[Screen It]


(2000) (Julia Roberts, Albert Finney) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Heavy Mild None
Mild Minor Minor None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Minor

Drama: After joining her attorney's small law firm, a filing clerk uncovers corporate wrongdoings and persuades her boss to battle a behemoth utility company and fight for the rights of those affected by the company's negligence.
Erin Brockovich (JULIA ROBERTS) is a down on her luck single mother who's now twice-divorced. With two young children, Matthew (SCOTTY LEAVENWORTH) and Katie (GEMMENNE DE LA PEŅA), along an infant to care for, but no prospects of employment, Erin doesn't think things could get worse, but she's then hit by a car.

While her ensuing court case doesn't result in a settlement - partly due to her "earthy" demeanor and language - she does eventually persuade her attorney, Ed Masry (ALBERT FINNEY), to give her a job as a filing clerk. Although that demeanor and her suggestive attire don't sit well with the small law firm's more conservative workers, Erin's happy to have a job, as well as a new boyfriend, George (AARON ECKHART), her Harley-riding, new next-door neighbor who gets along tremendously with her kids.

While working on a pro bono real estate case, Erin uncovers some medical files mixed in with the rest and convinces Ed to let her further investigate the matter. As a result, she discovers that the small-town residents of Hinkley, including Donna Jensen (MARG HELGENBERGER), have seemingly been poisoned by contaminated ground water caused by the local Pacific Gas and Electric plant.

Despite Ed's credible worries that their small firm could never battle a multibillion-dollar corporate behemoth like PG&E, Erin continues on her crusade to interview as many of the local townsfolk as possible. As she uncovers ever more victims of the illegal dumping of an incredibly toxic and carcinogenic form of chromium, Erin and Ed, along with some late in the game legal assistance by Kurt Potter (PETER COYOTE) and his assistant, Theresa Dallavale (VEANNE COX), prepare to battle the corporate giant and its legal team over damages due to the residents of Hinkley, all while risking everything dear to them.

If they're fans of Roberts they might, but this one most likely seems of interest to older teens at best.
For language.
  • JULIA ROBERTS plays a poor, single mother who finds a job and case that reinvigorate her confidence and ability to care for her three children, not to mention helping those affected by corporate wrongdoing. Her time spent doing that, however, puts some strain on her relationship with her children and her boyfriend (who she apparently sleeps with). She also uses strong profanity, wears tight-fitting and revealing clothing and uses her sexuality/feminine wiles to get what she wants.
  • ALBERT FINNEY plays her boss, a lawyer who isn't certain his small law firm can take on a corporate giant. Nonetheless, he perseveres and briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • AARON ECKHART plays Erin's biker boyfriend, a man who initially seems like a creep, but turns out to be a good guy who stays home and takes care of Erin's kids while she works. Eventually, however, he gets tired of her long absences.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is rated as extreme due to nearly 30 "f" words being used, along with plenty of other profanities and colorful phrases. Some sexually related comments also occur (said in non-erotic settings), while the protagonist often wears tight-fitting and/or revealing clothing (usually showing a great deal of cleavage) and presumably sleeps with her boyfriend.

    A corporation is guilty of dumping toxins that then poison the ground water of a small town (we don't see the act nor many people associated with the company), while the protagonist's straightforward demeanor and talk may offend some viewers.

    Beyond that, a few tense moments and some family strife, along with a tiny bit of drinking and smoking, the rest of the film is void of any other major objectionable content. That said, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings.

