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The Informers Reviews

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Michael S

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2011
"The Informers" is not so much a movie as it is a series of uneventful (and unconnected) scenes in which a bunch of unlikeable characters do drugs and have sex. What fun! If I must call it a film, it's the most shallow, dull and annoying one I've seen in ages. I can't beleive that so much acting talent is present in such trash.

Avoid this like the plague.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2009
Interesting. Took a while to get into, and is a little confusing as there are so many characters in it, but works pretty well for a movie made up of a lot of little stories which sort of overlap. The theme is pretty much excess, and the 80's setting works well. There is a lot of sex and nudity, so don't watch if you are offended by these things - having said that, it is based on a Brett Easton Ellis book, (which I have not read), but you would kind of figure it would have sex, violence or both it, just based on that!
Good cast including Winona Ryder, (although that girl needs to eat a few sandwiches, I was shocked by how gaunt she looks) and Kim Basinger. Some characters are more likeable than others and, yes, the ending is abrupt,as some have commented, but I think it says it all. I liked it, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to all.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2009
A strange film, that seems totally random at times. It has a bit of an insight to the lives of a range of people in early 80's LA. From the spoilt rich kids, drugged up pop star, shady ex-con and a news reporter. The stories are very loosely interwoven. This is far from being anything like Crash though! There doesn't seem to be much of a plot to it at all or any conclusion. Just a brief look at their lives full of sex, drugs and 80's pop. If it wasn't for Amber Heard looking very sexy in this it would be even more boring, a shame given the very strong cast list!
Mark W

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2010
Brett Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" and "The Rules of Attraction" has a recent adaptation of his books, in "The Informers".
It has a top cast in Billy Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger & Mickey Rourke and I've enjoyed the previous Easton Ellis' films but sadly this is quite poor.
It's hard to spend over an hour and half watching characters you could care less about, while they cheat, steal, and use and abuse each other. The actors mentioned earlier are all great in it and never put a foot wrong but the problem is they are wasted and too much of the story focuses on younger lesser known actors, who could be doing with a few more drama lessons.
I'll inform you of this..."The Informers" is one to be avoided.
JonathanHutchings
JonathanHutchings

Super Reviewer

April 7, 2010
To say that The Informers is a travesty would be wrong -- even travesties are watchable. This is not a film that is so bad it's good, it's simply bad. There's no humor to be found, simply sheer, monotonous badness. It is scene after scene of characters you don't care about doing things that are not interesting and saying things that are stupefying. And then, somewhere towards the end of the movie you realize that none of these characters and none of these scenes connect (although you'll probably be disoriented from the sheer directionless meandering of the film, so you may not actually know how long has passed or whether or not the movie is drawing to a conclusion. No exaggeration: it wasn't until the credits came up that I was certain there wasn't another hour to go). Not only that, but none of the individual, disconnected stories ever go anywhere. I'm not the kind of moviegoer who demands rigid plot in everything -- I can enjoy a movie that takes the scenic route, or that is trying to build a mood or explore characters more than it's trying to tell a thrilling story -- but even my patience was destroyed by the way The Informers becomes a random look at the lives of a dozen crappy, hateful people, never getting near narrative, let alone drama or closure. Seeing this makes it hard to imagine that director Gregor Jordan ever made a movie before (perhaps even harder to imagine that he's ever seen a movie before), let alone one as modestly well-received as Buffalo Soldiers. It's harder to believe that he's making another movie right now; surely if any film called for Director Exile (forget Director Jail, send him to Director Siberia), it's The Informers. People involved in this film should be moving east and becoming Amish to atone. Sadly, it also marks the first Rourke film post-The Wrestler, and it's the last film Brad Renfro made before he died. The Informers is an utter train wreck from top to bottom and an early front runner for Worst of 2009.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2009
There is a lot of bile thrown at this film for it's lack of morality but I actually find the film very moral: the idea of "good" is integral to the story and characters. It just never gets defined. Which is true for most people in the real world too, unless they have subscribed to some notion of "good" outside of themselves - i.e. religion, the law, etc.
Overall, acting wasn't that bad. A few characters could have been polished up a bit though. The film seems pretty accurate in depicting 80's as well.
This is the last film of actor Brad Renfro (look at him became little overweight since I last saw him in Bully).
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2010
Great performances in this desolate story by Bret Easton Ellis about moral decay amidst society glamour in the Los Angeles of 1983, showing rich people living of sex, drugs, power, wealth and fame, and the misery of their lives.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2009
Not exactly the best transition from book-movie, but it really kept the theme and overall tone of the story. Lou Talyor Pucci was exactly the way I saw Tim and his whole segment was the strongest and most faithful to the novel. Jon Foster was also a really great choice for Graham and although Mickey Rourke was nothing like his book counterpart, his performance was amazing. I love the Ray-Ban's and the devotion to 80's attire and hair.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2009
I'm not going to bullshit you- I slept through half of this. Thank god, did I sleep through half of this.

