According to Rotten Tomatoes’ compilation of reviewers, Erin Brockovich is the better movie. Since more people have seen it, it has likely had a greater impact on the environmental movement. Both are powerful and relatively accurate portrayals of a civil case involving businesses contaminating drinking water, but A Civil Action may take slightly more liberties since it’s based on a novelization of the actual incident.
Try the miniseries Edge of Darkness, 1952 movie Something for the Birds, or something called Against the Tide for more tales of the little guy going to the court to stop environmental harm and corruption.
Silkwood and Michael Clayton are also two very good movies with powerful environmental messages and strong leading characters.
A Civil Action is not based on a novel; it is based on the nonfiction book of the same title by Jonathan Harr.
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