User Reviews (294)

Add a Review

  • It feels like this movie is being swept under the rug. I won't say by whom, but I will remove my tin foil hat now. Fantastic fantastic film. This movie really rocked my world. It took me a few days to calm down I was so enraged at the subject matter. Unbelievable crimes against humanity. But because Dupont makes 75 billion dollars a year nobody can touch them. Not even the government. Evvryone should see this. Very thrilling and well made. Mark Rufallo can go fly a kite though. He's the same as he always is
  • EVERYONE needs to see this movie. These chemicals are in all of us, especially C8 (PFOA). Derived from The Manhattan Project, DuPont used one of the most toxic "forever chemicals" in everything from cooking products to paint. 99% of all humans have it in their systems.

    Before you dismiss this as "hyperbole" or exaggerated for artistic license, don't. This is based on decades of documented and well known civll and criminal cases, countless deaths, DuPont's own records they tried to hide, and on and on. This isn't another "liberal agenda" film as some often state as a means of dismissal - this is about all of us and knows no political bounds. Please, I sincerely implore you, watch this movie and do your own research if you doubt any of it - and prepare to be gutted (warning: not an uplifting film).
  • This is one scary movie because it's something that stretched into recent times ... and really happened. It's about self-regulation, big-business, medical disasters and cover-ups on a scale that just doesn't seem possible in today's world.

    I had no idea this movie was about one of the most well-known brands in the world (that DuPont owns) ... and the terrible secret behind it. Since the name is not advertised in the previews, I won't spoil it here ... but everyone has heard of it and ... ugh ... been somewhat contaminated by it.

    This is not really an "action" movie ... it's a bit of a slow-burn as developments take place over stretches of time. Mark Ruffalo's performance is fine ... though it's fair to say there are other actors who could have put in more compelling and watchable performances.

    I'd have to admit that if the movie wasn't about real events, it would be so-so. However, because it is based on actual events ... you can't help but want to know how the movie unfolds.

    While there are some unexplained issues relating to the main character's law firm and boss (who inexplicably seem to side with an underdog case) ... it's not enough to derail the story ... because the main plot really did transpire.

    It's a good movie to remind us that we're not as protected by our systems, institutions and government as we'd like to think.
  • There's nothing here that you have not seen. Go ahead and call it "Aaron Brockovich." But director Todd Haynes still makes it entirely engaging and painfully true that death is a number compared to liability and that is how you can sustain cold hearted industry. Made more gut wrenching is how they believed the ends justified the means. Mark Ruffalo tackles the lawyer with the conscience wonderfully. Suffering under the weight of what he must do and what then envelops his small world. It's heroic in how much he does sacrifice and let's face it, these stories don't end well. What director Haynes does is put a face to the not-on-the-books crime. And though, it only is a civil case somehow you sense the frustration of the town. Not played as rubes but believing that a massive corporation who funded and gave perks to sustain the village wouldn't willingly destroy it. As we know now versus 1998, they knew...if not for simple morbid curiosity. Then sat on the information as it fed the machine decades later, we are now more informed and much more paranoid. Everything we eat or touch or...breathe we are closer to death. I was in that area in 1998...and the news then spent less time on it then I recall. As a college bound student, I heard murmurs of DuPont and jokes were made of this. Now...it seems bitterly grim. How many lives were destroyed because of shady dealings. When you peel the onion, you do weep. I love this flick. The flavor of that era is pitch perfect. The backroads of an industrial town, built under poor chemistry just sweats disease. And you walk out angered by it. The fight continues to this day.
  • This movie has me pondering every product I use now. Excellent storytelling. Fantastic casting. I even loved how some of the real characters were actually in the film as well. Good cinematography. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 was because it was slow in some parts. Overall, a must see that hopefully changes your life.
  • jayaxelhickey20 January 2020
    It's very scary but it's all true. Look it up. We are not protected at all. We are just lab rats.
  • A very powerful and well-done account of a devastating and relatively recent example of egregiously long-term corporate arrogance, greed, and social irresponsibility; verses the sustained dedication of one farmer and one attorney.

    With such well-documented, internally done, red-flag-raising studies which revealed the substantial long-term health consequences of the manufacture and use of such a widely used product, one has to wonder - where were the company whistle blowers?

    Also, in light of all the years of legal maneuvering and stone-walling, one must also wonder what efforts Dupont damage control executives put into keeping this movie from being made, released, and seen by the public.

