Dark Waters is a 2019 American legal thriller film directed by Todd Haynes and written by Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan. It is based on the 2016 article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich, published in The New York Times Magazine,though much of the underlying story was first reported in-depth by two other journalists: Mariah Blake, whose 2015 article, “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia”, ran in HuffPostHighline, and was a National Magazine Award finalist, and Sharon Lerner, whose series, “Bad Chemistry”, ran in the Intercept.
Robert Bilott, the principal character in the film, also wrote a memoir, Exposure (Atria, 2019), detailing his 20-year legal battle against DuPont. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Pullman.
It was released in a limited capacity on November 22, 2019, by Focus Features, and will have a wider release on December 6, 2019.
An attorney (Ruffalo) links a number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations, DuPont. In the process, he risks everything – his future, his family, and his own life – to expose the truth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 94% approval rating based on 79 reviews, with an average rating of 7.25/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Dark Waters powerfully relays a real-life tale of infuriating malfeasance, honoring the victims and laying the blame squarely at the feet of the perpetrators.”
On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.