Very rarely you come across a movie so powerful as Michael Mann's The Insider. Mann is a director whose work I've come to admire -- and here he is at his best, working with the best. The result is an amazing drama about truth-telling becoming simultaneously a burden and a revelation.
Fantastic depiction of the chimpanzees in NYC and DC. Crowe does his retarded-smart-guy thing perfectly. The only issue with the movie is the premise, which says that companies are responsible for people who buy the product. Which isn't true. People are responsible for themselves. The saddest part is that the movie intro tries to glorify the USA influence on other countries in the world. To become like what?
The sterile way Mann photographs the marching, circling business suits, their emotionally vacant wearers and their simple, blunt abuses is a perfect contrast to our paranoid, righteously furious protagonists. Spiritually, "The Insider" is very much a tale of man versus machine; perhaps the most realistic, stirring, and grounded such a story has ever been.
The great strength of The Insider is that, unlike most of the 70s conspiracy thrillers to which it ultimately hints, we as the audience already know the horrible truth that lies at its core! Mann's genius is the way in which he wrenches tension and drama from the characters' discovery of big tobacco's invisible ascendancy and not ours
It's a movie about telling the truth, and what is the truth? this was the last time Hollywood made a movie that tackled the complexity of this question, and Michael Mann's most assured Direction is really helped by Eric Roth's amazing script. There a few problems, but they don't diminish what is to me a great piece of work.
Two men enter into mythic combat with opposing forces much bigger and more powerful than themselves.They win the battle, but lose the war. This is Michael Mann's personal peak as an artist and a filmmaker. The themes and issues this film deals with are more relevant now than ever before.