It’s time once again to do a roundup of some great “true story” movies that are new to the Box and On Demand! While they’re all inspired by real events, their subjects couldn’t be more different.
Dark Waters – Mark Ruffalo stars as environmental attorney Robert Bilott, who began his career defending large corporations. However, in the late ‘90s he was contacted by a farmer in West Virginia whose cattle were exhibiting strange symptoms and dying for unknown reasons. From that day forward, Bilott began a 20-year quest to bring neighboring company DuPont to justice for dumping “forever chemicals” used to make Teflon — and known by the company to cause cancer and birth defects — into the local water, sickening thousands of people. I’m not gonna lie: after you watch this you’re going to become really paranoid about the chemicals you’re ingesting and coming into contact with on a daily basis. But it’s an incredible story of persistence and one man’s quest to simply do the right thing.
The Current War – Don’t be fooled by its title! This movie has nothing to do with any present-day wars. Rather, it is literally about currents — as in, electrical currents! Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon face off as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the battle to develop the standard for electricity in the United States. This is where “AC/DC” comes from, my friends! If that’s not enough for you, Nicholas Hoult also pops up as Nikola Tesla, and Tom Holland plays Chicago investor and business magnate Samuel Insull. Get ready to learn a lot about the dirty deeds that went down in the 1880s in order to power the nation.
Richard Jewell – My husband worked for a security firm at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and helped ensure employees were safe and accounted for after the July 27 bombing at Centennial Park, so we had a lot of anticipation for this movie in our house. Paul Walter Houser gives a breakthrough performance as Richard Jewell, the security guard who was initially hailed as a hero for alerting authorities to the bomb and helping clear the area. However, shortly after, the FBI did a 180 and zeroed in on Jewell as its prime suspect. Jon Hamm plays the FBI agent leading the case, Sam Rockwell plays Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates — who earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her performance — plays Jewell’s mother, Bobi.
Bombshell – Speaking of Oscar nominations, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie each nabbed one for their performances in this 2019 exposé of the sexual harassment women at Fox News faced under CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). The film’s Makeup and Hairstyling team definitely deserved their Oscar win for transforming Theron into news anchor Megyn Kelly, who — along with Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) — led the quest for justice. It’s a maddening story on many levels, but an important one.