Silkwood (1983)

Based on a true story, Silkwood begins and ends with Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep) driving along a lonely road in 1974, heading to a meeting with a New York Times reporter to deliver evidence of negligence at the Kerr-McGee Plant in… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 14, 1983
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2001
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Silkwood seethes with real-life rage -- but backs it up with compelling characters and trenchant observations.

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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John Gill
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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Lorien Haynes
Radio Times

It's a thought-provoking film that asks questions about the safety of the nuclear power industry that are still pertinent.

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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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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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People Magazine

The film seems... unconvincing when it tries to argue the case of Silkwood's martyrdom, but it soars magnificently when it confines itself to the drama of one woman's courage in renouncing complacency for action.

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Variety Staff

A very fine biographical drama.

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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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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Seemingly better suited for a documentary.

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More reviews for Silkwood

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
"Silkwood" may not be particularly suspenseful, but its portrayal of extraordinary bravery from an ordinary woman does leave an impression. Tons of… 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
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