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Running Time:
1 hr. 39 min.

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A phenomenal disaster movie with some incredible performances. The raw emotion and tension in this film makes it one of the best of the year. It's devastating and heartbreaking, and does exactly what it was meant to do, pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price.

Additional Info:
Mark Wahlberg ... Mike Williams
Kurt Russell ... Jimmy Harrell
Douglas M. Griffin ... Landry
James DuMont ... O'Bryan
Joe Chrest ... Sims
Gina Rodriguez ... Andrea Fleytas
Brad Leland ... Kaluza
John Malkovich ... Vidrine
Dave Maldonado ... Kuchta
J.D. Evermore ... Dewey A. Revette
Ethan Suplee ... Jason Anderson
Jason Pine ... Stephen Ray Curtis
Jason Kirkpatrick ... Aaron Dale Burkeen
Robert Walker Branchaud ... Doug Brown
Dylan O'Brien ... Caleb Holloway

Deepwater Horizon
Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) is the chief electronics technician whom we meet in a prologue with his wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and young daughter Sydney (Stella Allen). Then we meet his friend, crew chief Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell), or “Mr. Jimmy” to those who serve under him, who has a sterling safety record—in fact, there’s an interruption midway through to present him with an award in recognition of that. Unfortunately, in this case he’s up against BP executive Donald Vidrine (John Malkovich), who overrules Harrell’s insistence on extra testing of the well before starting the flow. The script emphasizes that the data weren’t definitive one way or another, but the film’s POV is clearly on the side of Williams, Harrell, and cautious rig technician Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), to whom we also meet early on.

Mark Wahlberg positively exudes ordinary-guy rectitude, while Kurt Russell, looking more grizzled and grumpy than ever, is the very model of old-fashioned competence. Whatever the actual circumstances were, it’s entirely appropriate that they should share a heroic stand toward the close, when Williams risks his own life to rescue the boss, who’s been injured while taking a shower as the blast strikes.

It should be clear from all this that Deepwater Horizon is not long on subtlety, in either narrative or visual terms, but it certainly works as a remarkably realistic, viscerally exciting recreation of a tragedy whose impact is still being felt. Director Peter Berg’s expertise in the action-movie medium, combined with the craftsmanship of production designer Chris Seagers, cinematographer Enrique Chediak and editors Colby Parker, Jr. and Gabriel Fleming—as well as the effects team—is in constant evidence. Even Steve Jablonsky’s score make a positive contribution.

Equally important, the film manages in the midst of all the chaos not to forget the human element. That’s true of even the secondary characters, though few of them (aside from the well bridge crew, led by Ethan Suplee’s Jason Anderson) get much screen time. Even Kate Hudson, after her initial scenes, is reduced pretty much to reactive scenes. The respectful recognition of the eleven crew members who were killed, in the closing credits speaks to the filmmakers’ desire to honor their memory, though more information might have been given about the environmental impact of the disaster—which was, of course, enormous.

Deepwater Horizon  demonstrates that Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg make a good team in telling real-life stories featuring lots of action and plenty of thrills. 

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