Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 128 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: What was Mark Whitacre thinking? A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), 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. But before all that can happen, the FBI needs evidence, so Whitacre eagerly agrees to wear a wire and carry a hidden tape recorder in his briefcase, imagining himself as a kind of de facto secret agent. Unfortunately for the FBI, their lead witness hasn't been quite so forthcoming about helping himself to the corporate coffers. Whitacre's ever-changing account frustrates the agents and threatens the case against ADM as it becomes almost impossible to decipher what is real and what is the product of Whitacre's active imagination. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    As Soderbergh lovingly peels away veil after veil of deception, the film develops into an unexpected human comedy. Not that any of the characters are laughing.
  2. 88
    There is devilish fun in this look into 1990s white-collar crime. But the jokes are the kind you choke on.
  3. 80
    With composure so out of fashion these days in the public square, Steven Soderbergh's adamantly restrained The Informant! arrives like a cleansing tonic.
  4. In The Informant!, that brain -- screwy and yet capable of doing important undercover work -- free-associates like Ellen DeGeneres on a swing through Walmart. Cute, but as even Agent 86 would say in "Get Smart": Missed it by that much.
  5. 70
    Unfortunately, every laugh is bludgeoned nearly to death by Marvin Hamlisch's jokey score of neo-James Bond riffs and 70s sitcom melodies; I liked the movie quite a bit, but by the end I felt as if I were at a live TV show with a blinking sign ordering me to LAUGH.
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    It sets out to be less pompous than similar films, which inevitably means it feels less substantial. While amusing rather than hilarious, it ought to establish Matt Damon as a star character actor.
  7. It's overextended and exhaustingly comic.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 42
  2. Negative: 16 out of 42
  1. Nov 13, 2011
    Quirky and witty, 'The Informant!' is a great film. Mat Damon did a great job of portraying Mark Wittaker, a man high up in a corrupt corporation. He did a great job of portraying Wittaker as a man that thought he was a lot smarter and a lot nobler than he actually was. The acting was fantastic, the story intriguing, and just slightly off. The only issue I had with 'The Informant!' was that the pacing slowed dramatically for the last half an hour. Expand
  2. Dec 27, 2011
    "The Informant!" One Line Review - B!

    Really well acted all around, funny in a "What is happening?" way more than an obvious gag way, "The
    Informant!" will keep you interested and entertained. (Starring Matt Damon) - Expand
  3. Jul 18, 2012
    Kinda SPOILERS unless you haven't heard anything all about the film: This is an example of the mark of a great actor: the first time you watch this, you're like : "okay" a Matt D says a bunch of stuff. But at the end of the show you find out that it's all lies, so you watch it a second time and see all those times you believed him... it was OBVIOUS he's lying. HAHAHAHHHA. When you know he's lying, it's all clear when before he wasn't. I will tell you a lie right now: I am a deformation and I am determined to end the world. I was obviously lying when I told you that I am a deformation. Expand
  4. Nov 24, 2010
    Years ago I worked for a guy who seemed to be a pretty good egg. Short guy, a bit of a Napolean complex. But also a bit of a swashbuckler, friendly, willing to take chances. Exciting to work for. And what stories he had about his life: successful news director, A-7 pilot in the Air National Guard, award-winning photo-journalist. Never been fired in a business that eats its own.

    Then I met the guy who'd fired him. And all his stories came crumbling down. Pretty much every one of them a pack of lies. Got so bad he tried to take me down with him when he got canned for a second time. Mark Whitacre's just like him. Whitacre's the guy whose secret tapes help make a price-fixing case against agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland. Working undercover for the FBI for two-and-a-half years, Whitacre assiduously recorded meetings with ADM's competitors at which production levels and prices were fixed. But the more the FBI learned about Whitacre the more it wondered if it was prosecuting the wrong case. Whitacre's life was a hopeless maze of lie piled upon lie. And he embezzled. A lot. In The Informant! director Steven Soderbergh's tells Whitacre's story in a style that is wry, oddly cheerful and yet deeply, deeply cynical. That Soderbergh is after bigger fish than a mere embezzler should be clear from his casting of the enormously sympathetic and likable Matt Damon as the embezzler-in-chief. Damon's uncomfortably convincing as a guy with strange energy who's spinning tales from the opening minute to the last. But Soderbergh treats him almost affectionately. Because in Soderbergh's worl, Whitacre's on the bottom rung of a ladder in which everyone's working an angle, all the way to the top. ADM, the FBI, federal prosecutors, attorneys, the media... no-one's dealing an honest hand. In a world that's so thoroughly corrupt and bumbling, Whitacre's embezzled millions begin to look like small potatoes. So it's kind of funny to watch him make them dance to his tune.

    I found The Informant! to be simultaneously entertaining and alienating. There really isn't a character you truly like, except perhaps for Whitacre's eternally supportive wife, and she's a bit of a dim bulb. If the film works it's because Soderbergh refuses to bring the doom and gloom. In a world full of liars, he seems to be saying, whaddya gonna do?
  5. Dec 21, 2012
    This film is funny enough and executed interestingly enough, that the confusion of Damon's character's wavering stories are tolerable, but not quite enough to sail this movie along. Expand
  6. Jan 23, 2012
    A dull boring film that is not funny or engaging. The film's style is stupid and ultimately the film's writer and director let it down. Matt Damon is as good as you can be in a bad movie. Expand
  7. Oct 16, 2010
    One word to describe this movie, bad. Tell you the truth I couldn't even finish watching because it was so uninteresting and NOT funny, actually, was this movie suppose to be funny? Expand

See all 42 User Reviews