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The Informant! | 2006 | R | - 2.2.5

Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is a biochemist at corn syrup producing company ADM, who becomes a whistleblower by informing the FBI about an international price-fixing scheme. Dreaming of being hailed a hero and taking over ADM, he agrees to a phone tap, wears a wire, and carries a hidden tape recorder, but his stories to his FBI handler (Scott Bakula), his attorneys, his wife, and the media keep changing. Based on a true story. Also with Joel McHale, Mike O'Malley, Melanie Lynskey, Thomas F. Wilson and Andrew Daly. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband hugs his wife twice, and kisses her once. A woman takes a tissue out of her bra in front of her boss to blow her nose (the bra is not seen)
 A man says to himself that it is strange that businessmen in Tokyo buy little girl panties from vending machines in the airports and there must be something wrong with these men. A man thinks to himself about women's sweaters and asks himself who would want an avocado colored wool sweater in his mouth. A male FBI agent asks two male colleagues if a male informant has a woman other than his wife and a child in some town on his business route. A businessman tells male colleagues that a female secretary will ruin her breasts if she becomes pregnant.
 A woman wears a short skirt. In a swimming pool scene a few women are seen in one-piece bathing suits.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Throughout the film, a man with a mild facial tic holds a continuing inner dialogue that may seem mildly macabre, but not accompanied by any images: He says a colleague has blotchy skin and this may signify that the man will die of a stroke; he remembers that he saved the life of a man who was choking in a restaurant by getting the man to throw himself over the back of a chair and cough up a bone; he says you can get a tumor; and he recalls a farmer taking a gun out of his truck and killing an injured horse.
 Armed guards stand around the perimeter of a room.
 A man rips his own jacket sleeve, musses his hair and pretends to limp as he rushes into his home yelling, "They kidnapped me!" and later the man is seen on a talk show talking about men hired by his company kidnapping him. A man lies about an FBI agent hitting him with a briefcase. In a business meeting, an American tells a Japanese man, "We'll just hire some Mafia figure to rub you out. That's a little levity, of course." A woman tells two male FBI agents that her family is receiving threatening calls; they reply that they cannot help her. A man and a woman in separate interviews tell a psychiatrist that the FBI has beaten up the man. A doctor asks a man if anyone in his family was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
 Over a hundred black ants swarm over a small red piece of candy on a city sidewalk in a brief shot.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 9 F-words, 14 scatological references, 6 anatomical references, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (cretin, white guy, good guys, bad guys, white hat, black hat, white knight, mafia thugs, thugs, price fixers, mousie, dodohead, brain-washed, crackpot, forces of darkness, paranoid, men in suits, master puppeteer), 19 stereotypical comments about the Japanese, Nigerians, Koreans, Mexicans, French, Swedes, Germans and women, 3 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man asks if someone has "something up his nose" suggesting cocaine use and two other men say that the man does not use drugs. A man takes a sip from a glass of whiskey, a man holds a glass of whiskey, three men stand in a parking lot and drink beer, two men on a plane receive a glass of whiskey and a bottle of beer and both sip briefly, a man drinks twice form a tall glass of alcohol, at a business dinner, several men raise martini glasses, three men eat pizza and drink beer.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Business ethics, price-fixing, tampering with food supplies, crime and consequences, severe mental disorders, delusions, lying, unhealthy foods, child adoption.

MESSAGE - Crime really doesn't pay, no matter how smart you are.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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