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The Informant! [Blu-ray] (2009)

Matt Damon , Scott Bakula , Steven Soderbergh  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PR0YGC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,963 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Informant! [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary by director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns
Additional scenes

Editorial Reviews

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
By Shopper
In 1992 Mark Whitacre, the President of Bio-Product division of ADM (powerful Fortune 500 company), became the highest ranking executive EVER to turn whistle blower. For three years he helped the FBI gather evidence of a multinational conspiracy to control the price of lysine. As a result, US government collected hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from ADM and foreign corporations, followed by prison sentences for three executives. These are events in real life as well as the movie. However, according to the opening credits, the film is not intended as a documentary and does depart from real life facts... The final, cheeky line of the prologue: "So there!", gives us a hint that, though the topic and the consequences suffered by many in this story are somber, what we are about to see is meant to amuse and entertain, as well as educate...

As promised, the chuckles do come often, but their source is not your typical one liners. Matt Damon is Whitacre, an inspired choice for the role. His plump, mustachioed and toupeed character comes across so harmless and ordinary you never question why his actions go undetected; even as his concealed recording equipment loudly malfunctions during a covert multinational executive meeting! You laugh at the bewilderment of FBI agents and the DA's office as they are led by the nose by Whitacre's increasingly outlandish antics. One could say "The Informant!" has the educational quality of an Aesop's fable: blinded by their desire to swallow a tasty morsel (ADM), the agents cross their fingers and fail to run even the most basic checks on their informant; checks that would immediately reveal inconsistencies in his stories (such as the true nature of his parentage, for example).

The film is not perfect.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dark comedy about human foibles...and corn. February 17, 2010
Having grown up just a few miles from where the events of THE INFORMANT! took place (though I was just a kid at the time), I may be rather partial to the film; after all, Matt Damon and much of the supporting cast has the personality down pat, with a few aside-jokes that definitely capture the atmosphere of East-Central Illinois. But you don't have to be from here to appreciate the film's humor; you just have to be patient.

Why? Because THE INFORMANT is a slow burner. It's the story of Mark Whitacre, who decides to blow the lid on some illegal doings at the corn-processing plant where he works. Whitacre, however, is anything but the ideal witness--but it takes about two-thirds of the movie to find that out. Kudus to Joel McHale and Scott Bakula as the FBI agents in charge of Whitacre's case, and Soderbergh for actually making a movie of this; and a tip-of-the-hat to Matt Damon, who turns in a nuanced performance. But the character doesn't really build until the third act, which is the when the movie turns from humor to poignancy, and we realize the real tale here.

The thing is, it's just hard to forgive THE INFORMANT its slow build-up. Real hard. It's worth the effort; a lot of the humor is subtle, and the film progressively gets darker, until you realize this isn't a feel-good comedy after all. But it takes so long getting there, a large part of the audience is bound to stop caring. Thus, THE INFORMANT! is for patient fans of comedy (of which there are painfully few today). If nothing else, see it for Damon's spot-on performance; he and Bakula especially are taking this film and running with it, for better or worse (mainly better).
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A merry-go-round instead of a roller-coaster April 4, 2010
Intro: This is a review of the movie as an experience. Look elsewhere if you want an overview of the story, or how well the movie reflects actual events and people.

For those who would be satisfied with a movie that was simply a collection of goofy and absurdist scenes, I expect that the pacing here is much to slow to be satisfying, although in the second half it becomes noticeably less slow.

For those expecting more, the basic problem here is with how the lead character Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is portrayed. It is immediately reminiscent of the William H Macy character in Fargo: A doofus in over his head who is flailing about. However, in Fargo there was a progression to that state--here it starts at that point and doesn't change much.

Even without the Fargo baggage, the Whitacre character is too big a goof to be sympathetic or funny. My first impression was that he was an incompetent bottom level manager. When he was identified as a top manager, I couldn't help but think of him as a fraud, thereby undermining everything that was to come. In addition to his being a fraud within the movie, it was a fraud on the audience: Such a personality would never have gotten a PhD (from Cornell), much less risen so high in a major corporation (most people forced to work with such a person would be screaming and throwing things at him before the end of the first day).

The core of the movie's story is the revelation of a series of deceptions and lies. The typical dramatic treatment, whether serious or humorous, is akin to a roller-coaster: It elevates your confidence that you know what is happening, then suddenly puts you into free fall, adding twists and turns to increase your disorientation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated movie
matt damon is perfection. it's funny and the story is compelling, though it's at times a bit confusing. the answers always reveal themselves. Read more
Published 2 months ago by cindi finger
3.0 out of 5 stars No comparison to the book
This is based upon a true story that is stranger than fiction! The book is fabulous, but the movie leaves out so many details that it is only mildly interesting. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laura Hellard
4.0 out of 5 stars Nuts!
A very underrated and under-appreciated movie. Without divulging too much of the plot, let's say Matt Damon plays a desparate character who compensates for his inferiority complex... Read more
Published 2 months ago by c. bautista
2.0 out of 5 stars The Informant! : an unexpected disappointment
The Informant! got a 2-star rating because although I feel that Matt Damon did a FINE job of acting in this movie, the story just could not keep my interest. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms P. Wooldridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it twice...
This is a very funny movie... the second time you see it. It was that way for me at least. The first time through, I didn't spot all the deliberate lies, deception and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Fowler
1.0 out of 5 stars Tediously boring
I thought it would draw me in, but instead it was predictable and I stopped watching it about 1/3 of the way through.
Published 3 months ago by roxanna podlogar
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
Great great great movie. Watch it every time it is on the television cable channel and took it with me on vacation.
Published 4 months ago by L. Robbins
1.0 out of 5 stars The most boring movie I've ever watched.
This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I saw it in the theater with three friends. I kept wishing I could just leave. My boredom was excruciating. Read more
Published 4 months ago by T. Kaye
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story and it's Matt
Good work by Matt. Great story about how, what seemed like a person looking to live the American dream, gets derailed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by peter bartel
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining true story
What I have to say to begin with is that this movie is rated R and I would rate it G. There is no sex, no violence and no profanity. It would not even rate a PG-13 in my view. Read more
Published 7 months ago by marriagecoach1
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