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The Informant! (2009)

A movie directed by Steven Soderbergh

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Can this be a Steven Soderbergh film?

  • Feb 27, 2010
  • by
THE INFORMANT! has an exclamation point after the title for a good reason - it suggests that even the writers and actors as well as the usually superb Steven Soderbergh had a tough time figuring out how to make this story into an entertaining while quite implausible movie. Though based on a true story the movie is basically a running monologue by the hyperkinetic Matt Damon in a role that suits him not at all. At moments it seems like an outrageous comedy, then at others it appears as yet another appalling exposé of how big business and big politics intertwine to the detriment of our environment and moral deterioration. No one seems to know how to treat this piece, and maybe that is just as well. Keep the exclamation point after the title - that sort of tells it all. Side step this film if you are a fan of Soderbergh or Matt Damon. Grady Harp, February 10

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More The Informant! (2009) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2011
Sauntering into the Coens' territory, Soderbergh drains nearly all the intrigue and black humor from the true story that Kurt Eichenwald masterfully brought to print. Add "farce" to the ever-lengthening list of modes that America's most inexplicably successful filmmaker doesn't understand.  No major picture that's so amateurishly photographed should be excused.
review by . March 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
... that mega-corporations are not on YOUR side. Their purpose is to "redistribute wealth", from your wallet to their coffers, and not so freely to share-holders as to upper-level management. An alternative moral might be that the folk who manage mega-corporations are just as likely to be megalomaniacs and/or sociopaths as anybody else... as any elected politician, for instance... and just as likely NOT to be as smart as they think they are. Specifically, the tale told in the film "The Informant" …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Steven Soderbergh'sThe Informant!--like the director's one-two Oscar® punch,Erin BrockovichandTraffic--is an energetic exposé of corporate/criminal chicanery with wide-ranging implications for life in these United States. Not so much like those movies, it plays as hyper-caffeinated comedy. At its center is Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), a biochemist and junior executive at agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland who, in 1992, began feeding the FBI evidence of ADM's involvement in price fixing. Mark's motive for doing so is elusive, sometimes self-contradictory, and subject to mutation at any moment. To describe him as bipolar would be akin to finding the Marx Brothers somewhat zany. His Fed handlers, along with the audience, start thinking of him as a hapless goofball. Then they and we get blind-sided with the revelation of further dimensions of Mark's life at ADM, and the nature of the investigation--and the movie--changes. That will happen again. And again. It's Soderbergh's ingenious strategy to make us fellow travelers on Mark's crazy ride, virtually infecting us with a short-term version of his dysfunctionality.

Props to screenwriter Scott Z. Burns for boiling down Kurt Eichenwald's 600-page book The Informant: A True Story without sacrificing coherence. And Matt Damon, bulked up by 30 pounds and spluttering his manic lines from under a caterpillar mustache, reconfirms his virtuosity and his willingness to dive deep into such a ...

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Director: Steven Soderbergh
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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