The Informant!

Synopsis: Mark Whitacre has worked for lysine developing company ADM for many years and has even found his way into upper management. But nothing has prepared him for the job he is about to undertake - being a spy for the FBI. Unwillingly pressured into working as an informant against the illegal price-fixing activities of his company, Whitacre gradually adopts the idea that he's a true secret agent. But as his incessant lies keep piling up, his world begins crashing down around him.
Director(s): Steven Soderbergh
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

You know that orange juice

you have every morning?

You know what's in that?


And you know what's in the maple syrup

on your pancakes?

You know what makes it taste so good?

Corn. When you're good

and help with the trash... know what makes the big,

green bags biodegradable?

Do you?


Corn starch.

But Daddy's company didn't come up

with that one. DuPont did.

Porsche or Porsche?

I've heard it both ways.

Three years in Germany, I should know.

What's German for "corn"?

The German word I really like is

kugelschreiber. That's "pen."

All those syllables just for "pen."

Archer Daniels Midland.

Most people have never heard of us.

Chances are, they've never

had a meal we're not part of.

Just read the side of the package.

That's us. Now ADM

is taking the dextrose from the corn...

...and turning it into an amino acid

called lysine. It's all very scientific.

If you're a stockholder...

...all that matters is corn goes in one end

and profit comes out the other.

We have the largest lysine plant

in the worid. That's where I come in.

- Hey, Kirk.

- Mark.

- When are we gonna hit some balls?

- Anytime.

What do they pay Kirk?

What does a guy like that get?

I bet he gets a hundred grand.

He's just gonna sit behind that desk

and ride it into the future.

Good morgen.

- Morning, Mark.

- Morning.

They have lysine results.


We adjusted the dextrose levels

again, but the virus keeps showing up.

I thought we had it surrounded this time.

We started a new set of cultures.

We'll get it.

We just have to stay after it.

The things eat sugar

and that's what we're giving them.

A warm place filled with sugar.

The f***ing thing is supposed to

produce 113,000 tons annually.

We're not gonna get anywhere

close to that.

We've got over $150 million in

costs over there, guys.

Do the Japanese have these problems?

I don't give a sh*t about the Japanese.

You've gotta get

the goddamn lysine bugs... eat some dextrose

and sh*t us out some money.

We're having problems with this virus.

I don't want to hear about the virus.

How much are we losing a month?

We are down like seven million per.

That's not gonna fly much longer.

You want to go in next month, tell my

father we're sucking the hind tit on this?

I sure don't.

We're number 44 on the Fortune 500 list,


I don't want this turning us

into number 45.

Fix it.

Feed a chicken corn and it gets sick,

like what happened to the first settlers.

Pellagra disease. Niacin deficiency.

Gave them all sorts of problems:

dermatitis, ataxia, even dementia.

Feed a chicken corn and lysine and

it goes from egg to supermarket fryer... six months instead of eight.


Where are you?

Hey, you look great.


They got the first wall of the stables

up today. See that?

You know they're doing a new thing

in hydroponics?

They're now feeding lysine

to the jumbo shrimp.

Can you imagine that?

You're a jumbo shrimp

and one day some corn goes floating by.

What do you think about that?

Weird, right?

There's an opening

in the plant in Mexico.

They might need me to go down

and set some stuff up.

What do you think about Mexico?

I thought we were getting horses.


That's what Spanish bullfighters say.

But it's also what the Japanese call

the high-end tuna sushi.

Toro. Raw fish.

Who went first on that one?

The guy without the grill.

I've been to Tokio.

They sell little-girl underwear... the vending machines right

on the main drag, the Ginza, or whatever.

Guys in suits buying used girl panties.

How is that okay? That's not okay.


There's a Mr. Nakawara calling

from the Ajinomoto Corporation.

He says you know him

and he needs to speak with you.

Yeah, put him through.

It's the Japanese. There's this guy,

Nakawara. He works at Ajinomoto.

He was here a couple weeks ago.

You met him.

I've been talking to him at work,

but sometimes from home...

...because of the time difference.

Mick, this guy knew everything.


He says to me, "Hey, you know that total

nightmare you guys had May, June, July?"

Before I ask him what he's talking about,

he goes:

"Those months when ADM was losing

$7 million a month in the lysine business."

Mick, I couldn't believe it.

He goes on to tell me

that one of our highest-paid employees... actually an employee of Ajinomoto,

who is sabotaging the plant.

They're injecting a virus into the dextrose

and contaminating the whole deal.

That's the problem.

I'm telling you, Mick, it's like Rising Sun.

It's like the Crichton novel.

It's just like that.

I go, "Why are you talking to me?"

Know what he says?

Yeah, I know what he says.

How much does he want?

Ten million dollars.

Ten million, but that gives you

the identity of the saboteur...

...the secret identity, and a new lysine bug

that is immune to the virus.

We have the plant up and running

in three days.

How well do you know this guy?

I met him when he was here. We've

spoken on the phone half a dozen times.

So not very well.

Very well? No, I wouldn't say that.

If you hear from him again,

talk him down on the price.

Find out the least amount of money

he'd settle for.

I mean, if we can get a bug that's resistant

to the virus, this might be worth it.

But keep this secret.

If there is a mole, I don't want him to know

that we're on to him.

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Scott Z. Burns

Scott Z. Burns (born 1962) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director. Burns has written screenplays for The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Informant! (2009), and Contagion (2011), all of which feature Matt Damon. His films The Informant!, Contagion, and Side Effects were directed by Steven Soderbergh. Burns also produced the Academy Award-winning An Inconvenient Truth. In 2018, it was announced that Burns would direct The Torture Report, a drama about the secret torture program inside the CIA. Burns is a native of Golden Valley, Minnesota and graduated in 1985 with a degree in English from the University of Minnesota. He currently lives in Los Angeles. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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