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THE INSIDER recounts the chain of events that pitted an ordinary man against the tobacco industry and dragged two people into the fight of their lives. Academy Award(R)-winner Al Pacino (1990 Best Actor, SCENT OF A WOMAN; THE RECRUIT) gives a powerful performance as veteran 60 MINUTES producer Lowell Bergman and Academy Award(R) Winner Russell Crowe (2000 Best Actor, GLADIATOR; A BEAUTIFUL MIND) co-stars as the ultimate insider, former tobacco executive Dr. Jeffrey Wigand. When Wigand is fired by his employer -- one of the largest tobacco companies in America -- he agrees to become a paid consultant for a story Bergman is working on regarding alleged unethical practices within the tobacco industry. But what begins as a temporary alliance leads to a lengthy battle for both men to save their reputations, and much, much more. As they soon find out, Corporate America will use all legal means at its disposal to save a billion-dollar-a-year habit. And as the corporate giants soon find out, Bergman and Wigand are honorable men, driven to smoke out the evidence. Also starring Christopher Plummer (MALCOLM X) as anchor Mike Wallace and Gina Gershon (FACE/OFF), THE INSIDER will chill you with its cold, hard edge -- and thrill you with its unbelievable twists and turns.
As revisionist history, Michael Mann's intelligent docudrama The Insider is a simmering brew of altered facts and dramatic license. In a broader perspective, however, the film (cowritten with Forrest Gump Oscar-winner Eric Roth) is effectively accurate as an engrossing study of ethics in the corruptible industries of tobacco and broadcast journalism. On one side, there is Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), the former tobacco scientist who violated contractual agreements to expose Brown & Williamson's inclusion of addictive ingredients in cigarettes, casting himself into a vortex of moral dilemma. On the other side is 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), whose struggle to report Wigand's story puts him at odds with veteran correspondent Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) and senior executives at CBS News.
As the urgency of the story increases, so does the film's palpable sense of paranoia, inviting favorable comparison to All the President's Men. While Pacino downplays the theatrical excess that plagued him in previous roles, Crow is superb as a man who retains his tortured integrity at great personal cost. The Insider is two movies--a cover-up thriller and a drama about journalistic ethics--that combine to embrace the noble values personified by Wigand and Bergman. Even if the details aren't always precise (as Mike Wallace and others protested prior to the film's release), the film adheres to a higher truth that was so blatantly violated by tobacco executives seen in an oft-repeated video clip, lying under oath in the service of greed. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
On top of that, Wigand is recruited to testity in Mississippi for a case that claims cigarettes *are* addictive.
The *60 minutes* piece will eventually be pulled because of corporate pressure. Wigand deals with his personal dilemma, and Bergman battles the corporation.
Both men will struggle against Big Tobacco's attempts to silence them and against the CBS television network's cowardly complict preference of putting money as a higher priority over the truth.
True colors of journalism are shown throughout the film. Director Michael Mann has done a great job portraying journalistic realism. The actors are marvelous, no exception.
An emotionally intense drama which reveals the consequences of standing up for the truth.
So what's wrong with this picture? The same thing that's wrong with another Russell Crowe movie "A Beautiful Mind" and Oliver Stone's earlier movie about the Kennedy assassination. They are all--what an awful word--"docudramas." The viewer is told as the credits go up at the end of this movie that some things have been fictionalized for the "sake of drama." This is a cruel irony since the movie is all about integrity. Surely the "real" story of the cruel joke tobacco companies have played on an unwitting public for years would have been enough to intrigue an audience and sustain a hard-hitting documentary.
The movie is so well-done. I just wish I knew what is real and what isn't here--if we only had a fire wall between fiction and investigative journalism/movies in this country-- surely we are sophisticated enough to handle such a division.
The DVD has very few extras. The most interesting is the "Inside A Scene" featurette. It gives us the most insight into how a scene for the film was made. I wish there was more of that on the disc. But with a great film like this, bonus features are just icing on the cake, and not mandatory.
Most recent customer reviews
Très bonne histoire sur des faits réels. très bonne prestation de Russel Crowe et de Al Pacino. c'est un film èa ne pas manquer.Published 13 months ago by Daniel Mérineau
I seen this many years ago when I didn't even know who Russell Crowe was. It has a very good story to it. I will watch it soon. Anything with Russell in it I will watch.... Read morePublished on June 6 2014 by Edith Gaspar
I LOVE this film. I remember the 60 Minutes episode AND the Vanity
Fair article. I make all my friends who have no/little sympathy for COPD
sufferers watch THIS movie! Read more
Superb acting. Crowe and Pacino are wonderful and so is Plummer. I still think Crowe should have won the oscar that year. Read morePublished on May 14 2014 by SAUNDRA ANDERTON
I finally picked this up and I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was very well done and worth viewing.Published on Nov. 21 2013 by Me
If you want to stop smoking, that's a movie you should see, it will help you a lot to quit that junk.Published on Feb. 9 2012 by Gen
I enjoyed this telling of the whistle blower story. However there are sentimentalities in it and pieces of illogic thrown in for effect. These eventually tire me out.Published on Dec 3 2009 by Donald Schaeffer