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The Informant! is a 2009 political dark comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh.[2] It depicts Mark Whitacre's involvement as a whistle blower in the lysine price-fixing conspiracy of the mid-1990s, as described in the 2000 nonfiction book, The Informant, by journalist Kurt Eichenwald.[3] The script was written by Scott Z. Burns and the film stars Matt DamonRichard Steven HorvitzScott BakulaJoel McHale andMelanie Lynskey.

Plot:

The Informant! is about Mark Whitacre (Damon), a rising star at Decatur, Illinois based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in the early 1990s who wound up blowing the whistle on the company’s price-fixing tactics, only after his wife forced him to.[4][5] Matt Damon portrays the bipolarwhistleblower dubbed "The wacky little brother of Erin Brockovich".[6] In the film, Whitacre displays bizarre behavior including recklessness and grandiosity.

One night in early November 1992, the high-ranking ADM executive confessed to FBI agent Brian Shepard (Bakula), present only to install a wire tap on Whitacre's phone, that ADM executives—including Whitacre himself—had routinely met with competitors to fix the price of lysine, an additive used in the commercial livestock industry. As the highest-ranked executive to ever turn whistleblower in US history, Whitacre secretly gathered hundreds of hours of video and audio over several years to present to the FBI.[4][7][8] He assisted in gathering evidence by clandestinely taping the company’s activity in business meetings at various locations around the globe such as TokyoParisMexico City, and Hong Kong, eventually collecting enough evidence of collaboration and conspiracy to warrant a raid.

Whitacre’s good deed dovetails with his own major infractions and struggle with bipolar disorder.[4][9] The film focuses on Whitacre's meltdown resulting from the pressures of wearing a wire and organizing surveillance for the FBI for three years, instigated by Whitacre's reaction, in increasingly manic overlays, to various trivial magazine articles he reads. In a stunning turn of events immediately following the covert portion of the case, headlines around the world reported that the whistleblower defrauded $9 million from his own company at the same period of time he was secretly working for the FBI and taping his co-workers, while simultaneously hoping to be elected as CEO following the arrest and conviction of the remaining upper management members.[4] After being confronted with evidence of his fraud, Whitacre's claims in his defense begin to spiral out of control, including an accusation of assault and battery against Agent Shepard. Because of this major infraction and Whitacre’s bizarre behavior, he was sentenced to a prison term three times longer than the white-collar criminals he helped to nab.[4] Agent Herndon (Joel McHale) visits Whitacre while in prison in order to support him for a presidential pardon.

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Details

Genre:  Action, Comedy, Adventure
Release Date:  September 18, 2009
MPAA Rating:  R
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review by . October 02, 2009
The Informant could have very easily been another installment to the Drama-Thriller category. And it would have probably found a special place among its predecessors. After all, it's based on a real guy and real events. But Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney, Director and Executive Producer, respectively are smart guys. They didn't want this movie to be another Michael Clayton or the Firm (especially since the former was compared to the latter). They didn't want the same listless audience reaction …
review by . October 12, 2009
I don't think anyone can accuse Steven Soderbergh of being boring - The Informant!, apart from being the unlikely true tale of the world's most significant corporate snitch,  features some stand-out Oscar-worthy performances in what may also be one of the most richly funny films of the year. It follows the story of Mark Whitacre, an up-and-coming manager at ADM, who tips off the FBI about their illegal price-fixing practices. While their crime is cinematically mundane, the investigation …
Quick Tip by . January 27, 2010
Even Damon couldn't save this one. Bad choice. The film does remind me of another character, The Talented Mr. Ripley. That was great 4 Damon
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