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Friday, November 5, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 54

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The Insidergets inside the world of politics and corruption



The Insider

Starring: Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer
Running Time: 158 minutes
Rating: R

Grade: B-


By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand is the key witness in one of the biggest multibillion-dollar lawsuits against the tobacco industry. He is the head of research and development and a corporate officer, a top-notch scientist for a tobacco company, and he knows a little too much.

By knowing too much, he gets fired. His life will also be threatened if he goes public with what he knows. He is the ultimate insider, the main man who can jeopardize the tobacco company.


Al Pacino stars as investigative reporter and 60 Minuted producer Lowell Bergman in th enew thriller The Insider.

Frank Connor/Touchstone Pictures

That is the main focus of the new movie The Insider by Michael Mann.

Wigand (Russell Crowe) is approached by Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), an investigative reporter and 60 Minutes producer who wants Wigand to go public.

As the story unfolds, the events become more complicated. Questions begin to arise once Bergman films a segment with Wigand telling the truth. Will CBS, the mother network of 60 Minutes, air it? What will become of Wigand, whose life and family are constantly in jeopardy?

This case is extremely interesting, exploring the behind-the-scenes regulators of the press and the many means by which money can rule out logical and apropos decisions.

Based on the article "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Marie Brenner, which appeared in the May 1996 issue of Vanity Fair, The Insider is thought-provoking, intense and true story that is intelligent and entertaining.

Crowe (Mystery, Alaska) is superb as Wigand, the whistle-blower who eventually brings the case to light. Lawsuits filed by Mississippi and 49 other states against the tobacco industry eventually drew $246 billion.

Crowe's dramatic structure is profound and professional.

Equally exceptional is Pacino (Donnie Brasco), who doesn't allow Crowe to sink to the bottom. The audience will appreciate Pacino's talent and smooth style.

Pacino makes the scenes intense with his intimidating presence while keeping the audience calm with his nonchalant wit. This performance is one of his best.

The supporting cast is also dynamic, including Christopher Plummer a well-protrayed role as legendary television journalist Mike Wallace. 

One annoying thing about The Insider is the length of the movie. Though most movies last about two hours, this film seems to go on forever.

Is it worth sitting for almost three hours? Well, they could have chopped off some parts, but despite that, the film is intensely enjoyable.
 

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