Erin BrockovichMarch 17, 2000
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 7.2/10 (72,152 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Erin Brockovich is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her lawfirm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation.
George Rocky Sullivan
Los Angeles Judge
Irene Olga López
Beth Brockovich – 8 Months
Beth Brockovich – 8 Months
Gemmenne de la Peña
(as Gemmenne De la Peña)
Julia, the Waitress
She brought a small town to its feet and a huge corporation to its knees.
Release Date: 17 March 2000
Filming Locations: Baker, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $28,138,465
(19 March 2000)
Did You Know?
Coincidentally, four supporting players here went on to appear as regulars on highly successful TV series: Conchata Ferrell (legal secretary) played Berta in
Two and a Half Men, Marg Helgenberger (plaintiff) played Catherine Willows in
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cherry Jones (plaintiff) played President Allison Taylor in
24 and Wade Williams (plaintiff) played Brad Bellick in
At the picnic there is a can of Diet Coke that has the 1997 style, rather than the 1986 design used in the early 1990s.
Are you going to be something else that I have to survive? Because… to tell you the truth… I'm not up to it.
Truth IS Stranger Than Fiction
If I didn't know it was based on a "true" story I might have
dismissed this movie as "unrealistic", particularly in the first half
hour or so when it started off like another Julia Roberts comedy. At
the beginning the film appears to focus primarily on her wardrobe,
her foul language, and the developing romance with the "boy next
door", whom she initially dislikes.
As it turns out, the actual story, according to the bonus features on
the DVD was even more melodramatic than the film's. The real
Erin actually got sick to the point of hospitalization from the
chromium in Hinkley. The director wisely decided to cut out this
part of the story, to avoid making her too much of a martyr.
Another aspect while not totally ignored (she does mention at least
once that she's a "slow reader") but underplayed is Erin's dyslexia.
This makes her accomplishments all the more amazing!
Personally, I think this fact could have been emphasized more, as
no doubt it was a big factor behind her "attitude" problems – her
combativeness toward people with more education than herself,
her struggles in finding a job, perhaps even in her efforts to
accentuate her physical attractiveness through her outrageous
All in all I found it an enjoyable and enlightening story – the triumph
of a unique individual whose determination, empathy, and sense
of moral duty ultimately outweigh her abrasiveness and lack of
And largely why she triumphs is her partnership with an intelligent
and decent lawyer in Ed Masry. What a refreshing departure from
the usual Hollywood stereotype! On many occasions, he effectively
counters Erin's prejudices with rational explanations how and why
the legal system works the way it does, and why lawyers behave
the way they do. With her passion and his reason, they make a
Now if only the movie hadn't fallen into the old Hollywood trap of
giving its leading lady more outfits than is realistic for someone of
her economic status. The point that Erin dressed provocatively and
this caused problems with her co-workers could have easily been
made with just 3 or 4 costumes.
Other than that, it was a good movie – great performances and a