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The Current War: Director's Cut

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Movie Info & Cast


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. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) with Producer Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk and Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, The Current War also stars Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen and Tuppence Middleton.


  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Michael Shannon
  • Katherine Waterston
  • Tom Holland
  • Tuppence Middleton
  • Matthew Macfadyen
  • Nicholas Hoult

Did You Know?


  • Jake Gyllenhaal was originally cast alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, however, Gyllenhaal dropped out and Michael Shannon was brought as a replacement.
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    • Samuel Insull: So, what's your trade?
    • Nikola Tesla: I fix problems for idiots.
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Atom User Reviews

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Oct 22, 2019

The Current War is even better than it has to be. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung give the film a swooping elegance, so that shots that start as close-ups gracefully glide into medium shots, and medium shots give way to vistas. The camera is always moving in a way that suggests grace and flow.

Metacritic review by Mick LaSalle
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Sep 14, 2017

For all its aggressive energy, The Current War is an uninvolving bore, making it unlikely to measure up as the kind of Oscar-baity prestige entry The Weinstein Co. obviously had in mind.

Metacritic review by David Rooney
David Rooney
The Hollywood Reporter
Sep 14, 2017

Extravagant camera moves, woozy fish-eye lenses and a full-on assault of CGI fail to give this story of warring inventors much in the way of a dramatic charge.

Metacritic review by Wendy Ide
Wendy Ide
Screen International