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The Informant! (2009)

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The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.



(screenplay), (book)
3,696 ( 109)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 18 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander Whitacre (as Lucas Carroll)
Kirk Schmidt
Liz Taylor
Discouraged Foreman
Mark Cheviron (as Tom Wilson)
Sid Hulse
FBI Special Agent Kate Medford
FBI Special Agent Dean Paisley


Mark Whitacre has worked for lysine developing company ADM for many years and has even found his way into upper management. But nothing has prepared him for the job he is about to undertake - being a spy for the FBI. Unwillingly pressured into working as an informant against the illegal price-fixing activities of his company, Whitacre gradually adopts the idea that he's a true secret agent. But as his incessant lies keep piling up, his world begins crashing down around him. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


un-believ-able See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El desinformante  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,464,314, 20 September 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,313,582, 13 December 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The address to the Swedish bio-chem firm that Whitacre used to steal money from ADM happens to be the address to a real bio-chem firm in Lund (Novozymes Biopharma AB). Novozymes had nothing to do with the events depicted in the film though, as the company was founded in 2000. See more »


After the F.B.I's raid on A.D.M. in 1995. Whitacre sitting in a theater, watches The Firm which is a film released two years prior to when the scene took place. See more »


[first lines]
Mark Whitacre: [voiceover] You know that orange juice you have every morning? You know what's in that? Corn. And you know what's in the maple syrup you put on your pancakes? You know what makes it taste so good? Corn. And when you're good and help with the trash, you know what makes the big, green bags biodegradable?
Mark Whitacre: [to his son] Do you?
Alexander Whitacre: Uh-huh. Corn.
Mark Whitacre: Corn *starch*. But Daddy's company didn't come up with that one. DuPont did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Prologue: "While this motion picture is based on real events, certain incidents and characters are composites, and dialog has been dramatized. So there." See more »


References Gilligan's Island: The Invasion (1966) See more »


Trust Me
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Produced and Performed by Steve Tyrell
Steve Tyrell appears courtesy of E1 Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Your White Hat is a bit Dirty
19 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Steven Soderbergh is a genius with a camera. Just admiring the shots, angles and movement of the camera in his films is worth the price of admission. Here we get a fact-based story from the book by Kurt Eichenwald showing us what happened when Mark Whitacre became one of the most famous corporate whistle-blowers of all time ... he exposed price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland, the ag-giant.

Matt Damon takes this quasi-caricature and turns him into a comedy act along the lines of Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. OK, I'll admit, there is more subtlety here than in that one. Still, the voice-overs by Damon's character provide the ramblings of a madman - an ADD, embezzling madman.

There is so much comedy here that it is easy to forget what heinous crimes the senior management of this company actually committed - and how arrogant to think they could get away with it. This again shows that many in the corporate world are the equals of even the most corrupt politicians. Power and Greed are all-consuming.

While, I don't know the details of the real story, it was interesting to watch Whitacre's interacting/playing with the FBI agents (Scott Bacula and Joel McHale). They want to believe him and are actually crushed when his game is exposed.

A real Soderbergh touch is the casting of both Smothers Brothers in unrelated roles. Very nice. It is very difficult for me to believe that someone as intelligent and shrewd as Whitacre could actually be so, well, goofy. But it does add an entertainment element to the film. I will say it is not at the level of far superior "The Insider" or even "Catch Me if You Can", but it is quite watchable.

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