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The Informant! (2009)The Informant! (2009)

Yes, that's an exclamation point and for a good reason. Matt Damon stars as Mark Whitacre, an executive whistle blower at Archer Daniels Midland in the early 1990s. As the FBI's key informant, Whitacre made 200-some tapes that documented ADM's global price-fixing scheme. When all the lawyering was done, ADM paid $500 million in fines, and three executives spent about three years in jail. That's the easy part. But director Stephen Soderbergh places Whitacre at the center of the story as a micro version of corporate greed. He's brilliant (he earned a PhD from Cornell), disarming, and mentally ill. He also embezzled $9 million in kick-backs and money-laundering from ADM at the same time that he was collaborating with the FBI. For that he went to prison for almost nine years. People today still argue whether he was a hero. Soderbergh seems to use Whitacre as a metaphor for corporate greed, rationalizations, and genuine craziness run amuck. The film is based upon the book by Kurt Eichenwald, “The Informant: A True Story.”

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