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Parents' Guide to

The Informant!

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Playful tale of corporate misdeeds may interest some teens.

Movie R 2009 108 minutes
The Informant! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 15+

an enjoyable witty odd comedy.

A rising star in the agricultural industry suddenly turns whistleblower in hopes of gaining a lucrative promotion and becoming a hero of the common people, inadvertently revealing his penchant for helping himself to the corporate coffers and ultimately threatening to derail the very investigation he helped to launch in this offbeat comedy from Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh. Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) was fast rising through the ranks at agri-industry powerhouse Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) when he became savvy to the company's multinational price-fixing conspiracy, and decided to turn evidence for the FBI. Convinced that he'll be hailed as a hero of the people for his efforts, Whitacre agrees to wear a wire in order to gather the evidence needed to convict the greedy money-grabbers at ADM. Unfortunately, both the case -- and Whitacre's integrity -- are compromised when FBI agents become frustrated by their informant's ever-shifting account, and discover that he isn't exactly the saintly figure he made himself out to be. Unable to discern reality from Whitacre's fantasy as they struggle to build their case against ADM, the FBI watches in horror as the highest-ranking corporate bust in U.S. history threatens to implode before their very eyes. Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, and Melanie Lynskey co-star. well again a movie that i rated Not Interested previously but it was on TV so i saw it, it is happening alot nowadays lol. this movie is really different and odd movie, a little strange too. but i liked it, it is really interesting movie to watch i was really amused by it, it is a really intelligent quirky funny spy movie. Matt Damon stars as Mark Whitacre, he lies lies and more lies to cover the previous ones and towards the end he gets caught up really bad. i really liked this thing that even towards the end it kept me guessing, i had no idea it was him who was lying, that is so weird i loved it. movie is really in a narrative way, as in Matt Damon's character whatever he thinks is narrated and you will love it, after the story, acting and the funny premise of it, it is something to like and enjoy. Matt Damon wen't on a complete physical transformation for this role as you can see, he seems really good in it and strange too. he was really underrated in this movie he did an amazing job in this movie i really liked his performance. loved it. Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey, Rick Overton , Tom Papa , Tony Hale , Adam Paul etc co stars. they are just above average in it but the real star here is Matt Damon. he is the reason i loved this movie and so will you. i admit that story in interesting and enjoyable screenplay is okay not very good, it is slow and dull at places. direction is good for a weird spy comedy. Steven Soderberg, one of my favorites, i like him. he is good with comedies i must say. editing was good, cinematography and art direction were good too. go see it if you wan't to.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 12+
My 13 yo son and I both enjoyed it. Hard to follow in spots but intriguing and thought provoking. Definitely promotes message that lying doesn't pay. The extent of Matt Damon's character's mental illness was underplayed compared to the real life story on which it is based.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (11 ):

Based on a true story, this movie is never what it seems. It reads espionage but winds up a farce. It looks dated, but with all the corporate intrigues in recent headlines, it feels au courant. And there's Whitacre, portrayed sympathetically by Damon, whose performance borders on caricature but doesn't cross the line. From the moment we hear him speak through voiceovers that reveal his musings -- which ping-pong from his favorite German word ("kugelschreiber") to the texture of avocado to his ambitions at ADM -- we sense that something's not quite right. But is it his company? The government? Or Mark himself?

Director Steven Soderbergh balances comedy and intrigue masterfully. Had he opted for a straightforward retelling, The Informant! could easily have veered into tedium. But this treatment feels just right. After all, Whitacre isn't your average whistle-blower: He's bumbling, indiscreet, and grandiose (at least in this take on his story). Soderbergh includes the audience while simultaneously leaving them befuddled, part of the same perplexing ride that nearly everyone else Whitacre encounters is on. The score (by Marvin Hamlisch), the set design -- it's all right on target, down to the cutesy exclamation point in the title.

Movie Details

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