An ex-convict (Joel Kinnaman) working undercover is forced by both the Polish gangsters he's infiltrated and his FBI handlers (Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen) to re-enter the prison system, or his wife (Ana de Armas) and daughter will suffer the consequences.
With a title as unsubtle as 'The Informer', you can pretty much guess how the movie is going to go down. It's a shame, in a way, that the movie wasn't released in the '90s when crime thrillers such as these were in fashion and not as prevalent. For one thing, the twists and turns throughout the story wouldn't feel quite so blunted.
Still, the cast are doing their best to keep things lively and interesting. Joel Kinnaman, who's now so often played the emotionally vulnerable heavy he could do it in his sleep, is trying his damnedest to show up. Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen banter off each other with sniping, hissed dialogue and Common is weaving his way through the story as well, but not enough to make it seem like it's a worthwhile use of his time.
Much like the very ho-hum 'Escobar: Paradise Lost', Andrea Di Stefano directs with very little in the way of visual style or panache, instead opting for flat and relatively safe ways of executing a scene. Moreover, the sense of pacing throughout the movie - particularly in the middle portion - slows everything down to a point where you'll find yourself checking the time to see how long it's been.
For a movie that's just under two hours, it shouldn't feel like a slog to get through - and yet, that's what 'The Informer' ultimately is - a sluggish, mediocre crime thriller with some decent performances, but an unoriginal story presented without any kind of flair and without anything that sets it apart from the countless other offerings in the genre.