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Erin Brockovich
2000 - R - 130 Mins.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Written By: Susannah Grant, Richard LaGravanese
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Dawn Didawick, Aaron Eckhart, Cherry Jones
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Julia Roberts rose to fame in 1990's "Pretty Woman," a forgettable yet - somehow - cherished romantic comedy that never lets her - or us - forget how ugly she is and was.

However, "Erin Brokovich" is easily Ms. Roberts' best performance - by far.

The story is based on real incidents. It follows Erin Brokovich (Roberts): a single mom with "thirteen dollars in savings." She finally lands a job working for a lawyer, Ed (Albert Finney) who keeps her in his building only because he owes her for something.

And then, one day, Brokovich discovers something horrifying: Local citizens are deformed and have died because a corporation has been poisoning water. So, Brokovich investigates and takes the evil organization to court, pretty much.

The film, directed by up-and-coming Steven Soderbergh, whose work on "Traffic" and "Ocean's Eleven" was amazing, is not really a great movie, but it is a definite must-see. Women will love it because it is a girl-power movie, and guys will enjoy it because it's not too sentimental. I'm also guessing they'll like it because of what Julia Roberts wears throughout the film - tight-fitted clothing.

Roberts does try hard to give her best performance - and pulls it off well. She may seem a bit desperate - using the F-word about twenty-something times - but she catches the audience's attention and breaks away from just playing Julia Roberts. I think this is the only role I've seen Roberts in - other than "Conspiracy Theory" - where she plays someone other than herself. It's interesting, really.

Albert Finney is great as Ed. I love the end of the film, because the smirk on his face is just so...Albert Finney! Throughout the film he keeps his strong screen persona while entertaining the audience. He is a calm, choice-actor. He doesn't go for the easy way out. He stretches for different roles. I rarely see an actor do this, and the only other leading actor who I can think of that regularly takes co-star roles is Gene Hackman - he takes roles that he likes for the challenge. He doesn't take the easy way out.

Steven Soderbergh rose to fame with this film, and it's no wonder why. The orange tint of the film provides a gritty and realistic feel - not your average girl-power film. One thing I like about Soderbergh's films is that most of the time you can expect something: The orange tint and a heck of a good movie.

While "Erin Brokovich" is in no way a GREAT movie, it is good, and quite possibly Julia Roberts' best performance to date.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

 
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