Quick movie review: "The Informant!"

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Okay, minor, fact-based comedy/drama about an overeager whistle-blower (Matt Damon) whose information is valuable to the authorities, but whose personal credibility becomes increasingly shaky as the investigation goes on. Damon gained 30 pounds for his role in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!. Why didn't they save all that wear and tear on Damon's body and just hire Philip Seymour Hoffman? The exclamation point in the title is annoying, as is Marvin Hamlisch's oppressively jaunty score, which sounds like he plucked it right out of The Sting and slathered it all over this story. We get it, Mr. Soderbergh, you want to make it clear that the movie is lighter than the somber fare (Che, anyone?) that people associate with your name, but why resort to exclamation points and boorishly manipulative music? You made Ocean's Eleven and its sequels — we know you have a lighter side. So back off, man, back off! Bottom line: The Informant! is interesting, quirky and sad. It loses momentum for a while in the middle. Damon's stream-of-consciousness voice-overs provide some laughs along with a degree of insight into the deluded, self-destructive whistle-blower. 108 minutes.

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Society & Individual