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The Insider (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  5 November 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 126,555 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 517 user | 205 critic | 34 from

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.



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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Kluster


Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth out? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Warning: Exposing the Truth May Be Hazardous See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

5 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

60 Minutes  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,712,361 (USA) (5 November 1999)


$28,965,197 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After reading an early draft of The Good Shepherd (2006), Michael Mann approached Eric Roth to help write the script. See more »


When Lowell Bergman has an argument with Jeffrey Wigand outside of his house in the rain, the amount of wetness on the back of Wigand's suit jacket varies from soaked to almost completely dry. See more »


Richard Scruggs: I'd be lying to you if I did not tell you how important it was in a court of public opinion.
Lowell Bergman: And I'd be lying if I did not tell, I'm about out of moves, Dick.
See more »


References Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) See more »


Uotaaref Men Elihabek
Written by J. Baird, Frank Gari (as F. Gari)
Performed by Casbah Orchestra
Courtesy of Legacy International
By Arrangement with Frank Garl Productions & Bully Music Associates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The film that keeps on giving
4 May 2000 | by (OC, California) – See all my reviews

I first wanted to see 'The Insider' because it professed to show the truth behind the lies of the Tobacco Industry. My wife and I saw it and were thoroughly impressed. In fact we've now seen it 5 times (I think, though I may have lost count).

If you go to the movies to be entertained mindlessly, do NOT see this movie, you will bored. This movie is for people who like to think, and who like to receive superior presentation of thought provoking material. The Insider has all that.

The movie gets you thinking about mankind. The obvious problem with human nature is obvious in this movie. The Tobacco companies knowingly selling addictive product, whilst claiming it is not. And then almost, almost but not quite, getting away with ruining an individual's life, an individual who's conscience was pricked by what they had seen.

But then it moves into the CBS drama, where again the hopelessness of mankind in general shines through. The strength of two individuals though manages to win the day, which is what makes this true story so unusual.

I found that (contrary to those who complained of the movies length) every scene that Mann has given us has a reason. A good reason. From the opening scenes depicting an evil far from USA. To the hints as to why we didn't hear anything about the drama when it happened, because the OJ murder story and media frenzy drowned out what should be to us all a much more serious matter.

For me the crowning moment in the film was when Russell Crowe (as Wigand) was about to dig into a hamburger when behind him on TV a newscaster reported findings about him, bad (though unfounded) findings. Crowe put his knife and fork back down in a way that told us all that he had no more appetite, in fact all the will left in him had been violently thrust away, thrust away by the selfish interests of the Tobacco companies.

All in all this is a complete movie that deserved its 7 nominations and should have gotten some awards. The sound was great, as was the camera work. If you love an artistic movie, you will love this one. Crowe is thoroughly believable and has cemented himself as a first rate actor, capable of playing just about any part put his way. Pacino is very well cast, Plummer is a class act, and a host of supporting cast did themselves proud.

What we can't forget about this movie, for all its drama, and for the pointed view it gives us of the nature we bear, its a TRUE STORY. Thats what really makes it shocking. And only those driven to the ends of despair and loneliness such as Wigand and Bergmann were, can really truly realise another fact pointed out in the movie, in the end of it all, we are nothing anyway, so what does it all matter?

See it!

143 of 171 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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