Film Review: 'Dark Waters' plunges into 'forever chemicals' [trailer]

Screenshot from Focus Features film "Dark Waters." / Screenshot of official Focus Films trailer

Todd Haynes' "Dark Waters," about the prolonged (and ongoing) legal fight to uncover the environmental damage of cancer-inducing "forever chemicals" and hold their corporate makers accountable, is a sober and ominous docudrama. On its surface, it's an unspectacular one. Its lead character, a corporate defense attorney played by Mark Ruffalo, is no Erin Brockovich. The movie, itself, is gray and murky like the toxic West Virginia waters that provide the film's first gloomy sense of trouble.

But just the same, "Dark Waters" will in its modest, steadfast way make your blood boil. And that will do.

Rob Bilott (Ruffalo) is a West Virginia native and Cincinnati attorney for a large law firm, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, with a specialty in defending chemical companies. Just after he's made a partner, a West Virginia farmer named Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) turns up in his office barking about his dead cattle and the DuPont plant next door.