Review: The Informant DVD

STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh | STARS: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynskey
RELEASE DATE: 2/23/2010 | PRICE: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray $35.99
BONUSES: additional scenes
SPECS: R | 108 min. | Comedy drama | 1.85:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The prolific Steven Soderbergh tackles the subject of illegal/unethical corporate maneuverings (certainly not a new topic) in The Informant!. The film stars a chubbed-up Matt Damon (The Adjustment Bureau) as agricultural product executive Mark Whiteacre, who finagles himself into being the star witness in a government investigation of an industry-wide price-fixing scam. His immunity, however, quickly becomes endangered when the feds (led by a fine Scott Bakula, TV’s Men of a Certain Age) learn that he may very well be lying — as well as embezzling from the very company that he’s blowing the whistle on.

Based on a real-life case, the movie takes an off-beat, non-specific approach to the material, which is ostensibly presented as a comedy until it all turns uncomfortably dark in the final third.

Not as bright or enthusiastic as Soderbergh’s own Erin Brockovich, nor as ominous and scheming as Michael Mann’s The Insider, The Informant shakily walks a line down the middle.

Fortunately, the cast (the film also includes a stand-out performance by Melanie Lynskey of Win Win as Damon’s overly trusting wife) and the film’s superlative production design are as solid as Damon’s gut before he gained some noticeable weight for this picture.

Considering the cast and director behind this movie, it’s surprising that Warner kept the special features menu so small, but the only extra is some additional scenes.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.