A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and professional lives.
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 come out? Written by
The first of three films in three successive years in which Russell Crowe was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in a film which was also nominated for Best Picture. This film was followed by Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001). He won Best Actor for Gladiator, while that film and A Beautiful Mind both won Best Picture. See more »
When Lowell asks his assistant to get Dr. Wigand on the phone the next cut shows Dr. Wigand on a pay phone in a public area. He could have been paged. See more »
Not always, but usually a Michael Mann-directed film means good things for movie buffs, and this is no exception.
Tremendous acting highlights this movie about a behind-the-scenes look at a "60 Minutes" story of a man who blows the whistle on a tobacco company. Al Pacino, as the TV show producer "Lowell Bergman," Russell Crowe as the whistle-blower and tobacco scientist "Dr. Jeffrey Wiegand," and Christopher Plummer as "Mike Wallace" all are riveting in their performances. They are intense characters, as are many of the supporting characters in this involving film.
There is little action in here but a ton of tension in the first hour of this long (158 min.) film. The story held my interest even when the tension left, thanks to the acting, the great cinematography, involving music score....well, just about everything. It's simply a well-done movie, similar to Mann's "Heat," except without the violence.
The only negative was the obvious Liberal bias, but that's not surprising being it's about "60 Minutes." I wasn't surprised when Ken Starr got a cheap shot, for example. This film bias could have been a lot more blatant so I'm not complaining. Obviously, they went a overboard in their stand against the tobacco industry, repeating the same damaging scenes over and over. However, I appreciated they didn't shrink from pointing out how the network was covering its own behind even though it was hurting its most successful program.
Photographer Dante Spinelli did an incredible job making this look fantastic despite the fact that there was no great scenery or exotic sets. As mentioned, this is just great film-making. What else can you say?
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