Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic 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. 91
    The Informant! chooses to earn its exclamation point with giggles as well as shock, and the results are thoroughly entertaining.
  3. 91
    Its got a deliciously audacious and cheeky tenor.
  4. It is Mr. Soderbergh’s insistence on seeing the A.D.M. scandal as a collective tragedy rather than as another white-collar crime that gives the movie force, resonance, feeling.
  5. More than any previous screen role, this one affords Damon a chance to work his sly comic chops.
  6. 88
    There is devilish fun in this look into 1990s white-collar crime. But the jokes are the kind you choke on.
  7. By turning a whistle-blower into a tragicomic figure, Soderbergh sustains our interest in a complicated financial scheme and rewards it with a kickback of ghastly laughs.
  8. Damon is an agile comic performer, and Soderbergh knows how to serve him up without losing sight of the ultimate seriousness behind it all.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    A comic tour de force from Damon, who gained 30lbs and sports an unflattering moustache as the dishonest and delusional Whitacre. But it’s a performance that never loses sight of the man behind the lies.
  11. 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.
  12. 75
    A whimsical and light-hearted spin on a serious story of corporate whistleblowing.
  13. Bakula is the ideal surrogate for a perplexed audience. Similarly, Whitacre's exasperated wife, played by Melanie Lynskey, is drily funny.
  14. The Informant! may be a gadfly of a movie, but it's not without bite.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Soderbergh takes a deadly serious news story and amplifies and colors it to the point of outrageousness. The results aren't always consistent, but they are undeniably compelling.
  16. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Matt Damon's old-fashioned, brilliantly calibrated character turn as a corporate schnook-turned-whistle-blower; and Marvin Hamlisch's retro-groovy score. For the movie's first hour or so, the pair of them together make for four-star entertainment. The last half hour, not so much.
  17. 75
    It wouldn't stick in the memory were it not for Matt Damon's audacious, baggy-pants portrayal of corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, the antihero of this reality-based farce.
  18. 75
    More amusing than laugh-out-loud hilarious, but is never boring.
  19. 75
    With Steven Soderbergh at the helm, 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.
  20. 70
    By the end, Soderbergh’s movie subverts common belief far more effectively than some of the fantasy movies knocking around this summer. It’s a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious, and the joke is on us.
  21. 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.
  22. 70
    Not for the first time in his career, Soderbergh has made a mainstream film that is simultaneously a thought experiment.
  23. Reviewed by: Jessica Baxter
    It’s not a perfect film, but it’s definitely the Soder-side I prefer.
  24. Maybe Soderbergh felt as though he already did a straight-ahead version of this story with "Erin Brockovich" and therefore decided to revamp the tune in the key of Richard Lester.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The movie’s fun to watch, but you can tell it was a lot more fun to make, and that’s a problem. The party stays up on the screen; down here, it’s been over for a year.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Amusingly eccentric rather than outright funny.
  27. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The Informant! may end up closer to the non-starters. Its lunacy is too deadpan, and its denouement too drawn out, to appeal to those who liked the Bourne movies, or, for that matter, the Gore. But it's worth seeing, and a salutary achievement.
  28. Has two aces going for it: Soderbergh's poking at the maze­like holes in American business and Damon's whirling dervish performance.
  29. 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.
  30. The whole film, a comedy about crime and mental illness, seems at war with itself.
  31. The truth, however, is that for much of Soderbergh's film, it's all as yawn-inducing as its premise.
  32. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Soderbergh whiplashes his viewers between two contrasting mental states that are best described as "jaunty" and "wrenching."
  33. This is yet another of Soderbergh’s “exercises in style,” which means he has one big idea and sticks to it. He makes the space shallow and ugly (faces are bathed in orange) and adds groovy sixties titles and Marvin Hamlisch music.
  34. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    Unlike the director's usual organic efforts--in which great style never results in overstylized--The Informant! feels overamped from start to shrugging finish.
  35. Director-cinematographer Steven Soderbergh’s indifference to the material is palpable and of a piece with his deathly dull output of late.
  36. While this film fits squarely into Soderbergh's recurrent goal of ignoring audience interest when possible, that's the only area in which it can be considered a success.
  37. It's overextended and exhaustingly comic.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 145 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 43
  2. Negative: 16 out of 43
  1. MikeD.
    Oct 9, 2009
    Slow developing movie, that never really developed. The movie couldn't decide if it was a comedy or a drama and in the end was neither.
  2. AlainA
    Sep 25, 2009
    This movie is well acted and well directed, but it is incredibly boring. I cannot believe it got a 66 score on metacritic. I wish I could This movie is well acted and well directed, but it is incredibly boring. I cannot believe it got a 66 score on metacritic. I wish I could have my two hours back. The trailer looked good, it got 66, so I gave it a chance. Avoid this movie. Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2011
    When I saw The Informant! in my On Demand "$1.99 or less" section, I had to wonder why. Looking back, the commercials made it out to look likeWhen I saw The Informant! in my On Demand "$1.99 or less" section, I had to wonder why. Looking back, the commercials made it out to look like a funny little movie about a goofy FBI informant full of cheeky groaners. And come on, nothing with Matt Damon and Scott Bakula could be that bad. At a stretch, the movie is labeled a comedy. From the opening of the movie onward, we're treated to Mark Whitacre's inner monologue. Fun fact: It's mostly about corn and corn products. For those of us who don't find a guy obsessing over corn hilarious, it would seem Mr. Soderbergh set down a single alternate steam of "humor", the ever-changing lie that Whitacre tells. That gets about as funny as a kid making up excuses for missing homework. I began falling asleep 30 minutes in, and checking how much longer every 10 minutes. 2 hours I wish I had slept through, a great comedy for those of us who don't like to laugh. Full Review »