1

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama

Our Favorite Trailers of the Week

See our favorite trailers in under a minute, including a first look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the newest comedy from Amy Poehler.

Watch our trailer of trailers

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com