Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and in this taut look behind closed doors at “60 Minutes,” there’s a bonfire of acting timber. Russell Crowe plays a jittery tobacco industry insider who has scientific evidence that cigarettes are doctored to force addiction. Al Pacino plays the gutsy “60 Minutes” producer who tracks him down and tries to draw him out. Legal complications, corporate pressure and strong arm tactics threaten to suppress the story but Pacino, being Al Pacino fights on tirelessly.
Director Michæl Mann makes the mundane exciting — even though we all know the outcome — with his trademark blue/dark back lighting, hyper-kinetic editing and a haunting techno score. Pacino and Crowe are more than worthy for Oscar consideration and despite their knockout performances, Christopher Plummer, as the capitulating Mike Wallace, walks off with the movie.