Viewers will leave with a fine sense of how it felt to be on that blazing rig, but they'll still have plenty of questions about how and why things went so wrong.
In short, Peter Berg has done it again. You come out shaken with excitement, but with a touch of shame, too, at being so easily thrilled.
My only serious complaint about Deepwater Horizon is that it's not quite the muckraker I'd hoped for.
The film depicts the worst oil spill in American history and director Peter Berg recreates the cataclysm of that day with unbearable tension and healing compassion.
You can't help marveling at the tightrope the filmmakers walk: honoring their courage and sacrifice while making an action flick entertaining enough to justify the more than $100 million it took to make it come alive on-screen.
At its best, the movie is like The Towering Inferno but without all the sudsy subplots that doused that film's fires.
Berg and Wahlberg were among the first to realize you can make big money in Hollywood's fastest-growing niche: the docbuster, which spins a recent disaster into a bombastic action flick
Deepwater Horizon is powerful but limited-but there are worse crimes.
Berg was the perfect man to unravel the tale of the doomed oil rig, a feat he accomplishes with remarkable intensity, ratcheting up the tension carefully and steadily to create a gripping tick-tock thriller.