We tend to be suspicious of films that feature exclamation points in their title (although we love Airplane! and Moulin Rouge! ), but we figure the filmmakers wanted us to know that The Informant! is a comedy, so we wouldn’t confuse it with Michael Mann’s The Insider. The movie is based on the book The Informant (A True Story), so the creative team could play fast and loose with the facts by replacing the parenthetical with an exclamation point.
Much like Russell Crowe did in Mann’s title role as a whistleblower, Matt Damon put on a few pounds (and shows off his chunky, not hunky physique). But he appears to be channeling Philip Seymour Hoffman as the schlumpy agribusiness exec who informs on his company, but only the things he wants the F.B.I. to know.
Director Stephen Soderbergh and Damon have worked together before on Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, and the Academy Award winner gets quality performances from his star and the rest of the cast. The film offers a few laughs and a great soundtrack from Marvin Hamlisch. But when it comes to Soderbergh whistleblower films, we’d prefer to look at Erin Brockovich.