Prime Video movie of the day: Julia Roberts is the hero we need even today in Erin Brockovich

Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)
Movie of the day

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There's no better start to the week than watching a true 'David vs Goliath' story of someone beating cruel, negligent corporations – and the availability of the excellent Erin Brockovich on Prime Video means you can do just that. Julia Roberts' charm and sheer star power also mean that this isn't quite as heavy to watch as the (otherwise similar and excellent) Dark Waters – it's funny, it's invigorating, it's sad, it's cathartic… it's a modern classic.

Roberts plays the titular Brockovich, a former beauty queen who's finding life to be pretty unfair and difficult. After her anger issues ruin her chance for a payout from an injury, she turns up at her lawyer's office and demands a job, since he promised her he'd help her. While working there, she notices some paperwork oddities that lead her to suspicious activity by a local chemical plant.

It turns out Erin's power is a) that she cares about this stuff and hasn't had that compassion ground out of her yet (even though she's sometimes blind to how well or not she's treating other people), and b) that she can get people to trust her only because she genuinely cares about them.

It's a movie that you could call kind of cynical about the state of the world, built around a person who sometimes acts with too much cynicism for her own good – but who is deeply uncynical inside in a way that makes her uniquely capable of bringing hundreds of people together. And that collective effort is the only thing with enough weight to impact on giant businesses.

Aside from working as a kind of modern folk hero, the other side of Erin we can all enjoy watching is how she remains suitably unsatisfied with her pay. This movie is from the era when the assumption that good work meant better pay automatically was truly dying off, and now more than ever, it feels like people have to squeeze every chance they can to have great work recognized with matching pay – it's one reason people job hop so often. Erin Brockovich is an always-timely reminder that that squeaky wheel gets the cash and is always a good time among the best Prime Video movies.

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Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at T3.com, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.