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Peter Berg expertly adapts journalists David Rohde and Stephanie Saul’s in-depth New York Times article about the decimation of an off-shore oil rig that caused eleven crew members to lose their lives and forever ruined the ecology of the already crippled Louisiana shoreline in Deepwater Horizon. He also does so without sacrificing any sense of theatricality or spectacle, with the sustained, constantly escalating second-half destruction of the Deepwater destined to go down in disaster movie history as one of the grandest and most terrifying moments ever captured by a filmmaker.

But even before all that, Berg takes time to make viewers know about the human toll such an incident has and the corporate malfeasance and ignoring of due diligence measures on the part of British Petroleum (exemplified by John Malkovich’s gleefully evil Creole accented executive). Told from the perspectives of a foreman (Kurt Russell, in what might be his best dramatic performance), a technical engineer (Mark Wahlberg), and a structural engineer (Gina Rodriguez), Berg and screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand keep the integrity of their journalistic source intact to create an ensemble drama that analyzes how everything went so horribly wrong without sacrificing an ounce of drama or suspense.