I think, generally speaking, Michael Mann gets too much credit. He's a very competent director in an industry drowning in mediocrity. That said, this movie is thoroughly entertaining and intelligent--the kind of work that gets lauded as extraordinary when it should be the standard fare.
A devotional, almost sacred commemoration 2 unequivocal truth, to "grace & consistency." Grace & consistency: Mann's aesthetic principles. Mann constructs characters who, at least partially, parallel his philosophical viewpoint. Whether by landscape, sound, or close visual proximation, M.M. uses form for emotional reflection, profound introspection. In Mann's cinema, the world communicates principles to us, a gospel.
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 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