CATEGORIES Reviews, Fall Movies
Matt Damon in The InformantThere's a reason the title of the Steven Soderbergh-directed black comedy 'The Informant!' has an exclamation point at the end ... and his name is Matt Damon. The always-magnetic actor has never been better than he is as real-life whistleblower Mark Whiatcre, a high-ranking executive at agribusiness behemoth Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) who, in the early 1990s, turned informant to help the FBI prosecute his employers for price-fixing. Read the full review after the jump. Matt Damon in The InformantThere's a reason the title of the Steven Soderbergh-directed black comedy 'The Informant!' has an exclamation point at the end ... and his name is Matt Damon. The always-magnetic actor has never been better than he is as real-life whistleblower Mark Whiatcre, a high-ranking executive at agribusiness behemoth Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) who, in the early 1990s, turned informant to help the FBI prosecute his employers for price-fixing.

That may sound like some pretty dry, well-tread territory, but let me assure you that it is anything but. Rather than play the tale as a straight-up drama, Soderbergh and Damon fashion 'The Informant' into a hysterical black comedy about a man who is so delusional, so far detached from reality that he thinks he's a superspy (he calls himself 0014 because he's "twice as smart as 007") and believes he'll be made CEO of ADM after he has his bosses thrown in the slammer. Seriously, this is the stuff of classic comedy.

As if his performance weren't already worthy of an Oscar nom, Damon went the physical transformation route for the role, gaining 30 pounds courtesy of McDonald's Extra Value Meals and donning a sweet handlebar 'stache and horrendously hilarious toupee. So, yeah, somebody may want to clear space in their trophy case.

On a final note, it's great to see 'Quantum Leap' (and, yes, 'Major League II: Back to the Minors') star Scott Bakula get a juicy role again. He plays the good-hearted Fed who teams up with Damon to build a case against ADM, and their scenes together are without a question the film's most entertaining. Here's to hoping he never, ever has to go 'Back to the Minors.'


'The Informant!' showtimes & tickets
Must-See Fall Movies | Toronto Film Festival Highlights


More Editors' Picks:
'Extract' | 'Inglourious Basterds' | 'District 9'