Inside Man (2006)


Movie Review

Directed by: Spike Lee

Starring: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) claims to have planned the perfect bank robbery.  Russell and a team of thieves take hostages and initiate the robbery in a New York City bank.  The hostages are taken to the basement of the bank and forced to wear face masks and dress as painters—the same attire worn by the robbers themselves.  While the robbers are deliberately and flawlessly executing this robbery, police surround the bank.  Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington), who is also facing corruption charges, is tasked with leading the negotiations in this hostage situation.  Detective Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Captain Darius (Willem Dafoe) assist in this effort.  Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), the founder of the bank, has a precious secret hidden in a safety deposit box in his bank that he would like to keep hidden at all costs.  He hires Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) to “fix” the situation at the bank.  With all these agendas at play in high-stakes negotiations, Russell’s robbery may not be so perfect.

Filmmaker Spike Lee rarely makes commercial flicks, but this Spike Lee joint is delightfully entertaining.  In Inside Man, he lines up a stellar ensemble cast.  Denzel Washington alone had enough star power to fill up the theaters in this heist thriller.  Add Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, and Christopher Plummer to the mix, and you have the makings of an awesome film.  Inside Man is an intelligent heist thriller that reinvents tired clichés in a refreshing way on screen.  While the film touches on race and class issues, it does not let them take away from the fun of watching Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen go at it in a three-way battle for money, lives, and power.



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