The Insider

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"Two men driven to tell the truth … whatever the cost."
  • R
  • 1999
  • 2 hr 37 min
  • 7.8  (180,544)
  • 84

The Insider is a 1999 film that follows the story of a tobacco industry insider, Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russell Crowe, who exposes the industry's corrupt practices. The film is based on a true story and is directed by Michael Mann. The film begins with Jeffrey Wigand, a former vice president of Brown & Williamson, being fired from his job. Despite signing a confidentiality agreement, he decides to reveal to the world the company's misleading practices regarding the health effects of nicotine. Jeffrey contacts Lowell Bergman, a producer for 60 Minutes, to share his story with the media. Bergman is played by Al Pacino.

After discovering the magnitude of his story, Bergman uses his resources to pursue the story, but finds himself facing fierce opposition from the tobacco industry's legal team. This prompts him to hire a lawyer, Richard Scruggs, played by Bruce McGill, who also happens to be an expert in fighting against tobacco companies. Scruggs is instrumental in helping Bergman to put together the story of Jeffrey Wigand, making sure that it can withstand any legal attacks from the tobacco industry.

As the story unfolds, it becomes more complex, and the characters are faced with ethical and moral dilemmas. For instance, Wigand must decide whether to reveal his testimony, knowing that he could be sued for breaking the confidentiality agreement. Also, 60 Minutes producer Bergman faces the prospect of losing his contacts within the industry if he goes through with the story.

The movie's plot is aided by the exceptional performances of Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, both of whom were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Crowe's portrayal of the internal struggle of Jeffrey is convincing, and it's easy to see the toll that the events of the story take on him. Pacino's portrayal of Bergman, on the other hand, highlights the worries of a seasoned journalist going up against a powerful industry.

Christopher Plummer also features prominently in the movie. He plays Mike Wallace, the legendary journalist who anchors 60 Minutes. Plummer's performance stands out, as he captures Wallace's mannerisms perfectly, breathing life into his character.

The movie's cinematography and score are also praiseworthy. The opening credits alone, with the camera moving through different tobacco products, offers a powerful statement about the influence of the industry. The film's score was composed by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke, and it adds to the film's overall sense of suspense and drama.

In addition to its engaging plot and cinematic qualities, The Insider offers a thought-provoking commentary on the state of the tobacco industry in the late 1990s. The movie questions the ethics of the tobacco industry, as well as those of the news media, and offers an insight into the costly legal battles fought by those who try to stand up against the industry's power.

In conclusion, The Insider is a compelling drama that combines suspense and ethical dilemmas to create a memorable film. Russell Crowe and Al Pacino's performances, together with the supporting cast, add further credibility to the story. The movie is also noteworthy for its commentary on the power of the tobacco industry and how it can influence public opinion. Over twenty years after it was released, The Insider remains a relevant and engaging film that conveys important messages about the relationship between corporations, media, and the public.

The Insider is a 1999 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 37 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8 and a MetaScore of 84.

The Insider
Where to Watch The Insider
The Insider is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Insider for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (180,544)
  • Metascore