he Informant! is "a return to form" for director Steven Soderbergh, said David Denby in The New Yorker, and the film's star, Matt Damon, "is on fire." Based on a book of the same name about "corporate whistle-blower" Mark Whitacre (played by Damon), The Informant! (watch the trailer) is "a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious" as Whitacre takes foolish risks to expose price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland.
"If you're on Soderbergh's wavelength," said Marshall Fine in Hollywood & Fine, "you'll laugh yourself silly at the chutzpah of The Informant!" But the entire movie is "built around a Damon performance that captures the manic high of a man who needs a lithium drip," and it will "either amuse or infuriate you, depending on your tolerance for the ramblings of someone suffering from attention-deficit disorder spiked with a case of bipolarity."
The Informant! could have been a compelling exploration of "corporate misbehavior," said David Edelstein in New York magazine. Instead, Soderburgh made it merely a Halloween freak show featuring a "fatted Matt Damon" with a pompadour wig and thick glasses. Exploring the duality of Whitacre's psyche is simply not that interesting—"he's just a nut."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- The Daily Show has some fun mocking the CPAC power players
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- 10 things you need to know today: March 11, 2014
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
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