Murky Mark Ruffalo thriller based on real-life tragedy swims up the streaming charts

Image via Killer Films/Focus Features

A well-reviewed thriller starring Mark Ruffalo and based on real events is climbing the streaming charts this week.

Dark Waters cracked the top ten on Netflix in more than 13 countries around the world, rising as high as number four in Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Argentina. It also reached the top ten on Amazon Prime Video in Germany and the United Kingdom, according to FlixPatrol. It’s doing even better on iTunes around the globe, especially in New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, and Australia.

The movie, released in 2019, involves a man taking on one of the world’s biggest corporations and the consequences that ensue. Here’s the synopsis:

“A tenacious attorney uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family and his own life.”

The movie is a retelling of the story of a 2016 New York Times Magazine article, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare,” which was first told in a 2007 book, Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8 by journalist Callie Lyons.

The plot involves corporate defense lawyer Robert Bilott (Ruffalo) getting asked to investigate several unexplainable animal deaths in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The man who asked Bilott to investigate provides him with a case of tapes that connect the deaths to chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont.

It has a rating of 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 7.3 out of 10. Metacritic gave the movie an A- and scored it 73 out of 100.

Check out the trailer below:

Ruffalo commented on the dark subject matter and what it meant to him in a recent interview with Men’s Journal. The Avengers actor explained the movie was more like a horror film than a political drama, saying that he watched the original videotapes showing sick and dying cows and dead animals all over a farm. Parts of those scenes were cut into the film.

“I was going through the video, and it was incredibly upsetting. I felt like I was watching a full-blown horror and started to think of the movie in those terms. There were other moments that actually happened that were also terrifying. The fact is, when you are going up against a company that powerful, it is hard not to become a little paranoid.”

Ruffalo is also a well-known environmental activist. He’s teamed with Greta Thunberg and called out President Biden demanding investment in clean energy. “I am always looking for material that supports those efforts. But in the end, you still have to make a great movie. You can’t just create something for yourself,” the actor said, adding that Rob was a hero whose journey was “a long and difficult road.” 

Dark Waters is streaming on various platforms, including Netflix and Prime Video.