This is usually the part where I give the plot synopsis. Right here in paragraph number two. But I'm not because I slept through half of this. And it was a good sleep because I didn't half to watch this left over piece of stool floating in a bus station toilet.

Essentially, the movie is Billy Bob Thorton trying to hook up with Wynona Ryder, while being married to Kim Basinger, who is getting it on with some blond (there's 25 of them, I can't keep track of which one) that's a friend of her sons, meanwhile there's a tacked on little piece made just for Mickey Rourke just because he almost won an Oscar. Put this all together with the author of American Psycho and you get...

Poo. Pure poo. A jumbled, illogical mess that has some kind of message about AIDS, but ends up giving viewers the need to smother themselves with a pillow.

Good night.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

August 20, 2009
This is a terrible movie. no this isnt really a movie. its a collection of short stories, but they are all incomplete. its like someone was writing 4 different books before they died, and hollywood just scrapped them all together. Any actor worth seeing (Billy Bob, Micky Rourke, Winona Ryder) is only on screen for maybe 2 minutes. Also.... i think i have found, drumroll please.... the worst actress in America!! i think her name is Cameron Goodman im not sure though. Oh God. you dont even know bad acting until youve seen her. you know what change my mind, just see the movie so you can scratch your head as to WHY OH WHY someone would put this girl in a movie. well, she could be in a movie, just not one with dialogue if you know what i mean. p.s. Lou Pucci is definitely gay.
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2009
"Greed is good. Sex is easy. Youth is forever."

A multi-strand narrative set in early 1980's Los Angeles, centered on an array of characters who represent both the top of the heap (a Hollywood dream merchant, a dissolute rock star, an aging newscaster) and the bottom (a voyeuristic doorman, an amoral ex-con). Connecting the intertwining strands are a group of beautiful, blonde young men and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs -- and one another --with abandon, never realizing that they are dancing on the edge of a volcano.

REVIEW
The problem I had with this movie is the script. It was something almost anyone could have written and I found myself not sympathizing with anyone or anything in it. The acting was, of course, quite good but not excellent, considering the actors were capable of so much more. In the end, its just a depressing film about a worn out subject: morality. I guess I wanted something more, something actually clever. I was surprised by some of the rave reviews its been getting. I suppose because people still believe that if you make a film depressing enough, put enough high quality actors, it's going to be good. The truth being that its very easy to make a powerful impression by showing a glimpse of the lives of dysfunctional people. Its much more film-worthy to craft a drama where one can truly sympathize and relish in the skills of the actors, such as with films as "The Shawshank Redemption" or "The Green Mile." However, this film just left me with a feeling that this was made to satisfy the egos of the actors involved or in an attempt to win an award. This is a pass.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2009
A disappointingly mixed bag of goodies. The Informers manages to be interesting and boring, involving and detached. Being a story of many narratives, interwoven, each of these ranges from dull and self-indulgent (Thornton/Basinger), interesting but underused (Rourke/Renfro) to decent but pointless (Isaak). We never get far enough into any of these worlds. Who are these characters and why are they doing these things? Should I care? There's a few perfect biscuits in this box of broken ones, but eventually it all tastes the same. Not giving a single story an ending was also an irritating choice.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2009
i like a film that confirms the ideas i already have and this one from brad easton ellis is just the thing. ok, the film fails some by using self-indulgent overdosing of drugs and sex as an excuse for moral terpitude instead of the other way round, but why quibble? hollow people who are losing even the knowledge of their hollowness, losing the desperation that that knowledge might resusitate...that's good filmmaking. modern noir. me likey.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2009
The Informers was a pretty good book penned by Bret Easton Ellis that turned into a magnificent piece of shit penned by Bret Easton Ellis. Granted, I had what I presumed was a flu coming on when I saw The Informers but aside from Amber Heard's nudidity there was literally nothing I liked about this movie. Well, except Brad Renfro's performance. (And I"m not saying that because he's dead.) The characters were even more vapid then I remember from the book, the story went absolutely nowhere and I couldn't give a shit about the movie at all. I felt like I was watching a 90-minute episode of The Hills. I've never walked out of a movie in my life but The Informers almost made me do it. I actually got on my friend's Blackberry and checked the running time on IMDB for the light at the end of the shit tunnel that was The Informers.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2010
"The Informers" is a stylish and erotic movie set in 1983 Los Angeles. Admittedly, the style borrows elements a little too much from music videos of the time(appreciate the period music, though) in its take on a huge running party amongst the well-to-do that is about to hit a brick wall as the first symptoms of AIDS were first starting to be seen. That's not to mention the lives lost to drugs, booze and general excess.(And if those don't kill you, then the cigarettes eventually will.) Some of which is responsible for the death of Bruce, who is mourned by his friends. Siblings Graham(Jon Foster) and Susan(Cameron Goodman) are freaked out about their parents(Kim Basinger and Billy Bob Thornton) getting back together. Graham is less traditional in his own life as he is having sex with both Martin(Austin Nichols), a music video director, and Christie(Amber Heard) who he in fact loves. At the same time, she has been having sex with everybody else in Southern California and has not been feeling well lately. If the movie had simply stopped with these characters and given their stories some depth, it might have truly had something. Instead, there are a few other plotlines that could have easily been done away with.(As much as I like Mickey Rourke, his character is from a different movie entirely and is one of those that should have been cut.) So, in fact, it could be said that this is nothing more than a sleazier "Love Actually," if not for the moments of clarity that raise "The Informers" to be something of interest.
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2009
Based on a book of short stories by Bret Easton Ellis, "The Informers" is yet another LA based ensemble piece. "Short Cuts" it most certainly isn't and it's so damn boring it makes "Crash" and "Magnolia" seem watchable. Coming from the pen of Ellis you know the characters aren't going to be anyway likable but at least make them interesting!
Fascade F

