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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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 (56) | Top Critics (18)

The film falls back on the myth of modernity being born in the laps of practical, native-born American ingenuity.

September 29, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

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

Top-hatted, frock-coated, mutton-chopped chaps burbling on about the relative advantages of the alternating current versus direct current system does not, in fact, make for electrifying drama.

July 27, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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…

It's so busily shot, and the camera is always trying to do something...the score can feel intrusive...all of that at once was so distracting, and I was struggling to focus on the dialogue.

July 26, 2019 | Full Review…

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

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

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