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Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich (2000)

March. 17,2000
| Drama

A twice-divorced mother of three who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins -- with a little help from her push-up bra. Erin goes to work for an attorney and comes across medical records describing illnesses clustered in one nearby town. She starts investigating and soon exposes a monumental cover-up.


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The story of Erin Brockovich is significantly intriguing as much as it is thought-provoking, even if it doesn't make a landmark in America's history. Director Steven Soderbergh gives a lively treatment to the inspirational story with a confident direction and an intelligent screenplay, even when the film begins to feel like a two-hour episode of a television series. Soderbergh's brilliant taste of filmmaking comes to life in a 1993 story of a Californian woman taking on one of the biggest class action lawsuits to ever take place in America, and the result is a true cinematic work of art with just small pinch of shortcoming in the mix. The movie pits Julia Roberts in the role of Erin Brockovich, an unlikable and unemployed single mother of three kids who is involved in a car collision while passing through an intersection. She receives aid from lawyer Ed Masry (played by Albert Finney) to assist her in court, but her profane and disrespectful behavior result in her losing the case. Still stuck on the unemployment lines, Erin successfully convinces Masry to hire her as a file clerk at the law firm. There, she comes across a case involving contamination on the water supply of Hinkley, California done by the Pacific Gas & Electricity Company. With a growing number of Hinkley residents getting ill from the contaminated water, Erin enlists the help of the reluctant Masry to assist her in a case against the multi-billion dollar company. This biographical drama doesn't rise into the rank of the most memorable biopics Hollywood has to offer, nor is it particularly groundbreaking at the least. But what matters most is that it's smart, it's clever, and it features Julia Roberts in a role that definitely defines her career compared to some of the romantic comedies she's endured in the past. Though the rude and surly attitude render of her character make her hard to care for at first, she eventually overcomes her cruel demeanor when she sets out to make a difference for those who are in need of help. Roberts embraces the role with sheer competency and grace (and profanity), it is significantly difficult to point out another role by her that impresses me more. Albert Finney also brings some acting gold in the mix, and his chemistry with co-star Julia Roberts comes on-screen and works quite effectively. Then there is Aaron Eckhart who has plays a motorcycle junkie who moves in next door and after his help with the children, eventually comes her boyfriend but faces a strain in their relationship when her constant work on the case dissolves her time at home. For the charismatic actor he is, he does pretty decent in his role, and does nothing to disappoint the slightest. The cast make admirable appearances on screen in this true story-based film written by Steven Soderbergh that captures true emotion without the temptation of manipulating it with overly sentimental tone, and makes an honest sense of the events that took place leading the title character into a major court case Erin had a very high chance of losing in trial. It was an important case where justice that meant not money, but the lives of the people affected by the wrongdoing of a filthy rich utility company. With people getting ill and some dying, Erin knew something had to be done. Erin Brockovich is an endearing biographical drama that leaves a landmark on both Julia Roberts and director Steven Soderbergh's career. It is a fascinating movie with a just a few flaws that are overshadowed with greatness and therefore difficult to point out. When taking about Julia Roberts, this film is the role she is likely remembered for.


