ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: “Deepwater Horizon”

Updated on May 29, 2020
Movie Beasts profile image

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Deepwater Horizon

Theatrical Release: 9/30/2016
Theatrical Release: 9/30/2016 | Source


Deepwater Horizon was the oil rig that experienced the greatest oil rig disaster in American history. The crew working on the rig have formed a family of sorts. Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) is the chief electrical engineer on board and he has the respect of his crew behind him. The crew works well together, but when a couple of representatives from BP oil come on board, they put the lives of everyone on the rig at risk.

BP oil is the company that owns the oil rig and, in an effort to cut costs, the representatives decide to forego standard quality controls. Mike Williams is among the men who know this is a bad idea, but they are powerless to do anything about it. Despite every warning from the crew, the BP representatives continue to sacrifice quality procedures. The result is a disastrous incident that could prove fatal to anyone on board the rig. Mike Williams and his crew must do what they can to survive while trying to save as many fellow crew mates as possible.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
Intensity (+8pts)
Character Development (-4pts)
Mike & The Crew (+6pts)
Mike’s Family (-2pts)
Deepwater Horizon & The Science (+6pts)
BP Closure (-2pts)

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.


Pro: Intensity (+8pts)

Deepwater Horizon opens by setting up a couple of characters, the main focus of this is obviously Mark Wahlberg's character, Mike Williams. Then there is more setup of the lifestyle and community on the oil rig itself. Make no mistake, none of the setup was boring, and once the disaster began, the intensity of this movie was insane. During it all, I felt at least a fraction of the hopelessness of being within a massively powerful vessel that was exploding and falling apart around me.

I get that this movie is a dramatization of true events, but the disaster that the characters were in the middle of felt very real. This, mixed with the scale of what was happening, made for a really intense movie. I cannot imagine what this must have been like for the men and women actually on board. For that reason, I found this to be a pretty powerful movie.


Con: Character Development (-4pts)

While I thought the movie was very intense, there was some room for improvement. I only found myself caring about a couple of characters, which was a result of how few characters were properly developed. During the real-life incident only about a dozen people died. Is that what happens in this movie? You will have to see it to find out, but I would have liked to have seen the story focus on more characters who did not survive.

If the filmmakers had done this, it would have given each death more weight, and would have given the audience a sense of an "anyone could die" mentality. Additionally, Mike Williams was essentially the only properly developed character in the movie. I get that Mark Wahlberg was the star of the movie, but the character development definitely felt unbalanced. In a movie filled with so many characters and so many lives at stake, it felt like a missed opportunity to develop so few of them.


Pro: Mike & The Crew (+6pts)

The filmmakers dropped the ball on character development, but they did a good job of making the crew feel like a family. I really enjoyed the community of the men and women on board. Between how well they knew and got along with one another, as well as how well they knew the ship and its faults, it made for an interesting community. They had a real family vibe, which made the inevitable disaster even more intense. The side characters were poorly developed, yes, but depicting the crew as a family made me feel that Mike Williams cared very strongly about everyone he worked with and it made Mike Williams come across as a well respected member of the team. I did not connect with the side characters individually, but the community vibe made me feel the weight that Mike felt when people he knew and cared about were in danger.


Con: Mike’s Family (-2pts)

Mike’s family were among the side characters that were poorly developed. However, with the poorly developed crew members, we at least cared about them through Mike. I did not feel any connection to Mike’s wife or daughter, which meant that I did not have that extra concern of whether or not Mike would make it back to his family. I felt that we definitely needed at least a little more focus on his family, so that we could have the concern over how the family would go on if Mike did not survive the rig.


Pro: Deepwater Horizon & The Science (+6pts)

This movie does an excellent job of explaining the science behind what could go wrong on this oil rig. There were two scenes that gave me a pretty good understanding of what could go wrong, even though I knew very little about the subject before hand. One of the scenes, was more of a science or engineering description, while the other comes from Mike Williams' daughter preparing for a school presentation. Both scenes can (on their own) explain what would happen on the rig so if you want to know what is going on later in the movie, pay extra attention to these two scenes, and you should have everything you need to know. Furthermore, I studied mechanical engineering in college and remember a problem from an exam that was all about an oil rig. Having this experience definitely is not necessary for this movie but, because of that, I felt that the science explained in this story was as accurate as it was informative.


Con: BP Closure (-2pts)

I was a huge fan of how BP allowed this story to be told. The BP officials depicted in this movie were vilified, as they were responsible for the events on Deepwater Horizon. I think it was awesome that this movie was allowed to be told as accurately as a movie would allow. I think it was so important that those who were responsible were shown this way, so I applaud BP for allowing themselves to be vilified for the sake of telling the story accurately.

However, I did have an issue with the closure of the BP storyline. I felt the movie properly showed, what BP did incorrectly, but I would have liked to have seen how BP handled the aftermath. What actions did they take against the BP representatives on board the Deepwater Horizon? As all the chaos was happening, all we got was one look of guilt and regret from one of the representatives. I think that the filmmakers should have given some focus to what happened to BP and these representatives afterward.

Grading Scale


Grade: B+ (87pts)

This was an incredibly intense movie that was based on a true story. It was obvious that the filmmakers exaggerated things (at least a little) but it was intense nonetheless, especially knowing this really happened. The movie also had a good message, in “do not cut corners”. I liked that BP allowed this story to be told, considering they (or at least a couple of their representatives) were definitely the villains of this story, but I felt the story could have used some more closure when it came to BP and their involvment in this tragedy. I liked the main character and the familial vibe between the crew mates, but I thought the filmmakers should have given more focus toward developing some characters other than Mark Wahlberg’s character. I had some relatively minor issues regarding its focus. However at the end of the day, this was an intense and informative movie about tragic events, which in my eyes made it a movie worth seeing.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)