This is the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, a tobacco industry whistleblower, as he came under fire for a 60 Minutes interview he gave. Although the story was pulled, Wigand was the subject of numerous lawsuits and smear campaigns.
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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
Two men enter into mythic combat with opposing forces much bigger and more powerful than themselves. They win a hard fought battle at great personal cost, but it becomes clear by the end of the film that a larger war against corporate censorship of media has been lost. 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.
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?
My favorite Mann. This is the performance Crowe should have received his oscar for. Tense all the way through with great cinematography. The secondary roles here are also perfectly cast and Plummer is awesome as Mike Wallace!