“Deepwater Horizon” (Summit)

Dylan O'Brien and Mark Wahlberg star in a scene from the movie "Deepwater Horizon." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Lionsgate)

By Catholic News Service

Forceful but grim dramatization of events surrounding the 2010 disaster that destroyed the titular drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.¬†Drawing on a New York Times article by David Barstow, David Rohde and Stephanie Saul, screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand fix their focus on a quartet of principals: the vessel’s chief electronics technician (Mark Wahlberg), his worried wife back on shore (Kate Hudson), the craft’s respected crew commander (Kurt Russell) and the young officer (Gina Rodriguez) responsible for keeping the vast, free-floating structure in position.

The tense opening scenes of director Peter Berg’s film find a visiting corporate executive (John Malkovich) pushing back against the safety concerns expressed by both Russell and Wahlberg’s characters, only to find himself caught up in one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history. Following the “blowout,” the race for survival against shooting flames, sudden explosions and deadly flying debris is fueled by self-sacrificing heroism and courage.

It’s an admirable and well-crafted spectacle for grownups — with the background assets of a solid, positively portrayed marriage and some incidental religious elements. Still, it’s not an easy movie to watch.

Pervasive, sometimes gory, disaster violence, a scene of nongraphic marital lovemaking, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, frequent crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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