The Insider ★★★½ 1999 (R)
Riveting and controversial film that caused a real-life snit at “60 Minutes” over the facts and portrayals in the story. After Jeffrey Wigand (Crowe) is fired from his top-level tobacco company job, he turns whistleblower, claiming his former employers lied about the dangers of cigarettes. Veteran “60 Minutes” producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino) and newsman Mike Wallace (Plummer) pursue the story—only to be shot down by their own network. The fallout causes ethical consequences for all involved. Performances are outstanding—from the chameleon Crowe to the relatively subdued Pacino and the slyly pompous Plummer. Based on a “Vanity Fair” magazine article. 157m/C VHS, DVD . Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Gina Gershon, Philip Baker Hall, Diane Venora, Lindsay Crouse, Debi Mazar, Stephen Tobolowsky, Colm Feore, Bruce McGill, Michael Gambon, Rip Torn, Lynne Thigpen, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Michael Paul Chan, Wings Hauser, Pete Hamill, Nestor Serrano, Michael Moore; D: Michael Mann; W: Michael Mann, Eric Roth; C: Dante Spinotti; M: Graeme Revell. L.A. Film Critics ‘99: Actor (Crowe), Cinematog., Film, Support. Actor (Plummer); Natl. Bd. of Review ‘99: Actor (Crowe); Natl. Soc. Film Critics ‘99: Actor (Crowe), Support. Actor (Plummer); Broadcast Film Critics ‘99: Actor (Crowe).