Inside Man (2006)

Crime, Drama, Thriller
Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer
A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.
Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller touches on questions of race and class without taking away from the tension and fun of the cat-and-mouse games between a hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington), a bank robber (Clive Owen), and a high-powered fixer (Jodie Foster). Inside Man puts a spin on the Dog Day Afternoon scenario, with a group of sharp bank robbers who stay one step ahead of the police; it's a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 24 Mar 2006 Released:
  • 08 Aug 2006 DVD Release:
  • $88.4M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Don't miss this awesome movie!!10/10
This is a movie that you don't want to miss! Wonderful plot and keeps the audience guessing till the last second. Denzel is at his best playing the NYPD detective, his wonderful acting makes this story as believing as it can be. Clive Owen, what a superb actor! He is so clam, smooth, and elegant in this movie and he actually makes me root for the "bad guy" from the beginning till the end. Jodie was good, too. However, she doesn't shine as much as the other two actors, but she is still great. If you have seen the preview of this movie than think it might worth checking out, I'm telling you, this is 100 times better than you think! Get up from your chair and go see the movie, NOW!
Intelligent thrills8/10
A pleasure from start to finish. An older Denzel Washington has begun to emerge, and his performance here suggests he has many good years left. Clive Owen is terrific as the mastermind. He, and the plot, keeps you guessing. And while there are plenty of clues, they are so well incorporated that very few viewers will see how this one comes together in the end.

One major quibble: Jodie Foster's character is more archetype than person so it's to her credit that she pulls it off as well as it does. However, don't let that deter you from enjoying one of the best movies of the year. I'm glad to see Spike Lee tackle another genre film. He brings a re-invigorating approach to what, in other hands, would be a tiresome rehash. That liveliness seems to have worked on him, too -- this is his best film in several years.
an entertaining heist flick8/10
Note: I stay away from describing the plot in any detail because it would be very hard to do so without spoiling elements of it. "Inside Man" starts out as a no holds barred, high octane action-thriller, and by its midpoint fully transforms into a breezy, tongue-in-cheek heist movie, reminiscent of The Sting. I felt it to be a little over-plotted, but that comes with the genre - the expected twists and turns are all here, thankfully mostly in non-expected ways. Contrivances abound, and we don't really learn the background of the heist (ie. how the robbers learned about their target) but the story and the overall atmosphere more than make up for this. The meticulously designed plot also compensates for the lack of real 3D characterization - save for Denzel Washington's ambitious policeman hero, who at least achieves a level of humanity throughout the story. The character interaction between him and his sidekick (Chiwetel Ejiofor of "Serenity" fame) and the frustrated captain played by Willem Defoe is great with some sparkling dialog. Clive Owen is okay, most of the time convincing as the criminal mastermind, although he spends most of the film wearing a mask. I'd say this film is harmless fun, not your usual Spike Lee fare, which goes to prove his versatility. There is a hint in the back-story at some heavy issues of the past, but it's nothing more than a macguffin that only achieves some slight significance in the resolution of the movie. There is a neat structural trickery in the use of flash-forward scenes, hinting toward the aftermath of the heist without giving away the real ending. It's used sparingly and cleverly. I can highly recommend this movie, it is never boring for a moment, what's more, I was enjoying it so much that as events were progressing toward the climax, I was wishing it would go on. And that's very rare for me in the movies nowadays.
With Inside Man, Spike Lee has crafted a very original and exciting thriller.8/10
Spike Lee is one of the most consistent directors out there. Save for some more uneven pictures like She Hate Me and Girl 6, Lee's body of work is just plain impressive. And while Inside Man is not up there with Do The Right Thing, Clockers and 25th Hour, it is definitely an entertaining and intelligent thriller that does things a little differently than most cookie cutter thrillers you see in theaters nowadays.