Super Reviewer

September 21, 2009
The brutal and cruel world of cause and effect is portrayed here in this intertwining stories of sex, greed, drugs, infidelity and the '80's Hollywood entertainment business. An all star cast included such as Billy Bobb Thornton, Kim Bassinger, Mickey Rourke, and Winona Ryder are the few of the main headlining stars in this sordid tale of what it really takes to "make it" in the entertainment business. See this if you want to believe it.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2011
Give it up to Hollywood. They know how to jam a film full of stars and adapt a screenplay from a well-known writer's novel and still pretty much lose track of what they are depicting. In a "Crash"-like story structure (for lack of a better description), "The Informers" is about sex, drugs, disease, and the lives of the rich. Don't expect to get anything out of this film besides seeing Amber Heard nude most of the film. Mickey Rourke's appearance is short and sweet, but still hardly worth the trouble.
Hellshocked
Hellshocked

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2009
"The Informers" is a most curious film. Every time it seems to be going somewhere it inexplicably chooses to sabotage itself: the best scenes seem to end just when they are getting started, the worst scenes seem to take forever and there is a marked disconnect between the tone of the screenplay and the tone of the film. I was not at all surprised to find out that Bret Easton Ellis (poet laurerate of rich, bored, young, blonde, white, Reagan-era Los Angelinos), who co-wrote the screenplay, intended for it to be a vicious satire on 80s excess that bordered on farce while Gregor Jordan, the director, saw it as a portrait of dissatisfaction and urban alienation. This explains why much of the movie feels uncomfortably like parody taken at face value. What is worse, however, is that there are just enough glimmers of the greatness that could have been to make the experience of watching it twice as depressing.

The 1980's setting, key to the film, is very well rendered without being needlessly overbearing (despite some less-than-subtle references to the impending AIDS epidemic and name dropping Ronald Reagan). Beyond the fashion, architecture and music it is the hedonism and me-first philosophy that shines through. The film is also well cast (surely it can't be coincidence that Chris Isaak seems to be channeling Kurt Russell and other key performers tend to resemble Anthony Michael Hall, James Spader and Matthew Modine?) and beautifully photographed. Its funereal tone, aided in no small part by Christopher Young's magnificent score, manages to almost work much of the time and fully work some of the time (especially toward the end) despite being at odds with the screenplay.

Would the film have been better served by adhering to the author's original vision? I'm not sure. Bret Easton Ellis has made an entire career out of satirizing 80's excess while nostalgically pining for it. Much like Chuck Palahniuk he has proven to be little more than a one trick pony. As a result there is nothing new, fresh or even remotely original in his writing. The fact he wrote the film's key emotional scenes as parody should tell you everything you need to know about him. He complained that Mary Harron's adaptation of "American Psycho" was done entirely "in quotations" but I certainly can't think of a better phrase to describe his writing itself. Gregor Jordan's key mistake may not have been to deviate tonally but to not rewrite much of the screenplay to better support the tone he was going for.

"The Informers", thus, is a curious if sometimes interesting failure. I would certainly like to see an extended cut (41 minutes of footage were apparently removed for its theatrical release) since there is enough in here to pique my interest but I have a feeling the film crippled itself irrevocably sometime before production began.
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