    It's rare for a film to entertain and inform, and where the superheroes are real live people. A superb and important story-telling that everyone should, if not must, see!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't pretend this is the best film of 2019, but it is likely the most important - a real must-see for people of all political persuasions (and anybody seriously considering going to law school). And you'll see how the most dangerous lawyer is the one who switches sides from defending the polluters to protecting their victims.

    Dark Waters accurately portrays "the swamp" that so many politicians rant against, but few rarely do anything to mitigate. The failures of the EPA and Congress -- all due largely to the Republicans who for some reason feel that it's okay for industry to poison the American people as long as it's profitable -- are stunning. You will learn how DuPont has been willfully poisoning us with Teflon coatings which it knew were carcinogenic way back in the 1970s. You'll see how DuPont issued a death sentence to its own employees as well as the residents of Parkersburg, WV with the waste from its manufacturing plant.

    As an attorney, I can attest that this is the one film that really shows how demanding law can be - the seemingly never-ending, exhausting effort needed to bring DuPont to some semblence of justice. And you'll witness how at a law firm's partners meeting, the partners who haven't even read the briefs dump on the case out of their ignorance and arrogance. Fortunately, in this instance those fools did not prevail. Otherwise we'd all still be cooking on Teflon-coated pans which, when hot enough, produce the carcinogens that have caused countless cancers and deaths throughout the world.

    If this film doesn't get you angry and determined to vote out of office the politicians who are eviscerating environmental protections, nothing will. It was a chilling reminder the morning after we saw Dark Waters that the headlines reported that the Trump administration was seeking to relax restrictions on deadly ethylene oxides -- in response to lobbying by the same good folks that have been poisoning us for decades. They -- and Trump -- are the very swamp that Trump lied he would drain.
  • Dupont's stock dropped when this film was released. I never knew about this deception until I saw this biopic. Casting was excellent with stellar and convincing performances. Directing was good but the editing was terrible in some parts. I also felt the 126 min runtime was too long, and felt even longer with the slow pacing and some dragged out/unnecessary scenes. Had the pacing been faster and 20-25 mins shaved off the runtime, I would've rated this gem higher. Still, a great biopic about a story that needed to be told, and a well deserved 8/10 from me. Now off to go throw away my teflon non-stick pans...
  • luvrap9 December 2019
    I'm not sure how someone could watch this movie and not be intensely moved by it. That some people found it boring is a reflection of the group thinking society that we live in. I was tired when I went to the theater and almost fell asleep during the previews and first 10 minutes of the film. Then I was on the edge of my seat. Incredible acting! Easily one of the most informative and best movies I've seen in a long time. Ignore the bad reviews and if you're a free thinker GO SEE this movie.
  • ilovefoodcoma28 November 2019
    It is great to hear the details of this case from the victims' side other than from the media. Very informative and good flow of the script. Even though it is over 2 hours movie but didn't feel any scene unnecessary. Definitely great directing.
  • Everyone must see Dark Waters to realize how we, the people, are duped by giant corporations. Throw out any Teflon pans and pots you may still have in your kitchen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First Hit: An excellent portrayal of corporate malfeasance and arrogance, finally getting its comeuppance.

    Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate attorney, is a thorough pragmatic defender of corporations. He's just made partner in his firm and is a powerful asset to the company because he's so good at his work.

    During an important meeting, he's interrupted by Wilber Tennent (Bill Camp) and friend who come from a farm in Parkersburg, West Virginia. They come to see Bilott because Roberts's grandmother, "Grammy," is a friend of Tennent. They hand Bilott a box full of videotapes explaining that no local Parkersburg lawyer will help them with the problem of their cattle dying. They believe the animals are dying because the town's largest employer, Dupont, is polluting the water with chemicals from their facility.

    Bilott tries to deter Tennent and not get involved, but Tennent's plea knags at him, so he visits his Grammy, verifies she knows Tennent and then drives to Tennent's farm. When Wilbur shows him his field full of buried cows, "190 of them," he realizes there is a problem.

    Although Bilott's firm doesn't have Dupont as a corporate client, they are reluctant to take on a nonpaying client that is going to end up suing Dupont as it will hurt their reputation with their own corporate clients.

    However, Tom Terp (Tim Robbins), Bilott's boss, supports Robert continuing his investigation even though his client cannot pay. There is a great scene when all the partners convene to hear and discuss Bilott's work.

    Finally, Dupont sends over all the discovery information that Bilott had requested, and it is massive. Hundreds of boxes of memos, reports, and other documentation. Being a team of one, dutifully Robert sits down on the floor and begins categorizing each document by year and subject. This is a great scene because it cements Robert's commitment to do the right thing no matter what it takes.

