cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

 

Erin Brockovich

Rated [R], 131 minutes
Starring Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart
Screenplay by Susannah Grant
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
website: www.erinbrockovich.com

IN SHORT: Get on the line

Here now a Portrait of a Blue Collar Mom in Dire Straits. Twice married, Twice divorced Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) has three kids to watch and is seventy four dollars away from desperation's door when we first meet her, seeking employment at a doctor's office. Not only does she not get the job, her day is about to get a helluva lot worse. We'll save the shock value of that plot point for the big screen. What happens in that blink of an instant puts Erin on the course to self-realization of her potential; the salvation of a small California town about to get the royal from the local power company.

Ex-beauty queen Brockovich demonstrates incredible determination, lots of bad luck and level-headed balsy-ness (if Erin were a guy it'd be said he was packing a nice pair...) as this adaptation of a true story unfolds. Erin lands a job in the law offices of Masry & Vititoe, where partner in charge Ed Masry (Albert Finney), who owes her big, is constantly looking for a way to fire her. The other women in the joint are jealous of her looks, which are enhanced by a wardrobe a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Handling mundane tasks like filing and such, one day Erin opens a folder on a real estate matter to find medical tests within. Not understanding what one has to do with the other, she asks permission to investigate.

The case, in which homeowner Donna Jensen (Marg Helgenberger) and her husband want a bigger offer from power company PG&E to buy their house (PG&E says a new freeway is coming) leads to a story similar to, but lighter in tone than, John Travolta's A Civil Action, in which normalguy takes down big, polluting public utility. In this case, rather than legal and scientific derring do, our hero must go up against a local water board in cahoots with the utility that has told residents that the chromium polluting their water is actually good for them. How does Erin get past the clerk guarding the gates? It's the highlight of the teevee spot. She's packing a nice pair -- and says so -- just a hint of the raunchiness in Susannah Grant's script. Grant also wrote Ever After, also highly recommended.

The difference between the two similarly themed flicks is that in A Civil Action we see a rich lawyer lose everything in defending the common man. In Erin Brockovich, we see a common man with everything to lose take on the big money lawyers and corporations because what's right is right. All through the film, there's a sense on Erin's part that she's gonna get screwed one way or the other by doing the right thing, and the events in the film make her think she's right. This aspect of her character's personality, surprisingly, helps keep the movie light. Think of it this way: straight-edged, boring lawyers versus a firebrand? No contest.

Roberts is perfectly balance by Albert Finney who's as much a crusty old lawyer as Lou Grant was a crusty old boss on the old Mary Tyler Moore show (a nice analogy, as you'll see) and Aaron Eckhart as George, the habitually unemployed Harley freak next door who doesn't mind watching the kids. She also would've given Hilary Swank a real run for her money had Erin Brockovich been released before the end of last year. But it wasn't, so I'll make a note and rave about what a brilliant performance Roberts delivers when we get to the Best of 2000. Her work here is sexy and saucy and sympathetic. It is dramatically solid. It's well worthy of a nomination if anyone remembers the flick come the end of the year. No two ways about it.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Erin Brockovich, he would have paid...

$7.50

We heard it at our press screening. It was confirmed by posts on the message boards. Credit come up. Hands come together. When was the last time you applauded a movie?

Our LA based Correspondent, Paul Fischer, liked it, too. His review here.

Click to buy films by Steven Soderbergh
Click to buy films starring Julia Roberts
Click to buy films starring Albert Finney
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.