Fine acting elevates this overlong and at times dull movie about working conditions at a nuclear plant in the 70s, and the determined woman who tried to improve them. Helmed by actor's director Mike Nichols, the human drama is at times terrific, and the star trio are given a good amount of useful material to work with. Cher makes her Dolly highly interesting, with a levelled approach to her homosexuality, whereas Kurt Russell is somewhere near his peak performance as the sensitive hunk. But most important, of course, is a fiery and sparkling Meryl Streep who really brings Karen Silkwood to life. She's a vixen like you'll never see Streep again.
Silkwood is at its best depicting the social and daily factory life. The politics and paranoia is presented in typical 70s fashion, with creepy supporting characters and synthetic music, but not at all without effect. Nichols never comes close to nailing a Hitchcockesque level of suspense, but the plot remains interesting and fairly potent throughout, despite some overly slow pacing around the middle parts of the film. Look for a hilarious David Strathairn in a small part.