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Erin Brockovich

Based on a true story, and no doubt fleshed up to the ultra-personality Julia Roberts portrays, Steven Soderbergh has made a strange choice of material but brought his deft hand to it well.

A classic David vs Goliath story, sassy, ballsy, twice divorced, uneducated and on-the-skids mother of three Erin (Roberts) loses a small claim against a doctor who hits her car. She makes her lawyer Ed (Finney, looking more friendly-teddy-bear than he ever has) suffer by haranguing him to give her a job.

Once there, she uncovers a case of big corporate misconduct and coverup at a power plant, and has to battle on all fronts to try to bring about justice. The battle is against her own boss, swept up (against his better judgement) in her enthusiasm and her budding relationship with the guy next door, biker George (Eckhart) who feels left out of her life.

The real life case was settled for over three hundred million dollars, and you can't help getting the warm and fuzzies in the ensuing victory, because Roberts' performance is as top notch as the critics said. By the end you really do care about her, no matter how many creative liberties the film's likely taken with the character.

A strong cast support Roberts' winning turn in this essentially feel good movie with a dash of gritty realism that keeps it from being just a modern fairy tale.

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