What happens when you mix a struggling, single mother of three, an accident, and a lawyer together? Well, you get Erin Brockovich. A film written by Susannah Grant and directed by Steven Soderbergh, this is an Oscar-winning biographical drama that is based on a portion of the life of Erin Brockovich, a woman that has dealt with unemployment, poverty, and just plain bad luck. Erin lives in Hinkley, California, a small town located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada. That is where she and her three children live on the fringes of poverty in a small house located in a suburban neighborhood. To exacerbate an already unfortunate situation, one day, after Erin leaves an unsuccessful job interview, she gets into an accident, suffering damages to herself as well as her car. To add to her frustrations, her appointed lawyer, Ed Masry, is unsuccessful in winning her settlement case. After a heated confrontation with Mr. Masry in his office, Erin comes out of there with a job as a legal clerk for Mr. Masry. Her employment under Mr. Masry eventually leads her on a unwitting path to fight for justice against PG&E, an electric/utility giant. In the film, Brockovich is tasked by Mr. Masry to look into a case where the plaintiffs were suing PG&E for damages due to groundwater contamination caused by dumping waste-water which contaminated neighboring water supplies. As the film progresses, more and more victims of PG&E's contamination come forward and join Brockovich to fight against the giant. Although this film is a biographical drama, I would also suggest to Mr. Soderbergh that this is one of the best documentaries I've seen. You may ask: "What are you talking about? This isn't a documentary! This isn't even close to a documentary." Well, I'll have to stop you there. Although the film is captured in a dramatic way, the focus of the movie is not the drama, rather, the events. The film detailed the conditions that not only the protagonist, Brockovich was faced with, but those affected by PG&E, as well. Erin Brockovich was able to create a more powerful message that not only addressed environmental awareness but also corporate greed. One thing I liked about the film was that it wasn't littered with special effects or over-the-top dramatic music. Films that are considered documentaries nowadays are usually chalk-full of propagandic editing and loaded questions. This is especially prevalent in environmental documentaries. This type of documentary usually leads viewers to one conclusion: that corporations are bad, and the environment is dying. Overflowing with dramatic music and cut-offs, those kinds of films, to me, should be considered dramas, not Erin Brockovich. Erin Brockovich is able to make viewers aware of those issues, and more. Grant and Soderbergh immerse the viewer into the movie by giving a context for which many viewers can connect to or sympathize with: a single mom that has nothing but a few dollars, 3 mouths to feed, and a wild personality. She is split into many directions, and her personality is what gets her into as well as out of sticky situations. By introducing us to Erin, a mother, a foundation for connections are established with the viewer. They also introduce realistic conflict into the movie. In addition to her struggles for employment, Soderbergh includes a romantic relationship that the real Brockovich had with a neighbor, named George. Even after she eventually pulls her and her family out of near destitution, she is faced with the task of balancing her passion for her work with time spent with her family and George. Chasing her work would mean putting everything else on the sidelines. Spending time with family would mean that precious time would be lost in the fight against PG&E. Even as she works to repair her relationship with George and her kids, Erin has created a connection to those that were affected by the groundwater contamination. The issue then is where to focus her humanity. Should she sacrifice her family's happiness, potentially ruining her relationship with her kids for good, so that she is able to attempt to save or at least ameliorate the hundreds of lives that have been affected by PG&E? By introducing these aspects, Soderbergh gives a more realistic view of our society as humans, rather than the clips of starving African children you see in every other documentary. I think the addition of these elements keep the viewer more glued to their screens compared to typical documentaries, which try way too hard to grab your attention. Erin Brockovich, aside from the comparisons, is an excellent standalone film. Its unique story line/situation makes the film memorable. Its inclusion of the real Erin Brockovich in the beginning gives the viewer an impression of what the real deal was like, and what the dress, mannerisms, and vulgar language amalgamate into. His seemingly accurate portrayal of Brockovich greatly contributed to the film's intensity as a biography. Soderbergh's film, to me, is a 5-star (10/10) movie. It's incorporation of realness is what clinches the 5th star. Erin's situation was a very unique and rare occurrence. Her strife to survive in life led to successes and failures. Her fortunate chance to work in Ed Masry's office established a previously unknown passion about something that may have never crossed her mind: the environment. It is through random luck that history is made. History is not a set prophecy. Story lines are constantly being created, however, many go unacknowledged. Erin Brockovich created that story, and Soderbergh acknowledged it.

Taylor Altenbern

Erin Brockovich, played by Actress Julia Roberts, is an unemployed single mother of three who finds herself with her hands even fuller when she gets T-boned at an intersection on her way home from yet another unsuccessful job interview in North Hollywood. Although her lawyer, Ed Masry, is confident that she will win the case against the careless driver, their optimism turns to disappointment when the jury decides that this foul-mouthed divorcée was just trying to make a quick buck. This seemingly inconvenient event will ultimately propel her into the launch of her career, despite never having any formal education, or a job for that matter. Despite Erin's abrasive wit and eclectic wardrobe, she eventually lands a job with her former lawyer who introduces her to the world of fax machines and file cabinets. All the while, after having a run of bad luck with a couple of babysitters, her three young children are now being taken care of by George; the hunky bearded biker from next door. These relationships continue to unfold throughout the film. Erin's intuition and curiosity leads her to begin unravelling what was at first a dispute between a small family in Hinkley and the monstrous monopoly that is PG&E. After much investigation, Erin attempts to expose what could be one of the largest crimes of health and environmental negligence committed by a company to date. In the midst of chaos, she tries to find a balance between being a mother, a lover, and an appropriate employee all while attempting to find justice in a sea of corrupt companies and tedious judicial systems. Her astounding work ethic and ability to think on her feet is ultimately her only ammo in the unthinkable battle that precedes her. Set in Southern California, the Rom Com Drama based on a true story alternates between glitzy Los Angeles and the dull, barren desert of Hinkley. Julia Robert's ability to portray Erin as a beautiful, bad ass, and yet somehow still relatable character is the driving force of the film. Her and Ed, who is played by Albert Finney, create an unlikely yet incredible duo who will have you cheering from the sidelines. Erin's selflessness, sass, and zeal creates a character that anyone would root for, and the exposure of PG&E's negligence creates a very qualified antagonist. Her love interest, George adds another element to the plot, showing Erin's sweet and feminine side. The ups and downs of Erin's personal life parallel those of the Hinkley case, creating an even more enticing story line. Overall, Erin and the people of Hinkley's battle against the giant corporation PG&E, resembles the classic David and Goliath plot line. This real life story of one company's carelessness that lead to the suffering of an entire town, is one that will make you laugh, cry, and even get a little angry. Erin plays the hero that we all strive to be, and so much more. The great acting, character development, and riveting plot line followed by a great overall theme and message is why I chose to give the film a high rating. However, this isn't necessarily a movie I could watch over and over again, as it doesn't leave much speculation or mystery. Nonetheless, it is a great movie that is most definitely worth watching.


