The Insider

  • Review Date: January 11, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 157 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fascinating whistleblower story for older teens.
  • Review Date: January 11, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 157 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Brief shot of dead body; characters in peril.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Strong and frequent.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has tense scenes, strong language, smoking, and some drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In THE INSIDER, Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a research scientist for a tobacco company, tells 60 Minutes that the company is more aware of the addictive properties of nicotine than its executives claimed and in fact manipulated the delivery of nicotine. Show producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) promises to protect him. But executives cut Wigand's portion from the broadcast because they're worried about a lawsuit by the tobacco company. Wigand and Bergman are caught in parallel moral dilemmas. Both are loyal to their organizations until they witness what they perceive as acts of corruption. Both respond by making their stories public, resulting in struggle and sacrifice. The question is not one of disloyalty, but of conflicting loyalties. Wigand knows that telling the truth will hurt him and his family more than it hurts the tobacco company.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although the movie is based on a real-life incident, some of the names and details have been changed. Director/co-screenwriter Michael Mann very skillfully makes every shot and every note of the soundtrack help shape the story so that the viewer sees Bergman's perspective. (One hint: the Bergman character is unerringly fair and honest.) Families should be sure to discuss the point of view of the movie, and how it would differ if it was told from Wigand's, Wallace's, or the tobacco company's point of view.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the point of view of the movie. Director/co-screenwriter Michael Mann very skillfully makes every shot and every note of the soundtrack help shape the story so that the viewer sees Bergman's perspective. (One hint: the Bergman character is unerringly fair and honest.) Families could also discuss how the movie would be different if it was told from Wigand's, Wallace's, or the tobacco company's point of view.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 5, 1999
DVD release date:April 11, 2000
Cast:Al Pacino, Debi Mazar, Russell Crowe
Director:Michael Mann
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:157 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

This review of The Insider was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 17, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Profanity and the main theme of smoking and the tobacco company is the only reason why this should be kept away from tween's

Endlessly fascinating and extremely well mad, the Insider is a haunting account of one mans attempt at getting back his life after being fired and of the enormous consequences that come with this, and of the man on the outside who is just trying to get a story. Honestly, this movie really isn't all that offensie for most teens, aside from the infrequent but very strong profanity which accoutns for at least 34 F-words, and also which is not in the least bit expected at all, the constant theme and visual image of smoking. A spellbindingly interesting movie this is, but most tweens will be bored.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide