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The Insider  

Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino)
Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe)
Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer)
Don Hewitt (Philip Baker Hall)
Richard Shruggs (Colm Feore)
Liane Wigand (Diane Venora)

Directed by Michael Mann Written by Michael Mann and Eric Roth, based on the "Vanity Fair" article "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Marie Brenner Rated R for language Running Time: 158 minutes Distributed by Touchstone
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The Insider is a great film that is nothing short of a triumph. The film is based on the true story about tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand (Crowe) and his relationship with 60 minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino). The film is pieced together by Wigand and Bergman's strives to expose one of the biggest public health issues ever in American history. Wigand wants to reveal the truth about the practices inside the tobacco industry, and Bergman wants to air it on 60 minutes. However, the two character's lives are change by their actions.

The Insider is a terrific movie that paces itself excellently from beginning to end. The Insider clicks on all cylinders and delivers an important story that happen not too long ago.

Michael Mann and Eric Roth wrote The Insider. The script is very well written with sharp dialogue. The story does follow the real incident that happen in 1995 with a whistleblower from the tobacco industry. Though the content in film has stirred up controversy with CBS, Mann and Roth very presentably state at the end of the film that some actual situations were changed to bring more drama to the story. This was a wise choice by the two writers because one never wants to start a conflict due to the content in your story. However, most of the script is true according to the writer's research. Mann and Roth very carefully researched this incident, then developed a very good script. The script just doesn't focus on the outcome of Wigand and Bergman's actions, it also shows the relationship that was built between the two and how both of them became victims of the media. The two writers based their script off of Marie Brenner's Vanity Fair article about Wigand called, "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Mann and Roth's names should be buzzing come Oscar time for best screenplay.

Michael Mann also graciously directed The Insider. Mann's previous credits include Manhunter, Last of the Mohicans, and Heat. In my opinion, Michael Mann is one of the most underrated directors in Hollywood. The man is flat out talented. He was also the mind behind creating the Miami Vice series for television in the 80's. Mann just seems to be so patient with his work. He doesn't rush into anything or leave a lot of loopholes by bad sequencing. With The Insider, he presents a real life story very effectively.

The acting in The Insider is splendid. Al Pacino's performance as 60 minutes producer Lowell Bergman is masterful. Pacino leads the audience through the highs and lows of being a big shot producer. As Pacino is given more and more obstacles, his performance becomes more and more memorable. Russell Crowe is outstanding as the whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand. Crowe went into great depths with his character. I learned that Crowe ate many cheeseburgers and drank a lot of bourbon to gain weight to reflect the appearance of Jeffrey Wigand. Crowe is so gracious and he leaves the audience feeling very sorry for Wigand. The whole cast is pretty stable and respectable. However, the charge is led by a gifted legend, Pacino, and an up and coming talent, Crowe.

The Insider is a good film that I believe everybody should see. Everyone should know the concepts and principles involved with the media and corruption in America today. I believe that my statements hit closer to home with me since I am a media major, and I know that things like this happen all the time. The Insider reflects a piece of our world that some people try to shut up and forget about. However, this film exploits very precisely and powerfully.

Report Card Grade: A

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