Erin Brockovich is a movie based on real life affair that takes time in the 90' s, but the occurrence of the movie can still happen today.. After watching first few minutes of the movie, you don't really know how can this character, Erin, be one of the biggest icons in civil rights. Erin is a struggling single mother of three little kids, one of them is only a few months old. She tries to get a job, but she's declined after the doctor who needs an assistant finds out about. her background. On the way back home from the interview, she is involved in a car accident where she gets hurt and both her and the other car are seriously damaged. She tries to sue the other person involved, because they made the mistake, but she loses the case. She starts working for a lawyer who lost the case and this job is what changes her life forever. She's not a lawyer, she doesn't have a college degree, but she's naturally intelligent which makes her very popular with the clients.. While cleaning the storage room in the office, Erin finds an odd combination of documents and that's where the whole main part of the movie starts. She discovers that a huge American company is selling people dangerous water that seriously affects health and can lead to deadly illnesses. By physical contact, honesty, and forwardness, Erin gets the whole neighborhood to fight against the company. Her boss, an old average lawyer is doing the case with her, because Erin isn't real lawyer, she doesn't know the whole trial process and all the legal necessities. Later on, when the issue gets bigger and the amount of money they could get gets significantly higher, he gives the case to a much more skilled lawyer, who has more finances and is from bigger company. The new lawyer and his partner don't really give the people in the damaged neighborhood much chance and they don't have as much commitment as Erin, who's deeply hurt by losing the case to the better lawyer. The whole case almost falls apart, the affected people don't like the treatment they are getting from the new lawyers nor from the water company that's trying to get them quiet by buying their properties. At the last minute, Erin and her boss are able to get the people back on their side by being honest and fair to them and in the end, they make the impossible possible and win. The case was settled for US$333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in US history. The main reason why Erin and all the neighbors won was because the water company couldn't refute the evidence of knowing about the issue. The company knew for years and made their old employees burn and hide all the incriminating documents. Erin got her hands on them because of a retired employee, whose brother died of cancer after living in the contaminated neighborhood for several years. The water company went bankrupt shortly after their lost because more issues from different areas came to the surface. The company's violation against civil right was so severe that there wasn't any way out for them. Personally, I think that this movie amazingly shows how normal Erin is. Erin's nobody special, low class single mother and twice divorced. The movie is really great at combining her personal life, work and showing her character. One thing that I liked the most is that she did not change. She never liked lawyers before she worked in a law firm, she didn't like them when she was working there as a normal secretary and she still did not like them after winning the case and being a partner. She stays herself even after winning a huge civil rights case. The neighborhood that had dangerous water was not informed about the chromium in it because the water company was manipulating them. They wanted to buy their houses, but for very low price, and their lectures on chromium were a huge propaganda. If anybody in the area got an analysis of the water and found chromium, they would think it's the good kind they were told about, not the extremely dangerous one and wouldn't try to get more into the topic. The doctors the company provided were bribed to say that the chromium does not have an affect on the illnesses the neighbors kept getting. They knew how dangerous this type of chromium was and they kept it a secret, violating a civil right of public awareness and basically a censorship. This movie definitely proves its point and they did a great job at remaking a real story about legal issue, while still being funny and very interesting. What started as every other romantic comedy changed into a movie where you have to think so you don't get lost in the information. It also touches several civil rights topics, from public information to gender equality. The second one is mainly presented by Erin and her personal life, in which she has to go through many struggles to prove that she matters and has a voice.