The Informers

"OK"

The Informers Review


Here's another entry to the all-star multi-strand Los Angeles ensemble drama genre (see Short Cuts, Magnolia, Crash, Southland Tales). But while this one features strong acting and stylish filmmaking, it's emotionally empty.

In 1983 L.A., studio exec William (Thornton) wants to reconcile with his heavily medicated wife Laura (Basinger) while continuing to see his self-doubting TV newscaster mistress (Ryder). Their son Graham (Foster) is indulging in drugs and sex with his girlfriend (Heard) and best pal (Nichols), who's also sleeping with Laura for cash. Meanwhile, Graham's doorman (Renfro) is trying to please his criminal father figure (Rourke), but Graham's friend Tim (Pucci) has no interest in connecting with his dad (Isaak).

Based on a book of intertwined stories by Ellis, the film is infused with his astute take on the 1980s lifestyle of the rich and lazy, as echoed in references to Reagan, group sex, Aids and the ubiquitous MTV. But unlike Less Than Zero or especially American Psycho, this film fails to capture Ellis' sarcastic tone. Instead of wry observations, we get wallowing drama. Individual scenes are sharply well-directed by Jordan, but the characters are far too shallow and aimless to care about.

This isn't the cast's fault. The standout is Ryder, who quietly creates the film's only sympathetic character. Basinger is also good in a showier role, while Pucci and the late Renfro find resonance in their maddeningly underwritten scenes. And Foster does a nice job in the central role, around whom everyone else connects. We're interested in him and want to know more about the ambiguous situations and feelings he encounters, but nothing ever comes into focus.

This is a big problem in a film like this, which needs the momentum of dramatic tension to carry us to a climactic convergence of the themes. But this never happens. We think it might come through the impending concert performance of a junkie rock star (Raido) or a pivotal confrontation between William and Laura or Tim and his father. But every plot fizzles out in a vague sense of tragic angst. And in watching people live such vacuous, clone-like lives of privilege and decadence, it's impossible to feel anything for them.



The Informers

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 11th June 2009

Distributed by: Senator International

Production compaines: Senator Entertainment Co

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as William, as Laura, as Peter, as Cheryl Laine, as Graham, as Christie, as Roger, as Les Price, as Martin, as Tim Price, as Bryan Metro, as Jack, Theo Rossi as Spaz, Suzanne Ford as Bruce's Mother, Cameron Goodman as Susan Sloan, as Mary, as Patty, as Rachel, Simone Kessell as Nina Metro, Milena Arango as Miss Nebraska, Kimberly Evan as Red Carpet Woman, Valentina Garcia as The P.A., Anne Bergstedt Jordanova as Party Girl

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.