Michael Mann directs this gripping expose of the cigarette industry, based on a true story. '60 Minutes' producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) contacts Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a former research employee of tobacco giants Brown and Williamson, after being anonymously sent some damning documents regarding the company's activities. Wigand reveals that BW were aware their product contained dangerously high levels of nicotine - likely to cause cancer - and agrees to be interviewed for Bergman's programme. As a result of this, Wigand is placed under increasing pressure to hold his peace; he receives numerous death threats, his marriage begins to disintegrate, and he becomes the subject of a smear campaign. When Bergman attempts to arrange for Wigand to present a disposition as part of the Mississippi state's case against the tobacco giants, the move is blocked, and it seems that both men's efforts will amount to nothing.