|Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama|
Tagline: It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can't judge a crime by its cover.
Plot: It all starts out simply enough: four people dressed in painters’ outfits march into the busy lobby of Manhattan Trust, a cornerstone Wall Street branch of a worldwide financial institution. Within seconds, the costumed robbers place the bank under a surgically planned siege, and the 50 patrons and staff become unwitting pawns in an airtight heist.
NYPD hostage negotiators Detectives Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and Bill Mitchell (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) are dispatched to the scene with orders to establish contact with the heist’s ringleader, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), and ensure safe release of the hostages. Working alongside Emergency Services Unit (ESU) Captain John Darius (WILLEM DAFOE), all are hopeful that the situation can be peacefully diffused and that control of the bank and release of those inside can be secured in short order.
But things don’t progress as planned. Russell proves an unexpectedly canny opponent—clever, calm and totally in command—a puppet master with a meticulous plan to disorient and confuse not only the hostages, but also the authorities. Outside, the crowd of New Yorkers grows as the situation becomes increasingly tense, with Frazier’s superiors becoming more concerned about his ability to keep the standoff from spiraling out of control.
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Discussion forum for this movie
As a whole, the movie is entertaining but unremarkable. Exiting the theater, my comment to a colleague was that I enjoyed it, but it should have been better. And therein lies the curse of expecting too much from a March release - even a high-profile one.
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
What they do want is the murky payoff of the film. Dalton opens and closes by admonishing us to "pay close attention." As witnesses to the crime, we're asked to form our moral judgments. Is justice served? I say go see "Inside Man" for yourself. 8/10
--Laura Blum (ComingSoon.net)
...is a successful thriller that rarely succeeds as a thriller. From a nuts-and-bolts standpoint, it benefits from a strong cast and a slick caper, but struggles in the key areas of pacing and delivery.... B-
--Rob Vaux (Flipsidemovies.com)
The script has some very unexpected humor, clever twists, and lines that are definitely quote worthy. It is worth the time commitment to see it on the big screen.
...Although it's a little too slackly paced and has its share of plot holes, the movie is not only Lee's most overtly commercial film, it's his most purely enjoyable "joint" in years.
--TIM KNIGHT (Reel.com)
Spike Lee knows how to coax novelty out of conventional drama. Add to the mix the excellent Denzel Washington as a gritty hostage negotiator and you can count me in.
...is a fresh and intense-filled thriller that is sure to entertain.
Spike Lee returns to top form with Inside Man, a clever heist film that is well acted and brilliantly paced.
--Julian Roman (MovieWeb)
It's "sharply written" and "tightly directed," full of "incendiary" performances that will "leave you breathless." No, seriously, this movie is rad. It's about a bank robbery and all the power plays that go along with it. And that's as much as I should give away or tell you other than go see it. A
...is never quite what you expect it to be. It’s a heist film, that’s a given, but one that depends more on intense moments of dialogue between its characters rather than its action sequences. B
--Rebecca Murray (About.com)
The film is tremendous entertainment, and it’s an utter joy to see Spike back in action, but the filmmaker can’t control himself completely, and he exits “Inside Man” on an infuriating whimper, and not at all the bang that was intricately promised in theopening moments of the film.
--Brian Orndorf (eFilmCritic.com)
There is so little to "Inside Man" that it barely warrants a full-length review. It's a bank-robbery movie, and an entertaining one, but that's all it is. It makes no bold claims at originality. It has a couple of moderately nifty surprises. It goes on alittle too long -- it's directed by Spike Lee, who has never made a movie that didn't go on a little too long -- and then it ends. You go home satisfied -- but not blown away -- and the movie never crosses your mind again. B
--Eric D. Snider (EricDSnider.com)
Spike Lee’s most accessibly mainstream film to date – this is an enjoyably twisty thriller with strong performances and a sharply written script.
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)
The title itself throws you one way, the intermittent interviews with hostages tease you furthermore, but the climax is markedly under-whelming - though thankfully it throws you off-skelter yet again. Clichéd, but only in a Spike Lee way. 6/10
--Raam Tarat (FutureMovies.co.uk)
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