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A rising star at agri-industry giant archer daniels midland 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.


Studio Warner
SKU 213656788
UPC 883929022342
UPC 14 00883929022342
Format DVD
Release Date 11/8/2011
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Golden Globe (2010) Marvin Hamlisch, Nominee, Best Original Score - Motion Picture,Matt Damon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Mark Whitacre was the highest-ranking executive in U.S. history to blow the whistle in a case of corporate fraud. He ended up with a prison sentence three times longer than any of the criminal executives he exposed. To be sure, there was the detail of the $9 million that he embezzled along the way for his personal use. What we discover toward the end of The Informant! may help explain that theft, although he apparently didn't want that used in his defense...Whitacre, persuasively played by Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh's new thriller, was a top vice president of Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, one of the 50 largest corporations in America. Sprawling at the edge of the small central Illinois city, it is surrounded by miles of soybean fields, and if you buy Japanese tofu at Whole Foods, it probably passed through ADM on its way to Japan. It's also involved in several other crops, produces sweeteners, sells ethanol...The Informant! is fascinating in the way it reveals two levels of events, not always visible to each other or to the audience. A second viewing would be rewarding, knowing what we find out. Matt Damon's performance is deceptively bland. Whitacre comes from a world of true-blue Downstate people, without affectations, surrounded by some of the richest farmland in the world. His determination to wear the wire leads to situations where discovery seems inevitable, but he's seemingly so feckless that suspicion seems misplaced. What he's up to, is in some ways, so very simple. Even if it has the FBI guys banging their heads against the wall...Mark Whitacre, released a little early after FBI agents called him "an American hero,? is now an executive in a high-tech start-up in California and still married to Ginger. Looking back on his adventure, he recently told his hometown paper, the Decatur Herald and Review, "It's like I was two people. I assume that's why they chose Matt Damon for the movie, because he plays those roles that have such psychological intensity. In the 'Bourne' movies, he doesn't even know who he is.?
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Under the control of a different director, The Informant! might have been a reasonably straightforward thriller. With Steven Soderbergh at the helm, however, 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. Although loosely based on the true-life book by former New York Times journalist Kurt Eichenwald (who also serves as a producer), Soderbergh has transformed this into a treatise on the incompetence of everyone involved: the informant, the corporation upon which he informs, the lawyers, and the FBI. Strangely enough, it's completely believable...Movies with unreliable narrators can be fun because the viewer only thinks he knows what's going on, and it would be difficult to find a less trustworthy storyteller than Mark Whitacre. We get a sense of this early in the proceedings when Mark's voiceovers start offering tangential observations completely unrelated to the narrative. It's disconcerting to hear Matt Damon's voice offering an opinion about something that has nothing to do with what's transpiring on-screen. Some of the things he believes are at variance with the reality in which the movie is set. He sees himself as a secret agent when, in reality, he's closer to Maxwell Smart than James Bond...The film's quirky subject matter makes it more difficult to get a handle on than projects like Erin Brokovich and The Insider, where the toll of corporate malfeasance can be easily quantified and measured in terms of human suffering. In this case, the bottom line is that ADM is trying to collude with major corporations across the world to inflate profits for lysine, a food additive made from corn. This is big business, to be sure, but the subject matter is pretty hard for a movie-goer to get worked up about. That's why Soderbergh elected to focus less on the particulars of the investigation and more on the peculiarities of the whistle-blower. The resulting movie has its share of fun moments and is full of the absurd but it's probably easier to admire for its craft than it is to enjoy as conventional entertainment. Nevertheless, it evidences sufficient charm to make it worth viewing, especially when one considers how barren the current cinematic landscape is.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian Its got a deliciously audacious and cheeky tenor.
Tasha Robinson, The Onion A.V. Club The Informant! chooses to earn its exclamation point with giggles as well as shock, and the results are thoroughly entertaining.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune More than any previous screen role, this one affords Damon a chance to work his sly comic chops.

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