Ten years after its release, this film stands up very well. Russell Crowe’s best performance and the brilliant Al Pacino, allied to Michael Mann’s excellent direction, make this a very satisfying thriller. In addition its subject matter, corporate lies and cover up, are exceptionally topical given wiki-leaks’ revelations.
Rarely can a widescreen film used close ups so much simultaneously offering a claustrophobic mise en scene – we often see scenes partly through the spectacles of Pacino’s Lowell Bergman – and wide spaces where the world continues oblivious to the events portrayed in the film. Corporate resistance to press investigation – see FIFA’s World Cup decision – is brilliantly dramatised; it is possible that without Wigand’s, and Bergman’s, bravery the Big Tobacco would still be peddling the lie that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.
This is certainly Michael Mann’s best film and I look forward to him dramatising Julian Assange’s heroics.