Al Pacino gives his best performance since the Godfather Part II and Serpico. Over the years his performances have taken a theatrical tone, which works well in overblown films such as The devils Advocate, but I found brought a state of unrealism to his films. Not so in The Insider, it is so understated, that you forget that it is Al Pacino, he becomes Lowell Bergman.
Russell Crowe puts in a career best performance, I'm glad I saw this before Gladiator, because as much as I love that film, I dont know if Crowe will be able to give as much credence to these types of roles(see L.A. Confidential, Romper Stomper, Virtuosity, for an idea of this guys range).
In any other year this film would have won all the oscars, except it was up against the magnificent American Beuty, which only won it by a hair width.
I dont know how this film will transfer on to the small screen, because the photography has a very epic feel, and the Soundtrack has to be experienced in full digital surround sound.