    His years of research comes up with proof that Dupont knew that they were poisoning people and animals through the creation, use of, and byproducts from POFA (C8), a chemical creation used in Teflon© the non-stick coating that everyone was using. C8 is one of those chemicals that cannot be broken down by nature, let alone the human body and therefore it stays in the body and slowly causes various types of cancer.

    The film takes us through this story as it develops over the years of difficult lonely hard work on Bilott's part. The filmmakers did a great job of showing the passage of time by giving the audience quick glimpse of his three boys growing up in front of him. He barely interacts with them because he's so clearly focused on this one case, this man is all in.

    In the meantime, because of the court's slow processes, Dupont's putting roadblocks at every turn, and the slowness of a medical testing company that was reviewing, over sixty thousand blood tests, people were continuing to be poisoned and die from being exposed to C8.

    We watch as the stress of doing the right thing for his client requires him to take reductions in pay because he's spending all his time on this case that has no paying client. We watch him feel the pain while watching his clients deteriorate because of the poison.

    His wife Sarah (Anne Hathaway) tries to keep their family together, showing undying support, even as she sees the deterioration of her husband because of the deeply committed compassion to see this lawsuit through for the people who are being harmed.

    One thing the film made sure of was the darkness of this subject. Every scene is dark in color or filled with gray skies.

    Ruffalo was excellent as the committed attorney who gave up almost everything, including his life, to find and fight for the truth. Hathaway was superb as his supportive wife attempting to keep their family together while Robert fights for the truth. Robbins was influential as Bilott's boss and senior managing partner of their law firm, showing support for Robert on this long trail to truth. Camp was terrific, and the driven farmer and rancher who committed his life to making sure Dupont was charged for their crimes against his community. Victor Garber, as Phil Donnelly, a senior executive in Dupont, was supreme in his portrayal of being the mouthpiece of corporate malfeasance. Mare Winningham, as Darlene Kiger, a Parkersburg resident, was fantastic. It was lovely to see her on the screen again. Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote a powerfully detailed script. Todd Haynes did a great job of creating the feel corporate malfeasance and the difficulty of making wealthy companies pay for their crimes against humanity.

    Overall: This is an excellent story about the power of perseverance.
  • Good movie with an important message about the chemicals poisoning us all.
  • "Dark Waters" (2019 release; 126 min.) brings the story of Cincinnati lawyer Rob Bilott's long legal battle against DuPont. As the movie opens, it is "1975 Parkersburg, West Virginia" as we see several teenagers (one of them a young Bilott) go swimming in a lake that we later see being sprayed with chemicals. We then go to "1998 Cincinnati, Ohio", and Rob has just made partner at Taft, one of the large law firms in Cincinnati. Then a stranger shows up who is from Parkersburg and knows Rob's grandmother. The stranger, Wilbur Tennant, claims that chemicals have ruined his farm, he has the VHS tapes to prove it, and can Rob please represent him.... At this point we're 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all turns out.

    Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from Todd Haynes, whose prior movie, the excellent "Carol" was coincidentally also filmed here in Cincinnati (where I live). But that is where the comparisons stop. Here, Haynes brings to the big screen the long legal battle that Bilott fought against chemical giant DuPont. The film starts a bit tentative in my opinion, but after the first half hour, the tension doesn't let up as DuPont is fighting with all of its might against Bilott. This movie is a labor of love for Mark Ruffalo, who stars and also co-produces. I've seen a lot of the films that Ruffalo has made in his career, and I don't know that he's ever been better, playing the almost mousy yet determined lawyer. Anne Hathaway seems underused as the supportive spouse but as the movie goes deeper, her role expands. The movie was filmed in early 2019 in and around Cincinnati, and the downtown area is featured extensively, including Fountain Square, the Queen City Club, the Hall of Mirrors at the Netherland Plaza, etc.

    The movie had a red carpet premiere here in Cincinnati in mid-November, a week before it got a limited theater release. This weekend it got a wide release, and the Friday early evening screening where I saw it at my art-house theater here in Cincinnati was attended okay (about 20 people). This movie will surely create strong word of mouth, and if it manages to pick up some award nominations (as it is expected), this could have a decent run in the theaters. If you are interested in a tense legal drama where Mark Ruffalo shines, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
  • Awesome true to life story ... It really puts into perspective the world we live in and the illusionary bubble we can live in and not even know it. Dupont sucks!!
  • In recent decades, particularly since the horror that erupted on 9/11, more than a few dramatic movies have dealt with real-life events and/or social issues in ways that are often so engaging that they supersede most Hollywood blockbusters. Some of the very best deal with the kind of rampant corporate malfeasance that goes on when there are few or no regulations in place to protect the people that these corporations have a tendency to harm with all-too-painful regularity. DARK WATERS is one of those films.

