With the global success of the 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Ocean's Eleven' franchises, it's easy to forget just how versatile an actor Matt Damon is - from 'The Talented Mr Ripley' to 'The Good Shepherd' to 'Syriana'. Here's another film to remind you.
Based on the true story of a massive price-fixing case in the US, 'The Informant!' casts Damon as Mark Whitacre, the whistleblower scientist at agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Whitacre initially comes into contact with the FBI because of an investigation into an ADM blackmail attempt, but once he starts talking he can't stop and soon he unburdens himself about how every American has been fleeced by the time they've finished breakfast. But what exactly is motivating Whitacre to do the right thing? Honesty? Vanity? Panic? A desire to live out his own fantasy? Or all of them?
While it mostly takes place in the early to mid-1990s, 'The Informant!' is a love letter to the conspiracy thrillers and filmmaking of the 1970s - the credits font is old school, there's a tape recorder at the start like you'd see in 'The Conversation', the music is by Marvin Hamlisch and 'Ocean's director Soderbergh is in no rush to tell his story. So if you're looking for thrills and smart ass dialogue look elsewhere, but if you want to see Damon in one of his best roles and enjoy some great, 'this really happened!' laughs buy your ticket. Damon might even get an Oscar nomination for this and while 'The Informant!' isn't going to fill cinemas, most of the people who decide to watch it will leave happy and wishing him the best.