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‘Deepwater Horizon’ Is ‘Masterful’ With ‘Excellent Performances,’ and 9 Buoyant Reviews

Movie starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson scores a solid 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

“Deepwater Horizon,” the drama about the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, is getting some good word of mouth ahead of its debut on Friday.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Kurt Russell, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson, critics have given the film a solid 77 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“‘Deepwater Horizon’ does what it sets out to do. Mike and company (which include characters played by Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez and John Malkovich) are rendered powerful and courageous,” TheWrap’s film critic Sam Fragoso wrote in his review. “Each symbolic of the type of character it takes to make it through this horrifying man-made disaster.”

Other critics called the movie, directed by Peter Berg, a “masterful, muscular actioner” that deserves our praise. And most reviewers make special mention of the stellar performances of Wahlberg and Russell.

Expected to gross approximately $18 million from 3,200-plus theaters during its three-day debut, “Deepwater Horizon” was made for a reported $100 million.

See nine of the best reviews below.

Brian Truitt, USA Today:

“The disaster film, which revisits the harrowing 2010 oil-rig explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is a fiery mix of white-knuckle tension, searing chaos and visceral drama. Even though you’re safe in your theater seat, director Peter Berg‘s filmmaking is such where it’s hard not to feel the gritty rescue scenes, be mesmerized by the flammable carnage or get belatedly enraged by the idiocy of oil-company bureaucracy.”

Matt Brennan, Brooklyn Magazine:

“With ‘Deepwater Horizon,’ despite its at times facile treatment of the facts, director Peter Berg has crafted a masterful, muscular actioner, one with an understanding of human stakes that puts most studio tentpoles to shame.”

Jackie K. Cooper, Huffington Post:

“There is nothing better than a good action film when all the elements come together in the right way. Director Peter Berg puts all these pieces together with near perfection. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ is a surprisingly good action film and it sets a high bar for other action films to come.”

Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News:

“It’s an impressive achievement, and even Berg’s taste for the obvious — like shots of Old Glory, still waving through the worst of it — can’t overwhelm the humanity behind the drama. Real people, real danger — and real self-sacrifice. And if that all boils down to another case of hero worship, well, that’s OK. These guys have earned Berg’s praise. And ours.”

Roger Moore, Movie Nation:

“He makes ‘Deepwater Horizon’ a disaster movie that works by putting us there, letting us second-guess along with the experts and shake our heads that justice and responsibility for the guilty is different when they’ve got the money and the backing of a gigantic company to soften that blow. And Berg reminds us that even in the worst disaster, people can be selfless, heroic, and in the case of Aaron Dale Burkeen, professional even if those who gamble with their fates are not.”

Chris Hewitt, Empire Online:

“An efficient and no-nonsense depiction of the worst disaster in US oil drilling history, buoyed by excellent performances.”

Benjamin Lee, The Guardian:

“Deepwater Horizon is a gruelling disaster movie and a reminder of one company’s catastrophic oversights, and it stands as a worthy tribute to the brave men involved.”

Mike Ryan, Uproxx:

“Wahlberg has never really been an actor who has let himself play ‘vulnerable’ before. It’s in ‘Deepwater Horizon’ where we get a scene of Wahlberg having a complete breakdown. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think we needed a movie about this subject. I’ve changed my mind. And, if nothing else, I hope it gets people angry again, because the people who did this to our planet, and killed 11 people in the process, got off too easy.

Matt Singer, Screen Crush:

“As a director, Berg is known for his brutal action scenes, and while ‘Deepwater Horizon’s’ second half is full of intense sequences, the film’s first half is just as exciting thanks to the wonderfully uncomfortable dynamics between Wahlberg, Russell, and Malkovich. All three do an impressive job of replicating the false congeniality of an unhappy workplace. The special effects are incredible during the explosion and rescue sequences on the oil rig, but I would have been just as happy watching Russell and Malkovich passive-aggressively argue with each other for two hours.”