    Mark Ruffalo portrays Robert Billott, a Cincinnati-based attorney who is part of a law firm that represents dozens of multi-billion dollar corporations, the biggest not only in America but the world at large as well. But when he hears about a farmer in his own hometown of Parkersburg, West Virginia who has lost nearly two hundred head of cows because they drank from toxically polluted water, he wades into the situation (albeit reluctantly at first) and discovers that one of the companies he has represented in his time, no less than DuPont, is the corporation whose dumping of their toxic waste is responsible for not having only killed livestock, but poisoning and/or severely deforming almost everybody there in Parkersburg, nearly seventy thousand in all. Combing through documents dating all the way back to the 1970s, he learns that some of this poisoning may be connected to a very well-known product, that DuPont created back in the early 1960s (everyone will know all too well what the name of that product is), and is in practically everything in every home in the United States, including pots and pans. The toll it took on him and his family, including the relationship with his wife (portrayed by Anne Hathaway) was almost too much for him (he ended up in the hospital for a time); but he kept on fighting for the people in his town, getting blood samples from everyone tested to be used as evidence of DuPont's corporate malfeasance, which virtually bordered on corporate homicide.

    Based on Nathaniel Rich's article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare" that appeared in the New York Times Magazine in 2016, DARK WATERS is quite well directed by Todd Haynes (I'M NOT THERE; WONDERSTRUCK), and co-written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (LIONS FOR LAMBS; DEEPWATER HORIZON). Ruffalo, who portrayed one of the Boston Globe reporters in the much-acclaimed 2015 drama SPOTLIGHT, ably portrays Billott in a way that gives us a glimpse into his way of thinking that, just by having represented DuPont in his time, he himself may have been somewhat responsible for the years-long poisoning of his own hometown, even if only indirectly. The atmosphere conjured up by Haynes is not too dissimilar to what we saw in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, SPOTLIGHT, or THE POST, one that is decidedly sinister, shadowy and arguably corrupting. Tim Robbins, well known for his highly liberal political beliefs, does a good job of playing Ruffalo's partner in the firm, who is initially extremely reluctant to take his side but then does when the facts about DuPont become too big to ignore. Mare Winningham is also good as one of Parkersburg's many residents who have to face what the town's biggest employer has been doing to then for decades.

    While it may seem all too common for movies to take what may seem like potshots at multi-billion dollar conglomerates, when they do the wrong thing (which seems to happen all too frequently, as it did with DuPont), then those wrongs have to have a light shone on them. This is what DARK WATERS does; and as a result, it was one of the best films released in 2019.
  • Can't stop thinking about this film. The fact that it is based on a true story in recent times is rather terrifying yet interesting at the same time, and makes you look at some of our Western products in a different way. For me it was a real eye opener. How ignorant the public is kept by some corporates baffles me... Truly recommend this film if you want your eyes to be opened!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I still remember watching TV ads about teflon when I was a child. I only find out today that it is severely harmful to health! The story is engaging and absolutely gripping. Thank you for the prolonged fight against corporate deception and irresponsibility. Thank you for telling this story that otherwise many people would not have known.
  • diffguy2 January 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    In terms of storytelling, Dark Waters' most close associate that I've seen is The Big Short. Tonally, these two are polar opposites, but they both illustrate their convoluted and complicated stories of corporate corruption well. Well enough for any non-chemist, non-lawyer, non-doctor to understand the injustice that corporate overlords have exacted upon the public.

    The film is constantly tearing down the spirit of Mark Ruffalo, followed by brief, hopeful moments that Dupont will be held accountable for poisoning tens of thousands of people. These hopeful and demoralizing notes begin small. The idea that the EPA will help Wilbur Tenant, the farmer who had his cattle herd die from poisoned drinking water, is followed by Ruffalo realizing that report was written in part by Dupont scientists who will, of course, be corrupt. And that demoralizing note is followed by bestowing the hope that Wilbur Tenant will finally get his long sought chance for a $ settlement, and that's followed by the soul crushing scene of his entire family drinking water out of the tap, still poisoning themselves with no other means to change their fate.

    That was the scene that made me cry with rage. That nothing could be done to escape their death. What could they do without water? They're thirsty, and stressed, and their kids just want to come home from school and live normal lives. All I could do was cry tears of rage. Wilbur was not being served justice.