A bank robbery in New York has gotten out of control, and it's up to police detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) to act as hostage negotiator and get the bank personal and customers out safely before things turn even worse than they already are. This turns out to be a tough case, since the leader of the bank robbers, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), turns out to be a very smart individual, who has everything planned to perfection, and who throws up surprise after surprise for Frazier and his men. But while the people around Frazier are slowly getting more and more nervous, he himself does not lose his mind, and begins a high stakes battle of wits with Russell. Things are further complicated, however, when the mayor of New York introduces a mysterious woman to Frazier. This woman (Jodie Foster) wants to protect something that is hidden in one of the safety deposit boxes inside the bank, and she will stop at nothing to force Frazier to let her inside the bank and make sure nothing happens to the contents.

This all sounds like an intriguing premise for a thriller, but the movie goes a few steps further than just having an interesting plot. Because while Inside Man does hit all the right notes when it comes to keeping you guessing about what is really going on, it is also very successful in mixing the grittier moments with comedy elements. At times, Inside Man is very funny, but in a way that does not deflate the tension. The dialogue is sharp, with the conversations between Frazier and Russell being especially fascinating, and both actors are at the top of their game in this new movie. Washington's Frazier is an intense but laconic individual, who has a permanent smirk on his face but who reads the bank robbers intentions better than anybody else, while Owen is charismatic and fascinating as the mastermind behind the bank robbery. I was a little disappointed however with Jodie Foster's role. While her part is potentially fascinating, she does not really get the chance to do anything with it other than look cool and act tough. Yes, we all know that she is very good at that, but with a bit more background story, and a bit more screen time, her part could have been even more interesting.

With Inside Man, Lee showcases an interesting way of directing thrillers. He ignores the usual build up that you see in thrillers, which consists of an introduction, a chronological development of the main intrigue, followed by a final act in which everything is wrapped up neatly (even flashing forward several times, thus revealing some important developments before they have happened), and this only serves to make Inside Man a movie that is more than your regular suspense movie. I enjoyed this original approach very much, even though he does take quite a long time to wrap things up at the end.
High time the academy gives Spike Lee some respect!9/10
Whether I was into the subject or not, there's always a filmmaker at work in a Spike Lee film... he's one moviemaker who never loses sight of being a filmmaker first and foremost, and he's absolutely outdone himself with INSIDE MAN, a taut thriller which avoids the colloquialism that alienated mainstream audiences from some of his earlier work.

If you've seen the trailer or heard anything about this pic, you have been misled. Everything I heard left me feeling like yeah, OK, I'm going for Denzel. Denzel vs. Clive Owen will be interesting.

From the first shots and opening credits, you are submerged in artistic vision, and a finely honed piece of work the likes of which I haven't seen in years. I'd almost give this one a ten.. and I don't hand out tens freely. I do not want to spoil this. You have to walk in cold, and let this film grab you by the short and curlies.

This is one film where there isn't a spare frame or wasted cheap shot. Every zinger zings, and there are laughs too, laughs at merciful intervals to break the tension and remind an audience on the edges of its seats that movie-going's supposed to be entertaining, dammit. The cinematography is brilliant, and the music is fantastic - true cinematic score, true genius. I can't praise this one enough.

Christopher Plummer is superb, in what is (perhaps coincidentally) an ironic bit of casting. Jodie Foster rises to a challenging persona with aplomb and ease, and my only complaint of the entire exercise is that her character's name 'Madeline White' is perhaps a little cliche. Beyond that, there isn't a filmmaker alive who brings New York to the screen with anything approximating Spike Lee's vision.

It seems there hasn't been a lot of junket for this one, and that Spike Lee's presence has been downplayed... as if the studio downplayed the fact that this is a Spike Lee film slightly, until the word was out that this film is over and beyond what an audience might already expect from one of his films.

So... let me just say.. man o man this is a cinematic mind-blowing amazing one and a half hours... it's brilliant, tight, funny, articulate, intense, and high time the academy gives Spike Lee some respect.