Interestingly, both of my recent library rentals were real life stories of disaster at sea and I didn’t even realize it. While Captain Phillips and Deepwater Horizon are very different films, they certainly have one thing in common: a director who is familiar with cinematic tension. In this case, we have Peter Berg, a very capable director with steady output (it feels like he has a movie in theaters every year) and a track record that, while spotty, has a certain overarching quality. Once again teaming up with Mark Wahlberg, Berg delivers possibly his best film in a decade, producing something that has elements of a slow burn and a harrowing action adventure tale at the same time. The set piece once disaster finally strikes is breathtakingly intense, with this incredible blaze on the open ocean contrasting against the confined spaces on the rig. The deep jet black night is pierced and slashed by towers of flames that might be oddly beautiful if they weren’t so damn scary. Berg, along with his cinematographer Enrique Chediak and editors Gabriel Fleming and Colby Parker Jr combined their talents to make something truly spectacular to watch. To further credit the editing, I was impressed at how cohesive the final half of the film was, amidst all the confusion. Everything flowed very well and at under two hours, the movie really capitalizes on its runtime to deliver something memorable. The acting is quite good from the major players, especially Wahlberg, John Malkovich and Kurt Russell. This is a gripping picture that did very well to combine the talents of everyone involved and pay tribute to the heroes of that day and shine a light on some of the parties responsible for not only the deaths of eleven people but also the largest oil spill in US history.