Like the ad says: Where there's smoke, there's fire--unless, of course, it's those angry plumes shooting out of Mike Wallace's ears. In this behind-the-scenes look at the editorial sausage-making at 60 Minutes, Crowe plays a tobacco-industry insider with scientific evidence that cigarettes are doctored to increase addiction. Pacino plays the gutsy producer who tries to draw him out.
Legal complications, corporate pressure and strong-arm tactics threaten to suppress the story, but Pacino fights on--until CBS suits kill the story. Though we know the outcome, director Mann makes it plenty exciting with his muted lighting, hyperkinetic editing and haunting techno score. Crowe and an unusually restrained Pacino are more than worthy, but it's Plummer, as the capitulating Wallace, who steals the film. Put that in your pipe and...well, you get the idea.