DVD Review: The Current War

The future is electric.

This film details the rivalry between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as they race to expand their electrical systems across the U.S

This film premiered at TIFF in 2017 and had the misfortune of being a product of the Weinstein Company right when long overdue convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was finally charged with sexual assault. Then it was sold, and re-released as The Current War: Director's Cut in 2019, which is what I watched. I have no idea what differs from the film that screened in 2017, this one is only 102 minutes so it's not length.

It's nice to see Michael Shannon be the rational character again. I'm so used to seeing him blow up at people - and I love that type of Michael Shannon character too - but it was something I noticed. George tries to be fair throughout the entire movie that once he finally does do something shady his wife Marguerite (Katherine Waterston) rewards him by throwing herself at him. Cumberbatch plays Edison like a grade A asshole, which is amusing considering how Edison is revered. I liked seeing Cumberbatch work with Tom Holland, who played his assistant Samuel Insull. 

I wouldn't call this an exciting movie, but it wasn't boring either. It was perfectly okay. There's a bit of revisionist history here or there, but nothing egregious and there's a subplot with Nicola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) that I don't really feel goes anywhere, but it's perfectly fine for a Saturday afternoon. Nothing more, nothing less.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "....he's twelve." - Marguerite (Katherine Waterston)


  1. Perfectly okay is a great way to describe this. I saw it at the cinema and liked it, could never find enough to say about it to write a review, and then just kind of...forgot about it.

    1. I imagine I'll forget about it in a few months too lol

  2. I thought about seeing it but then came the reviews though I'm not sure about the director's cut as I'd like to know what the initial version was like and then see the director's cut.

    1. I always think of director's cuts as extended cuts and I can't imagine the initial version was actually shorter than this? Maybe they removed all of Weinstien's favorite parts.

  3. Didn't know this existed. That said, I think a film on the rivalry between Edison and Tesla might be more intriguing.

    1. It's slightly touched upon here, but not very much. I'm sure something like that will happen soon.


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