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The Informant!

7/10
Thriller . Drama . Crime . Comedy
 

A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Mark Whitacre suddenly turns whistleblower. Even as he exposes his company’s multi-national price-fixing conspiracy to the FBI, Whitacre envisions himself being hailed as a hero of the common man and handed a promotion.

 
Actors: Matt Damon , Melanie Lynskey , Joel McHale , Scott Bakula , Lucas McHugh Carroll , Patton Oswalt , Allan Havey , Rick Overton , Tom Papa , Thomas F. Wilson , Ann Dowd , Eddie Jemison , Rusty Schwimmer
Directors: Steven Soderbergh
Country: USA
Release: 2009-09-18
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    As Soderbergh lovingly peels away veil after veil of deception, the film develops into an unexpected human comedy. Not that any of the characters are laughing.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Its got a deliciously audacious and cheeky tenor.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    The Informant! chooses to earn its exclamation point with giggles as well as shock, and the results are thoroughly entertaining.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    It is Mr. Soderbergh’s insistence on seeing the A.D.M. scandal as a collective tragedy rather than as another white-collar crime that gives the movie force, resonance, feeling.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    There is devilish fun in this look into 1990s white-collar crime. But the jokes are the kind you choke on.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    More than any previous screen role, this one affords Damon a chance to work his sly comic chops.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    By turning a whistle-blower into a tragicomic figure, Soderbergh sustains our interest in a complicated financial scheme and rewards it with a kickback of ghastly laughs.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Damon is an agile comic performer, and Soderbergh knows how to serve him up without losing sight of the ultimate seriousness behind it all.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    With composure so out of fashion these days in the public square, Steven Soderbergh's adamantly restrained The Informant! arrives like a cleansing tonic.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    A whimsical and light-hearted spin on a serious story of corporate whistleblowing.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    More amusing than laugh-out-loud hilarious, but is never boring.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Bakula is the ideal surrogate for a perplexed audience. Similarly, Whitacre's exasperated wife, played by Melanie Lynskey, is drily funny.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    Matt Damon's old-fashioned, brilliantly calibrated character turn as a corporate schnook-turned-whistle-blower; and Marvin Hamlisch's retro-groovy score. For the movie's first hour or so, the pair of them together make for four-star entertainment. The last half hour, not so much.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Soderbergh takes a deadly serious news story and amplifies and colors it to the point of outrageousness. The results aren't always consistent, but they are undeniably compelling.

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    With Steven Soderbergh at the helm, this has become a whimsical, semi-comedic romp, complete with a score by Marvin Hamlisch that recalls kitschy '70s TV shows, cutesy captions, and a tongue-and-cheek approach to the entire story.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Mark Salisbury

    A comic tour de force from Damon, who gained 30lbs and sports an unflattering moustache as the dishonest and delusional Whitacre. But it’s a performance that never loses sight of the man behind the lies.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The Informant! may be a gadfly of a movie, but it's not without bite.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    It wouldn't stick in the memory were it not for Matt Damon's audacious, baggy-pants portrayal of corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, the antihero of this reality-based farce.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    In The Informant!, that brain -- screwy and yet capable of doing important undercover work -- free-associates like Ellen DeGeneres on a swing through Walmart. Cute, but as even Agent 86 would say in "Get Smart": Missed it by that much.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jessica Baxter

    It’s not a perfect film, but it’s definitely the Soder-side I prefer.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Not for the first time in his career, Soderbergh has made a mainstream film that is simultaneously a thought experiment.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • David Denby

    By the end, Soderbergh’s movie subverts common belief far more effectively than some of the fantasy movies knocking around this summer. It’s a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious, and the joke is on us.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Unfortunately, every laugh is bludgeoned nearly to death by Marvin Hamlisch's jokey score of neo-James Bond riffs and 70s sitcom melodies; I liked the movie quite a bit, but by the end I felt as if I were at a live TV show with a blinking sign ordering me to LAUGH.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Maybe Soderbergh felt as though he already did a straight-ahead version of this story with "Erin Brockovich" and therefore decided to revamp the tune in the key of Richard Lester.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The movie’s fun to watch, but you can tell it was a lot more fun to make, and that’s a problem. The party stays up on the screen; down here, it’s been over for a year.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Has two aces going for it: Soderbergh's poking at the maze­like holes in American business and Damon's whirling dervish performance.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    It sets out to be less pompous than similar films, which inevitably means it feels less substantial. While amusing rather than hilarious, it ought to establish Matt Damon as a star character actor.

    Empire Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The Informant! may end up closer to the non-starters. Its lunacy is too deadpan, and its denouement too drawn out, to appeal to those who liked the Bourne movies, or, for that matter, the Gore. But it's worth seeing, and a salutary achievement.

    Time Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Amusingly eccentric rather than outright funny.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    The whole film, a comedy about crime and mental illness, seems at war with itself.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    The truth, however, is that for much of Soderbergh's film, it's all as yawn-inducing as its premise.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Soderbergh whiplashes his viewers between two contrasting mental states that are best described as "jaunty" and "wrenching."

    Slate Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Director-cinematographer Steven Soderbergh’s indifference to the material is palpable and of a piece with his deathly dull output of late.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    This is yet another of Soderbergh’s “exercises in style,” which means he has one big idea and sticks to it. He makes the space shallow and ugly (faces are bathed in orange) and adds groovy sixties titles and Marvin Hamlisch music.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    Unlike the director's usual organic efforts--in which great style never results in overstylized--The Informant! feels overamped from start to shrugging finish.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    While this film fits squarely into Soderbergh's recurrent goal of ignoring audience interest when possible, that's the only area in which it can be considered a success.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    It's overextended and exhaustingly comic.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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  • spy

  • informant

  • compulsive liar

  • investigation

  • wearing a sound wire

  • fbi agent

  • voice over narration

  • voice over inner thoughts

  • secret informant

  • police informant

  • liar

  • double life

  • corporate scandal

  • exclamation point in title

  • lysine

  • price fixing

  • meeting

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  • corn

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  • money laundering

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  • year 1994

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  • psychiatrist

  • pay phone

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  • what happened to epilogue

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  • phone tap

  • trial

  • subtly humorous

  • whistleblower

  • undercover

  • tie

  • suicide thoughts

  • scandal

  • repeated line

  • police surveillance

  • monologue

  • mentally impaired

  • lie detection

  • internal monologue

  • fraud

  • forgery

  • forged signature

  • following a dream

  • duplicity

  • dual lives

  • daydreaming

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  • character repeating someone else's dialogue

  • black comedy

  • ambitious man

  • ambition

  • 2000s

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  • mental illness

  • bipolar disorder

  • punctuation in title

  • based on true story

  • based on novel

  • plot twist

  • agriculture

  • witness to murder

  • company

  • fbi

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