The Insider (1999)

(In theaters, November 1999) A film that, like most Michael Mann film, contains some great sequences but ultimately proves to be too long and not focused enough to be satisfying. Part of the problem is that The Insider is about two stories. The first one is about a whistleblower’s decision to tell what he knows, and this part seriously drags. It’s never fun to see someone’s life go to pieces and given that most of us with sufficient knowledge of movies already suspect where this is going, the first hour is overpadded by at least thirty minutes. (Then there’s the assertion that this part seriously distorts “actual facts”, which doesn’t really help the overall film.) Things get better as we move to the second story, which is a tale of journalism gone corporate. That is, at least, a bit more fast-paced and satisfying. Compounding the problem is Mann’s annoying tendency to go for “epic” films, not well-paced ones. The operatic/eastern score is annoying. A long sit, and not always worthwhile.

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