The Current War (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Current War2017

The Current War (2017)



Critic Consensus: The Current War is powered by an outstanding cast and an intriguing, history-inspired story, which makes this drama's low wattage all the more shocking.

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Movie Info

Three brilliant visionaries set off in a charged battle for the future in The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world. Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules.


Benedict Cumberbatch
as Thomas Edison/
Katherine Waterston
as Marguerite Westinghouse, Marguerite Erskine
Tim Steed
as Maurice Manesburg
Amy Marston
as Annabelle Worthington
Robert Jezek
as Mr. Faulk
Tom Bell
as Reverend Vincent
Giles Terera
as Elijah McCoy
Samuel Dutton
as Mr. Burton
Stanley Townsend
as Franklin Pope
Tuppence Middleton
as Mary Edison
Woody Norman
as Young Dash Edison
Matthew MacFadyen
as J.P. Morgan, JP Morgan
Dominic Coleman
as White House Butler
Nicholas Hoult
as Nikola Tesla
Emma Davies
as Dorothy Brookes
Simon Manyonda
as Lewis Latimer
Celyn Jones
as Sherman Quincy
Iain McKee
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Current War

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (12)

The Current War seems to have suffered from its tumultuous production history. Or, just maybe, it was always destined to be this ungainly.

August 4, 2019 | Rating: 2/5

The film's release was duly paused and in the two years since there have been reshoots, five new scenes added and ten minutes cut from the original Toronto version. It's still a dirge. It's flat and repetitive.

July 26, 2019 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Given the subject matter, it's a disappointingly unstimulating affair.

July 26, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

So now the film deserves to be considered in its own right, all taint removed. And? It's still a turkey.

July 26, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The Current War heaves itself around... but still fails to illuminate its subject at all well - squinting at footnotes, and weirdly failing to see the wood for the trees.

July 25, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The script is prolix. The science is sometimes opaque. And Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's film is dressed to kill, though the only murder victim is the movie.

July 24, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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