The Current War

The Current War

The Current War

Electricity titans Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) compete for the American market in this tense period drama.

2017Rating: M, Mature themes105 minsUSA
DramaTrue Story & BiographyHistorical
Director:
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon ('Me and Earl and the Dying Girl', 'The Town that Dreaded Sundown', TV's 'American Horror Story')
Writer:
Michael Mitnick
Cast:
Benedict CumberbatchMichael ShannonNicholas HoultKatherine WaterstonTom HollandMatthew MacfadyenTuppence MiddletonDamien Molony
92%
want to see

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Reviews & comments

Too much marketing, not enough scientific breakthrough

In my eyes, to really enjoy a film I need to either be emotionally engaged or I need to learn something; educational or emotional; feel or think. There has been enough mucking around during production of The Current War that neither side of the coin gets the execution they deserve. Without going into details, this film was rushed into an early release in...

3.0
Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

press

Mexican-born director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s efforts to inject as much suspense as possible into the action verge on the hyperactive at times. There’s a pulsing score, a preponderance of close-ups, low camera angles, crane shots and slow-motion. It’s a dizzying menu, aimed at eliminating any hint of fustiness and show that this is a story as modern as the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. And I suppose it is. But it’s also absorbing enough not to need any artificial means of support.

4.0
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

There is plenty of juicy stuff and even the odd chuckle in this engrossing and informative tech-history movie, with strong performances and pacy editing that propels the story through 13 years.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

In the end, The Current War really does feel like a product of its past. And I'm not just talking about its delayed emergence into the light, but rather the 60 drafts and 10-year writing process it took just to get it to Toronto in 2017.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Sumptuous sets and handsome costumes fill this period piece. There are also a few smart parallels to today's celebrity entrepreneurs, and to a world undergoing rapid technological change.

Time Out

Time Out

press

It's all a lot of effort for very little output, sadly. The Current War has lots of flashy lights and whizzy features, but it remains fatally underpowered.

2.0
Vulture

Vulture

press

Apart from those nutty camera angles and lenses, which throw you out of the action, The Current War is absorbing...

Variety

Variety

press

What it can't do ... is generate even the slightest bit of interest in what happens to any of its characters.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

This a watchably stylised period film, with interesting visual setpieces and faces looming up at us out of intricately contrived backgrounds.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

For all its aggressive energy, The Current War is an uninvolving bore, making it unlikely to measure up as the kind of Oscar-baity prestige entry the Weinstein Company obviously had in mind.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A stylish portrayal of a literal power struggle based on truly interesting historical figures and events. But it tries to take in too much in too little time, when all it needed was to centre on Edison and Westinghouse.

3.0
Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

press

Mexican-born director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s efforts to inject as much suspense as possible into the action verge on the hyperactive at times. There’s a pulsing score, a preponderance of close-ups, low camera angles, crane shots and slow-motion. It’s a dizzying menu, aimed at eliminating any hint of fustiness and show that this is a story as modern as the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. And I suppose it is. But it’s also absorbing enough not to need any artificial means of support.

4.0
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener

press

There is plenty of juicy stuff and even the odd chuckle in this engrossing and informative tech-history movie, with strong performances and pacy editing that propels the story through 13 years.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

In the end, The Current War really does feel like a product of its past. And I'm not just talking about its delayed emergence into the light, but rather the 60 drafts and 10-year writing process it took just to get it to Toronto in 2017.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Sumptuous sets and handsome costumes fill this period piece. There are also a few smart parallels to today's celebrity entrepreneurs, and to a world undergoing rapid technological change.

Time Out

Time Out

press

It's all a lot of effort for very little output, sadly. The Current War has lots of flashy lights and whizzy features, but it remains fatally underpowered.

2.0
Vulture

Vulture

press

Apart from those nutty camera angles and lenses, which throw you out of the action, The Current War is absorbing...

Variety

Variety

press

What it can't do ... is generate even the slightest bit of interest in what happens to any of its characters.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

This a watchably stylised period film, with interesting visual setpieces and faces looming up at us out of intricately contrived backgrounds.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

For all its aggressive energy, The Current War is an uninvolving bore, making it unlikely to measure up as the kind of Oscar-baity prestige entry the Weinstein Company obviously had in mind.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A stylish portrayal of a literal power struggle based on truly interesting historical figures and events. But it tries to take in too much in too little time, when all it needed was to centre on Edison and Westinghouse.

3.0

Too much marketing, not enough scientific breakthrough

In my eyes, to really enjoy a film I need to either be emotionally engaged or I need to learn something; educational or emotional; feel or think. There has been enough mucking around during production of The Current War that neither side of the coin gets the execution they deserve. Without going into details, this film was rushed into an early release in...

3.0