  • A woman who suffered five previous miscarriages states that she once believed that the cause of that was from something she did in the past, such as smoking marijuana.
  • Some people have beer at a community picnic.
  • George has a beer.
  • People drink beer in bar.
  • Erin pulls a dead, but not particularly gory and certainly not bloody frog from some water.
  • The utility company obviously has both for their illegal dumping of toxic/carcinogenic materials, trying to cover it up, and then trying to lowball their way out of the lawsuit filed against them.
  • Some may see Erin's straightforward, "tell it the way she sees it" attitude as being somewhat disrespectful to some people she encounters, and others may see her as somewhat neglecting her kids by working so hard (although she is doing so to support them as well as help those wronged by the utility company).
  • Although it's never made perfectly clear either way, the neck brace that Erin wears after being hit by a car early in the story may be fake.
  • George and some biker friends rev up their bikes late at night (after moving in next door to Erin).
  • One of Erin's coworkers won't help her when she asks for assistance with some work, while most of the other women in the firm don't initially like Erin because of her revealing/provocative clothing.
  • Erin gets a veiled, threatening message on the phone.
  • Erin's son gets a bit of a bad attitude toward her.
  • Erin panics when she can't find her kids at the babysitter's home or her own (although she does find them next door with George).
  • Erin rushes back to her car after collecting some water on the PG&E property and some workers come running toward her.
  • Erin gets a veiled, threatening message on the phone.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "Shut the f*ck up," "That's all you've got lady, two wrong feet and ugly f*cking shoes," "Sh*t head," "Sure as sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Blow jobs" (sexual), "Suck," "Bitch," "Idiot," "Nuts" (crazy), "Pissed off," "Bite my ass," "Balls" (testicles), "Pisses me off," "Lame ass," "Freakin'," "Screwed up" "Screwing" (nonsexual) and "Scumbags."
  • Erin usually wears tight-fitting and/or revealing clothing and uses her sexuality to help her cause when needed.
  • George has some tattoos.
  • A speeding car suddenly hits Erin's car in an intersection.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in one scene.
  • None.
  • At least 27 "f" words, 18 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex ("laid"), 1 slang term for breasts ("boobs"), 14 hells, 9 asses (1 used with "hole"), 8 damns, 2 craps, 9 uses of "G-damn," 5 of "Jesus," 2 each of "God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • Throughout the movie, Erin wears tight-fitting clothing (short skirts, low-cut dresses, etc.) that accentuates her shapely body and often shows a great deal of cleavage.
  • After George volunteers to watch her kids, Erin somewhat jokingly tells him, "This isn't going to get you laid" and they then joke about not finding each other attractive (and he ends by saying that now he can just look after the kids and not worry about her coming on to him).
  • Although we don't see any actual sexual activity and it's never positively confirmed that they sleep together, we see Erin and George in a bedroom where her shirt is open (we see more cleavage with her in her bra) and then see various shots of them in or on the bed together (and he's shirtless).
  • After Ed admits that he fired her because she looks like someone who has fun (and thus was his reasoning of her week-long disappearance from work), Erin uses that same logic and tells him, "I assume you never get laid." Moments later, when Ed questions how Erin thinks she can just waltz in and get whatever information she wants, she replies, "They're called boobs, Ed" (suggesting she uses the sight of her body to get what she needs/wants).
  • When asked how she attained some valuable evidence, Erin jokes that she went to the small town and performed some sexual favors, then adding that she gave six hundred and some "blow jobs."
  • Erin smokes once.
  • We learn that Erin has been divorced twice and there are some brief tense moments between her and her son about her lack of being around or being like other parents.
  • Erin panics when she can't find her kids at the babysitter's home or her own (although she does find them next door with George).
  • Various residents of the small town worry about (or grieve over) others in their family who are sick, dying or have died.
  • The historical accuracy of this adaptation of a true story.
  • Erin's perseverance in changing her life and then fighting for the rights of those hurt, no matter the related difficulties and costs.
  • Throughout the movie, Erin wears tight-fitting clothing (short skirts, low-cut dresses, etc.) that accentuates her shapely body and often shows a great deal of cleavage. While this is what she appears comfortable wearing, she also uses it and her feminine wiles to get what she needs.
  • A speeding car suddenly hits Erin's car in an intersection.

  • Reviewed February 23, 2000 / Posted March 17, 2000

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