The Informer (2019 film)

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The Informer
The Informer poster 2020.jpg
Theatrical release poster with original release date
Directed byAndrea Di Stefano
Screenplay by
Based onThree Seconds
by Roslund/Hellström
Produced by
  • Basil Iwanyk
  • Erica Lee
  • Mark Lane
  • Robert Jones
  • James Harris
  • Wayne Marc Godfrey
CinematographyDaniel Katz
Edited byJob ter Burg
Music by
  • Brooke Blair
  • Will Blair
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 30 August 2019 (2019-08-30) (United Kingdom)
  • 6 November 2020 (2020-11-06) (United States)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$60 million[2]
Box office$2.9 million[1]

The Informer is a 2019 British crime thriller film directed by Andrea Di Stefano and written by Matt Cook, based on the novel Three Seconds by Roslund & Hellström. The film stars Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Ana de Armas, and Clive Owen.


Several years ago, Peter Koslow was released early from prison on condition that he work as an undercover informant for the FBI's New York City field office. Having worked his way into a Polish crime organization, he is about to provide his handler, Special Agent Wilcox, with substantial evidence to indict crime boss Ryszard "The General" Klimek. Koslow is outfitted with a wire as he smuggles a large amount of fentanyl through the Polish consulate's office with the intention of it being delivered to the General. However, Koslow's cohort Staszek learns of a potential buyer and instead veers off-plan. Meeting with the buyer, Koslow quickly deduces that he is an undercover police officer. When tensions arise, the officer attempts to apprehend Koslow, but Staszek kills him. Listening to this over the wire, Koslow's handlers abandon him. Koslow and Staszek are brought before the General, and Koslow is told he will be required to return to prison in order to run the drug trade on the General's behalf. Initially reluctant, Koslow agrees after the lives of his wife and daughter are threatened.

Wilcox informs Koslow that he will continue to act as an informant while imprisoned, and in return he will be freed upon completion. Meanwhile, NYPD Detective Grens begins to investigate the murder of the undercover officer and suspects the Polish Mafia. He obtains security camera recordings of Koslow leaving the scene and the FBI vehicle driving by. The General and his wife visit with Koslow and his wife, Sofia, in preparation for Koslow's return to prison. The following day, Koslow breaks his parole. Grens meets with Wilcox and Montgomery, who deny knowledge of the murder. He also speaks with Sofia, who refuses to divulge information about her husband. Meanwhile, Koslow begins his drug distribution but is thwarted by corrupt prison officer Slewitt who works for Smiley Phelps, the boss of the prison gang who holds sway over the drug trade. Koslow is nearly killed until he reveals to Smiley that he is an informant working to take down the General, Smiley's competition. Koslow calls Wilcox for help, but she is unable to help after being ordered by Montgomery to "burn" Koslow to cover up the FBI's involvement in the operation that led to the murder of the undercover police officer. Koslow then calls Sofia, asking her to give Grens the secret audio recordings he taped while speaking with Wilcox.

Wilcox reluctantly leaks to the General's attorney that Koslow is an FBI informant, and the General orders him and his family to be killed. Koslow is attacked and nearly killed by a Polish gangster but manages to subdue his assailant. In an act of desperation, he takes Slewitt hostage and renders him unconscious. Meanwhile, Wilcox confronts Sofia and takes possession of the tapes. At the prison, Montgomery has taken command of the hostage situation and Koslow, using his past experience as a U.S. Special Forces sniper, enacts a means of escape when he switches outfits with Slewitt and strategically places a propane tank behind them, causing a sniper to mistakenly kill Slewitt and hit the tank, triggering a massive explosion. Staszek and another Polish gangster attempt to kill Koslow's family, but Grens arrives and thwarts them. Grens is shot but Sofia saves him and both gangsters are ultimately killed.

Koslow is transferred via ambulance and awakens to find that Wilcox is his escort. She allows Koslow to escape as retribution for her actions. In NYC, Wilcox confronts Montgomery and has him arrested after she wears a wire to record him threatening to kill Koslow to cover up his actions. Grens and Wilcox partner to help Koslow and protect his family, sending Koslow into hiding until the FBI investigation into the corruption is concluded and he can be a free man.



The film adaptation of Three Seconds was announced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.[3][4] Filming took place in Pinewood Studios (UK), Iver Heath (UK), Gloucester Prison (UK) and Brooklyn, New York (US) in 2017.[5] [6]


In September 2017, Aviron Pictures acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film, while Warner Bros. handled British distribution rights to the film.[7][8] It was released on 6 November 2020, in the United States. It was originally scheduled to be released on 17 August 2018, which was delayed until 1 February 2019, and then to 22 March 2019. It was then further delayed multiple times due to financial problems involving Aviron. The film's first delay due to financial issues was until 16 August 2019, before being delayed again, to 10 January 2020, and then to 13 March 2020, and then to 31 July 2020, and then to 6 November 2020.[9]

Redbox Entertainment and Vertical Entertainment distributed the DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States on its Redbox kiosks on 18 December 2020.[10][11]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 64% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The Informer may prove a passable diversion for less demanding thriller fans, but most of its ingredients have been recycled from superior entries in the genre."[12] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gives the film 3 out of 5 stars, and wrote: "It might have made better sense as an episodic drama on television but it is brash and watchable, its world reeking with cynicism and fear."[14] Tim Robey of The Telegraph gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, and wrote: "The Informer is one of the year's more pleasant genre surprises: a clenched fist of a crime thriller in the mode of The Departed or The Town, in which every element is just a notch smarter than you'd expect."[15] Guy Lodge of Variety called it "a surprisingly well-oiled genre machine" and says it is a film "that knows its limits, and works tidily within them".[16]


  1. ^ a b "The Informer (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  2. ^ "The Informer (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Cannes: Clive Owen, Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman and Common Join 'Three Seconds'". The Hollywood Reporter. 17 May 2017. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  4. ^ Lodderhose, Diana. "Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common & Clive Owen Head To 'Three Seconds'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  5. ^ "The Informer (2019) - Filming & Production". IMDb. Archived from the original on 16 February 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Trailer for Hollywood blockbuster shot in Gloucester Prison released". 28 November 2018. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  7. ^ "TIFF: Rosamund Pike Thriller 'Three Seconds' Goes to Aviron in North America". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 September 2017. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (5 September 2017). "Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Clive Owen Thriller 'Three Seconds' Gets U.S. Distribution". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  9. ^ "The Informer". Aviron Pictures. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – December 18, 2020". Moisés Cardona. 18 December 2020. Archived from the original on 16 February 2021. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  11. ^ "movies the informer". Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  12. ^ "The Informer (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 19 November 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  13. ^ "The Informer Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  14. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (28 August 2019). "The Informer review – gripping tale of brawn and bloodshed behind bars". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  15. ^ Robey, Tim (29 August 2019). "The Informer review: Joel Kinnaman stars in a sharp, cunning crime thriller". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  16. ^ Lodge, Guy (31 December 2019). "'The Informer': Film Review". Variety. Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.

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