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Synopsis

Michael Mann directs this gripping expose of the cigarette industry, based on a true story. '60 Minutes' producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) contacts Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a former research employee of tobacco giants Brown and Williamson, after being anonymously sent some damning documents regarding the company's activities. Wigand reveals that B&W were aware their product contained dangerously high levels of nicotine - likely to cause cancer - and agrees to be interviewed for Bergman's programme.
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Michael Mann directs this gripping expose of the cigarette industry, based on a true story. '60 Minutes' producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) contacts Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a former research employee of tobacco giants Brown and Williamson, after being anonymously sent some damning documents regarding the company's activities. Wigand reveals that B&W were aware their product contained dangerously high levels of nicotine - likely to cause cancer - and agrees to be interviewed for Bergman's programme. As a result of this, Wigand is placed under increasing pressure to hold his peace; he receives numerous death threats, his marriage begins to disintegrate, and he becomes the subject of a smear campaign. When Bergman attempts to arrange for Wigand to present a disposition as part of the Mississippi state's case against the tobacco giants, the move is blocked, and it seems that both men's efforts will amount to nothing.
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Our review

"At nearly three hours long this is a long-winded, but ultimately satisfying slog. But some assured, intelligent direction from Michael Mann and confident performances from Crowe and Pacino make this one of his most gripping, low-key films."

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07-07-2011