The Informer: Film Review

I don’t go much on Joel Kinnaman but I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me watching The Informer because I actually really liked it.

Kinnaman stars as Pete, a reformed criminal and former soldier who is working undercover to help crooked FBI agents – lead by Wilcox (Rosamund Pike) – take down the Polish mob’s drug trade in New York. When the film begins, Peter is taking part in a drugs exchange which will help the feds nail his boss, but when the plan goes awry and a police officer gets shot, Peter is in big trouble. His boss suggests he goes to prison to redeem himself and sell his drugs inside so he goes back behind bars to help the FBI with their case.

In the beginning, I didn’t have high hopes for The Informer, because of my issues with Kinnaman and because it drops you straight into the action without any preamble so you don’t really know what’s going on. But it got better and better as it went along and became quite a pleasant surprise.

The Informer contains an impressive amount of twists. There’s probably too many because I struggled to keep up at times but largely, these kept the story interesting and exciting. The film got progressively more thrilling and gripping – as well as more violent and ridiculous – as it went along.

I’ve never gone much on Kinnaman’s acting but he does just fine here because the role just requires him to be pissed off and physically capable. The star of the show for me was actually Common as Grens, an NYPD cop investigating the dead police officer. He was one of the good guys in a film largely comprised of baddies or morally questionable characters. I cared about his survival, as well as that of Pete’s wife Sofia (Ana de Armas) and their daughter. At first, I thought de Armas was just going to be eye candy and someone to be used as leverage, but thankfully she is given agency and gets involved in the action. Pike had an interesting character that was hard to figure out – I couldn’t tell if she was good or awful deep down for the most part – and Clive Owen plays the big bad FBI boss Montgomery.

The Informer is a crime drama with a lot to offer. It took a while for me to understand everyone’s role and to really get into it but it eventually levels up and captures the attention and comes to a spectacular and unexpected conclusion.

In cinemas Friday 30th August

(Rating: 4/5)


  1. […] The biggest problem with the film is that it takes itself way too seriously. The concept is so silly and ridiculous and Ang Lee should have leaned into it, hammed it up, been more fun, but there’s a real lack of humour and Smith plays it straight when he should have been his usual charming, entertaining self. Where is the Will Smith I love?! He gives a fine performance but it’s far too serious. Winstead and Wong offer up great support and Owen plays practically the same nasty character he portrayed in The Informer. […]


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