Parents' Guide to

Erin Brockovich

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Legal drama based on a true story has lots of cursing.

Movie R 2000 132 minutes
Erin Brockovich Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 15+

A feel good film done with Soderbergh's touch

A film that feels a cut above the feel good one person against the system genre because of Soderbergh's deft direction. And of course Roberts is believable as the one woman who is under estimated and is able to tear down the system. And it feels even better that it is based off of a real person.
age 15+

Tour de Roberts!

For many, the term movie star might elicit names such as Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and/or Denzel Washington. However, with no disrespect to those aforementioned juggernauts of the cineplex, when I think movie star, Julia Roberts is the first name to come to mind, and one need only view her Oscar-winning performance in this Steven Soderbergh courtroom drama to understand why. Strong, vulnerable, complex, and all together captivating, Roberts' Brockovich is a compelling and relatable working-class underdog, who though abrasive upon first glance, is ultimately one of modern cinema's most winning and memorable heroines. While I could continue to sing praises of Roberts' performance for days, I must affirm that every other aspect of this 2000 breakout hit is likewise well executed. From Susannah Grant's crowd-pleasing screenplay to Soderbergh's brisk direction to the wonderful performances of the supporting cast (Special shout out to the always delightful Albert Finney!), Erin Brockovich is a gem of a motion picture that even the most casual of moviegoers shouldn't miss.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (10 ):

This movie is truly an enjoyable ride. The movie poster for it says, "She brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees." So viewers know where it's all going, and just settle back and have fun. Julia Roberts keeps getting better and better, more luminous, and at the same time more vulnerable and more in control. She plays Erin as a woman who never stopped believing in herself and yet is deeply touched when others believe in her, too. She understands the way the people in Hinkley feel, mistrustful of lawyers and overwhelmed by the odds. She understands that "people want to tell their stories." And she has enough confidence in herself to know that, while she might not have been able to keep her beauty queen promise of ending world hunger, this is a promise she can keep.

She understands, too, that there will be costs. A romance with a loving biker/nanny (George, played by Aaron Eckhart, who makes that combination endearingly believable) and her relationships with her children are threatened by her devotion to the case. In a heartbreaking scene, she is driving back home after a hard day and George tells her that her baby spoke her first word. Erin is overjoyed at the news and devastated to have missed it. The look in her eyes as George tells her all about it is complex, rich, perfect. And there are many Rocky/Norma Rae-style feel-good moments, like when PG&E's first lawyer, looking like a high school debate club president, tries to bully Erin and Ed, and when Erin uses everything from her cleavage to her baby to get access to the records she needs.

Movie Details

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