Silkwood (1983)

Based on a true story, the balance of this film flashes back to Karen Silkwood's private life with her lover and her loose-living friends. This is in contrast to her humdrum job at the Kerr-McGee Plant -- or it least it was humdrum… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 13, 2001
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter

Extraordinary portrayals of everyday people characterize the contribution of director Mike Nichols' talented diverse cast. Once again, Nichols justifies his past plaudits for bringing the best out of his players.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Silkwood is the story of an ordinary woman, hard-working and passionate, funny and screwed-up, who made those people mad simply because she told the truth as she saw it and did what she thought was right.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Seemingly better suited for a documentary.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

The facts it can lay its hands on do not support a politically alarming or dramatically compelling conclusion to the mysteries of this case. Nor do they lead to a very uplifting statement about the motives and character of its central figure.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

For most of its running time it is so convincing -- and so sure of itself -- that it seems a particular waste when it goes dangerously wrong.

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Cole Smithey


Time Out

Silkwood's 'ordinariness' protects her from being labelled a wild-eyed Trot, but that should not be allowed to obscure her courage or the whitewash ladled onto her story after her death.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Hiding once again behind her accent, hairdo, and mannerisms, [Streep] fails to establish any emotional contact with the audience, a serious problem in a film that depends on audience sympathy for its impact.

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Emanuel Levy

One of Nichols' best films, Silkwood is effective as factual reportage and portrait of working class life (rare sight in Hollywood cinema), with terrific performances by Meryl Streep, as a new type of American heroine, and Cher, as her lesbian roommate

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More reviews for Silkwood

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Jennifer Xu
Silkwood felt kind of preachy and also hippie at the same time, but Meryl Streep is a pretty magnetic actress, and she pulls us through.
John Ballantine
A rather ordinary film that is vaguely similar to the Erin Brockovich tale but not as compelling. Would work better as a doc.
familiar stranger
All I knew about it was its tagline (besides its IMDb Rating) before going for it. Tagline: On November 13, 1974, Karen Silkwood, an employee of a nuclear… More
Danny Rovira
A superior adult drama based on a true story of the Karen Silkwood case which is brilliantly directed by Mike Nichols. Silkwood, played by the amazing Meryl… More
Dean McKenna
A leisurely and generally low-toned movie about a factory worker in a nuclear 'parts' firm who becomes contaminated and drifts leftwards into Union… More
Alec Barniskis
A very well acted film. The perfomances are great across the board. The film explores the true story of a woman who tried to take on a major corporation in the… More