The Informant! (2009)

R   |    |  Biography, Comedy, Crime


The Informant! (2009) Poster

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.


6.5/10
60,221

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  • Steven Soderbergh in The Informant! (2009)
  • Melanie Lynskey in The Informant! (2009)
  • Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh in The Informant! (2009)
  • Matt Damon at an event for The Informant! (2009)
  • Matt Damon and Scott Bakula in The Informant! (2009)
  • Matt Damon in The Informant! (2009)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Scott Z. Burns (screenplay), Kurt Eichenwald (book)

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User Reviews


21 February 2010 | bob the moo
Entertaining and engaging comic version of a true story
Reading the opinions posted on this site it appears that a lot of viewers came to this film with the expectation of big laughs throughout and, when the film didn't delivered them, walked off in a huff moaning about the film failing to deliver. In fairness to them I suspect that their complaints may be valid based on trailers and marketing suggesting this would be the case – the exclamation point in the title probably didn't help either. So I'm glad then that I came to the film without a great deal of knowledge about what the film was trying to be other than it was a slightly comic version of a true case from the 1990's.

I am glad because this is what the film is – a comic take on a real situation where the decision to do so as a light comedy appears to have paid off. With Mark Whitacre as the main character, we follow him into the case and we immediately start to get the impression that this guy really doesn't have his head in the real world – like he doesn't understand the consequences of anything he says and does, which perhaps accounts for his rather cheerful outlook and easy personality. This is true but the full extent of his actions are unveiled nicely across the whole film – leaving me at times a little like the FBI lawyer during the presentation from ADM's attorney, mouth open not quite believing it.

It is not a hilarious movie by any means but the comic air makes it easy to enjoy and the story is engaging and entertaining. Soderbergh does slightly overdo the "wacky" feel to and he probably didn't need to have as many recognisable faces from comedy in small roles, but he does make it work. A big part of this reason is Matt Damon – showing that while he may be a Hollywood action star now, he is very capable as a character actor to. He does channel William H Macy from Fargo a little bit in how he will try and make pathetic lies to get himself out of trouble but I see this as a compliment because Macy is very good at that sort of character performance. Damon nails the cheerful self-delusion and his narration keeps us "on side" with him, making the comic tone work. The support cast is perhaps a bit too full of well-known faces but everyone is good, working again with the approach.

Overall The Informant! appears to be disliked mainly by those who expected something that marketing led them to believe this was. Coming to it on its own terms however this is an engaging story told with a comic air that works and makes the film as entertaining as it is interesting. Not hilarious and one could question if it is fair to handle Whitacre's story in a light manner, but it does work and I enjoyed it for what it was.

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