Deepwater Horizon (2016) Movie Review

By: Movie Snurb (A Toast) –

Deepwater Horizon is the true story of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in the deaths of 11 crew members and injury of several of the 126 crew members on board, eventually sinking the Deepwater Horizon and spilling 210 million gallons of oil into the gulf. It was the largest oil disaster in U.S. history. The film tells the story of what happened leading up to the disaster and the heroic acts of the crew members which saved the lives of several on board.


The Real Disaster

A Toast

Peter Berg is really becoming the go to guy for telling true tales of heroism that need to be told. His drive to tell the story right and do justice to the people who passed and their families is honestly what films like these need. First with Friday Night Lights (it’s not a heroic story but it’s an excellent story about family and will tug at your heart strings), and then Lone Survivor. The latter will make you cry your eyes out, much like this film, just warning you. All three of these films could easily be a cheesy made for TV movie that would be forgotten in the ether of mediocre to terrible films. However, Berg’s attention to detail and dutifulness to make a great film that tells the story accurately and ability to get the best out of his actors make his films massive weepfests that will pull at everyone of your heartstrings and you’ll be so thankful it did.

The acting was excellent all across the board in this film, from the big stars such as Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, to John Malkovich, and Gina Rodriguez, who all do a fantastic job in their roles. Especially Malkovich in his role as a BP Rep who is pushing to begin drilling because they are millions of dollars over budget and 43 days behind schedule- he does an excellent job with the Louisiana accent and his mannerisms. Even the supporting roles do a great job, Ethan Suplee has a minor role per usual but still does very well. Not only the writing but the acting bring the characters to life and get you to truly feel for these people.


The cinematography was something special. Their idea to film with the IMAX cameras was brilliant to encapsulate the magnitude of the rig and the horrific disaster that happened on it. Not only was the cinematography great, but the set design was spectacular. They decided to build a full size oil rig with working computers and everything. It’s one of the largest set pieces ever built. Also, they were using 5 to 6 thousand gallons of mud during takes to recreate the mud blowout on the rig. The idea to not settle for CGI and instead do it for real does not go unnoticed and it’s that attention to detail which makes Peter Berg’s films so good.  I have a lot of respect for filmmakers that put 100% into their films instead of just getting a paycheck and making as much money as they can. They truly care about their work.

The pacing is great. The film has a runtime of about 1 hour and 47 minutes, but I felt like I was in the theater maybe an hour. There are no unnecessary scenes, no random plotlines that derail the film. Its’ sole purpose is to tell about the 12 hours which led to the event of the disaster and the people that were effected by the disaster.


The impressive film set.


Deepwater Horizon was a necessary film about a story that needed to be told. So much in the world today we only hear about the bad news, which this was, but there were heroic acts that we didn’t hear about. We (at least me) didn’t know about the BP men wanting to bypass certain tests in order to get the drilling/pumping done. I highly recommend this film, just bring some tissues.


Deepwater Horizon (2016) Movie Review

Take a Drink: every time there is a mention of being behind schedule/over budget

Take a Drink: every time we see air leaking out of the drill base.

Take a Drink: every time someone or multiple people are saved.

Take a Drink: every time you see the American flag.

Do a Shot: every time you cry, or just tear up.

Pour out Eleven Drinks: for the eleven fallen crew members of the Deepwater Horizon.


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