The Insider

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The Insider: Friday November 5, 1999

Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) was a central witness in the lawsuits filed by Mississippi and the 49 other states against the tobacco industry, which eventually were settled for $246 billion. Wigand, former head of research and development and a corporate officer at Brown & Williamson, was a top scientist, the ultimate insider. No one like him had ever gone public before. Meanwhile, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), investigative reporter and "60 Minutes" producer, mostly for Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) segments, arranged a legal defense team for Wigand and taped the famous Wallace interview with its devastating testimony. However, before the most newsworthy "60 Minutes" segment in years could air, Bergman would lose to a CBS corporate decision to kill it and would experience breakdown and bitter divisions within "60 Minutes." Wigand would find himself sued, targeted in a national smear campaign, divorced, and facing possible incarceration. Wigand, having wagered so much and now unable to deliver his testimony to the American people, and Bergman, trying to defeat the smear campaign and force CBS to air the interview, are two ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. They find themselves in a fight from which no one will emerge as he entered, and nothing will be the same again. Touchstone Pictures.

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Score:

Reviewers

Ebert UsaToday Mr Showbiz Herald Average
Points 87.5 87.5 90 87.5 88.13

 

Film-o-Meter

88.13 - A Must See

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Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing
40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"
 

Director

Michael Mann

Writers

Marie Brenner
Eric Roth

Genre

Drama

Budget

$68m

Starring:

Al Pacino as Lowell Bergman
Russell Crowe as Jeffrey Wigand 
Christopher Plummer as Mike Wallace

Running Time

2hr -37mins

Rating

R for Language

Distributor

Buena Vista Pictures

Trailer

Real Video

Website

Official Site

SoundTrack

SoundTrack from 

 

 The People's Review of The Insider

Me! 
score = 100 
A truly great movie! Not only was it well written and extremely well-played by Pacino and Crowe, but the technical aspects of the movie were outstanding. I loved the choice of shots especially the ones that got in close and really showed the characters' emotions. This combined with the emotionally moving music really involved me emotionally with the plot. This is definitley a movie you shouldn't miss.

 

Lonnie D. 

score = 80 

I liked the picture for two reasons. First, I know that it is based in part on an actual event. Second, I enjoy movies which make you use your grey matter a bit. This one had enough plot and twists that it at least kept me awake. As for acting,  Pacino is really good. He does a good job in his part. In some respects Crowe steals the show but then he has a part with a bit more meat. I recommend this show.

 

J. Burris 

score = 80 

 The tragedy of personal integrity strong-armed by corporate greed that is too often enabled by bureaucracies whose duty is to protect and serve the people.  The people usually get the short end of the stick.  Lives completely destroyed, often even terminated.  It is good that Hollywood (Disney) gave us this story with all the machinations to be overcome when one decides that truth is more important than "security" -- there is no security if your life is a lie. Russell Crowe's eloquent portrayal of the reluctant hero wrenches the heart, more so because we know this story is based on factual events.  Al Pacino, as the dedicated journalist who will not abandon his source or sell out, plays with the angst and passion we have come to recognize as quintessential Pacino. America needs heroes, people who have values and go to the mat for those values. Nobody wins in The Insider and I'm sure Big Tobacco did not lose -- that's a loss for us all.  This movie puts it in our face what we may likely experience when we stand up for what is right and just.  Hopefully, this movie will give us the courage to do it anyway.

 

Debbie Landers

score = 100

To all who were involved in the making of The Insider..I commend you for your tenacity to see the truth and want to inform the public expose those who think that money is the answer to all problems in this world.  The tobacco industry has had its hand in making look like no big deal..everybody does it. It is a killer and with the increase of addictive agents to lure even more mainly unsuspecting teens and young people(which my own daughter is one), they need to be exposed for who they really are.  I thank Michael Mann for having the courage to do this film.  I'm sure you must have had obstacles,but thank you for forging ahead.  The film was so excellent we will be buying when it comes out on DVD and I have recommended to all people I know to see this film.  I am so glad to know that there are heroes out there like Jeff Wigand and I pray that his life is one of joy now, knowing that he did indeed do the right thing.  His children will always be proud of him.  And to! Lowell Bergman, who is a real mench as we say in Yiddush..a real person.  Thank you for caring about an individual who did put himself out on a very thin limb and did the right thing...you did the right thing too.  I say there are 2 heroes in this film.  Lowell, thanks for walking away from 60 Miinutes.  I have lost respect for Mike Wallace.  It seems that the dollar to most is more important than the lives of many millions.  Its a shame.  And to Michael Mann, please keep making more want to see movies.  You are a tremendous director.  My own son, Andrew wants to direct film one day, and you are fine example for him to watch. Thanks again and God bless you in this work. Debbie Landers

 

Anthony
score = 90
"The Insider" was a rare case of David vs. Goliath.  The acting was great.   The plot was riveting.  My main reason for loving this movie is the guts of Jeffrey Wigand.  I'm glad to see he was recognized for his achievement.  One man can make a difference.

 

Stephen Chambers 
score = 90 
I am a therapist/counselor who has worked under a Tobacco Use Prevention Education Grant as a designated high school classroom speaker for 3 year.  I researched the B & W/Wigand case way before the movie came out.  My impression  is that the movie was extreemly accurate and perceptive.  I tell my students that they're old enough now to see how the real world works.  It's an eye opener for many of them.

 

mr.S 
score = 90 
this was a darn good movie. Both Pacino and Crowe deserve oscars. It showed how bad tobacco companies are in an effective way. If you have not seen the movie,see it soon.Pacino is excelllent as a stressed- out TV producer and so is Crowe as a man who's life is damaged.He acted like it was really happening!!!

 

moose 
score = 90 
I saw The Indsider the other day and really loved it.  I do not to a lot of movies and the ones I go to are usually just mindless action movies.  However, despite the length of The Insider the story remains gripping the entire way.  Everyone should see this movie.  The only reason it has a [R] rating is for language and the subject matter, but if you are a parent of a intelligent son or daughter who keeps up on current events, you should really take them to see this movie.

 

karen Lewis 
score = 100 
I saw the movie with a friend last night.........I have two heros in my life now.  Jeffrey Wigand and Lowell Bergman are men that can be pround of themselves each day of their lives.  They're men of character, honor and accountability.  I've been impacted by their dedication to do what's right.  Discounting the odds and the personal sacrafices, they persevered changing the course of history along with the course of their own lives.  I want to believe that they've found happiness, that they are in a place that brings them daily joy.

 

Unknown 
score = 90 
My Favorite Al Pacino is fantastic. He is a natural in this film and I could feel his anger build throughout the movie. He is a winner in my book. Russell Crowe is perfect for Jeffrey Wigand and the despair in his face when he has lost everything for his cause, is without a doubt the most moving moment. This is a long, superlative, movie. Al Pacino is Again Classy!

 

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