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The April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon caused the greatest environmental catastrophe in US history.   The resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico still affects the wildlife in the region today.  The fines and total costs are estimated to be over 62 Billion dollars.   And while all of this data is unreal, the movie documenting the drama of the explosion is equally huge in scope and spectacle.

The sound and cinematography are the standout features of this film.   The sound is unreal.  Recorded in Dolby Atmos, every creak, groan of steel, explosion, and spoken word is full.  Full of depth, distinction, and clarity, the sounds of the film capture the moments of despair and hope.   It is striking and almost an entity unto itself.  It siezes the viewer and takes them along for ride.

The cinematography compliments the sound perfectly.  Cinematography is the technique and art of the shot.   A director sets the scene and the Cinematographer usually the way it is shot.  This choices of shot in Deepwater Horizon are very good.   More than once I said “Wow, look at that!”  From the way explosions are shown, to the lifeboats getting lowered into the water, the choices made from a technical standpoint are flawless.

The acting of Kurt Russell, Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, and company do a very good job guiding us through the events of the day.  While the BP executives are the bad guys in a traditional sense, Russell and Wahlberg play stalwarts, just wanting to insure the safety of the crew as the systems on the ship are woefully in need of repair as BP has chosen to cut corners and try to reduce the costs associated with the exploration of the Gulf for oil.

While Deepwater Horizon doesn’t present anything new from a structured storyline perspective, it is worth viewing from a sound and visual perspective alone.

3 stars – A Hitting a Mark recommendation.