Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is working with the FBI to take down his employer ADM, a lysine manufacturer. It’s not glamorous, but that’s alright – it’s not supposed to be.
At first Mark seems like the good guy, going to the FBI to inform on anti-trust infractions that his company is involved in, but as he gets deeper and deeper his personality unravels revealing the complexity of lies and greed that bubbles just under the surface of his crushing banality. As his stories to the Feds crumble under the pressure of the truth his embezzlement comes to light, and he becomes the focus of the U.S. Attorney’s wrath.
The film is actually based on the true story of the highest-ranking corporation whistleblower is U.S. history. The script by Scott Z. Burns is based on the book by Kurt Eichenwald of the same name minus the exclamation point.
As a viewer who isn’t familiar with the original story, you’ll feel just as lied and cheated as those that Whitacre encounters in the film. It’s not predictable, so you may end up finding Whitacre to be just as convincing as the FBI did.
It’s one of Matt Damon’s best performances yet and one of Steven Soderberg (director) best films. However, the disappointment comes in the Blu-ray release. The features are lacking and completely unsatisfying. While deleted scenes and audio commentary are enjoyable, I would have loved a featurette focusing on the actual true story that inspired the book and the film.
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