    The notes continue swooping from high to low. Ruffalo is served mountains of paperwork during the lawsuit against Dupont. Like, a laughable amount that no one could ever finish reviewing. But he sets to work anyway and finds the smoking gun: Dupont has known about the poison for decades. The film makes the audience believe we have Dupont dead to rights, but they wiggle out of it with legal maneuvering. When it has been years after the public blood testing, and no answers are given as to whether Dupont is at fault, the public gets angry at Ruffalo. All this pressure builds into him having a mental breakdown/siezure, and we all feared he would quit. Then, after he recovers, the call finally comes from the science panel that he was right. Dupont absolutely poisoned these people and must pay for their health damage. This movie is like an emotionally abusive boyfriend.

    Finally, we won, right? No. Dupont rips up the mediation contract (one would think this illegal) and now says anyone who health problems cannot take part in a class action lawsuit, but can do so individually.

    And that's when we finally leave on the highest of high notes that makes you curse with joy and unleash primal, guttural screams of victory: Mark Ruffalo starts representing each of those West Virginians individually, wins tens of millions of dollars in the first 3 cases, and DUPONT GIVES UP. THEY PAYOUT THE BETTER PART OF A BILLION DOLLARS. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO YEAAAH SUCK IT.
  • I was discussing with family and friends not that long ago of the huge increase of cancers in the past few decades. There was a time that we rarely ever heard of it. Now it seems rampant. Then when a movie like this comes out about a greedy corporation that had been knowingly poisoning and killing people for decades it sheds some light on claims lately often hear of things like chemicals and even stuff in our foods being greatly responsible. Of course these companies care only about profit and so they put out their smoke screen. Then lo and behold this film comes out. It is about a corporate lawyer that is asked to look into a matter dealing with one chemical company. I won't give anything away just to say it's a must see. I also love the ending.
  • Great movie. It was very serious but i found it engaging the whole time. It makes you think about the world around us, the large corporations that are everywhere in it and the possible coruption that goes on with them. Its a powerful story that literally effects all of us. It definitely makes me think about all the stuff we surround ourselves with. Everyone should watch it.
  • The movie is among the best of tense thrillers (think: John Grisham The Firm), only that it is actually a real life story about the unbelievable crimes Dupont did to the American People & how they tried to cover for decades the fact that 99% of people nowadays have at least traces of their toxic Teflon-chemicals in their body. This is how entertainment should be: engaging, entertaining & telling an important story in a time of civic society uprise against corporate coruption. The atmosphere is tight, the film never slows down and Mark Ruffalo & Tim Robbins bring us honest & wonderful portrayals of their characters! 10/10 Must see & worthy of (at least one) Oscar !
  • "Dark Waters" is a stunning and surprising film that gets under your skin. . In this drama based on a true story, an attorney takes on an environmental case against a large chemical company exposing a lengthy history of pollution. . From the beginning of the film, "Dark Waters" never lets go. It's a shocking and informative drama that will have you questioning if you've been exposed to this type of pollution. I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this film and thought that Mark Ruffalo was fantastic in the lead. It's a solid dramatic thriller that will have you enthralled throughout and have you talking about it afterwards. .
  • "Dark Waters" is without a doubt a touching and truth opening movie that shows a more than three decades legal struggle and fight against corporate greed and water and product pollution. Covering a time period from the late 80's to mid to late 2000's the film is timely and a long journey to show the affects of common people's lives. It involves Robert Bilott(in a fine turn from Mark Ruffalo) a Cincinnati, Ohio corporate defense attorney who after being contacted by a family member of his old hometown of Parkersburg, West Virginia to go check on strange problems that a local farmer is having it's like all of his cows are dying! Upon investigation and viewing of dead cattle parts and looking at the local water it's clear that pollution is the norm.

    One by one the locals become affected with various and deadly health problems like cancer and the drama that starts to unfold is tense as Robert chooses morality over loyalty and decides to defend the people in a lawsuit against the giant chemical company named "DuPont" as thru later research and reports and some sharp investigative work it's clear the chemical giant has a big history of pollution. Wow what about a big cover up as these crimes have crippled many ever day people. Most shocking was the discovery of the traces of the toxic chemical Teflon which started in many day to day household products only to now be present in most everyone's body.

    Along the way the drama and stress that unfolds takes a toll on Robert only his supporting love and need to live is found in family as his trophy wife Sarah Bilott(the sexy Anne Hathaway) is the strong and leading captain of the family ship. This movie was well done as it showed how dirty and corrupt that society can be as corporate greed and harmful corruption must be discovered and fought. Really "Dark Waters" is a very direct and truthful moral justice seeking film.
An error has occured. Please try again.