Customer Review

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intense and Disturbing Look At Contemporary Society, May 26, 2000
This review is from: The Insider (DVD)
This movie is riveting, engaging, and extremely well done. The performances by Crowe, Pacino, and Plummer are especially sharp and on edge, and the direction by Mann is,as always, simply superb. From the opening frames illustrating the cache, access and raw power a TV program like Sixty Minutes offers its producers and stars to the immediately introduced suspenseful counterpoint of Philip Wigand as a man caught in a terrible moral dilemma, this movie is absolutely terrific.
While one relates to Russell Crowe's superb depiction (truly an Oscar-caliber performance) as the man who almost singlehandedly eventually breaks the back of the tobacco conglomerates, I found myself also captivated by Al Pacino's performance with a thoughtful and emotional coda as a smart and street savvy TV producer skating hellbent for leather over the dangerous edges between his personal morality and the seductive but corrupting pressures of a super-competitive and absolutely testosterone-crazy TV program. Likewise, Christopher Plummer's interpretation of Mike Wallace as an egotistical and morally obtuse dilletante who perhaps has stayed at the party overlong is a joy to observe. If it is at all accurate, maybe it's time to finally retire, Mike!
This is a movie that explores the way in which all the powers that be seem to be growing deaf, dumb, and blind to the rights and needs of the individuals in the society, as Wigand finds out quite quickly, to his despair. He finds himself compromised no matter which way he turns, and in an absolutely riveting scene played to the hilt, decides to do what's morally right regardless of the personal consequences. This seemed to be one of the quiet messages imbedded in the movie, that we all need to be more moral and have more intergrity in how we approach ourselves, each other, and the world at large. Amen to that, brother Mann.
Nice to see such extraordinary every-day heroism depicted and lauded on the silver screen. of course, life is never so simple as when it is most complex, and this movie certainly deals with some very controversial issues in an engaging, provocative, and thoughtful story we all can enjoy and learn from. This is a serious, disturbing, and dramatic movie I want to own and pull off the shelf periodically to watch and think about. I think you'll appreciate it too.
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