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Inside Man (2006) - movie overview

Inside Man (2006)

User Rating
(402 votes)
Critic Rating
(21 reviews)
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Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
• USA: Mar 24, 2006

Budget USD 45,000,000
BoxOffice: $88.4M

Official Website:
Inside Man Website

MPAA Rating
Rated R for language and some violent images.

Running Time
0 hours, 10 minutes

Country USA

Production Companies
Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, GH Two

Studio Universal Pictures

More info on

Other Titles
• Inside Man (2006)

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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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 External Reviews
external linkAs 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. 3/4

external linkWhat 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 (

external 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 (

external linkThe 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. 4/5
external link...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. 3/4

external linkSpike 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. 3/4
--Jeanne Aufmuth

external a fresh and intense-filled thriller that is sure to entertain. 3/4
--Darren Brown

external linkSpike Lee returns to top form with Inside Man, a clever heist film that is well acted and brilliantly paced. 4/5
--Julian Roman (MovieWeb)

external linkIt'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
--Dave White

external 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 (

external linkThe 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. 4/5
--Brian Orndorf (

external linkThere 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 (

external linkSpike Lee’s most accessibly mainstream film to date – this is an enjoyably twisty thriller with strong performances and a sharply written script. 4/5
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

external linkThe 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 (

 Directed by
Spike Lee
25th Hour, He Got Game, Clockers
 Written by
Denzel Washington
Man on Fire, Training Day, Glory
Clive Owen
The Bourne Identity, Children of Men, Closer
Jodie Foster
The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Contact
Christopher Plummer
A Beautiful Mind, The Insider, National Treasure
Willem Dafoe
Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Platoon
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Serenity, Children of Men, Love Actually
Kim Director
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Live Free or Die, Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding
 Music By
Terence Blanchard
25th Hour, Malcolm X, Summer of Sam

external linkThe ending of the movie seems a little too neat and ties together a little too evenly, but is to be forgiven. With so many ‘message' movies to come out of Hollywood last year, it's nice to see one that isn't afraid to go all out for sheer entertainment. 3.5/4
--Scott Nash (

external linkI don’t think I can praise Inside Man enough. And to be fair, the ending does drag itself out a little too much, but only slightly. It’s a minor notch in a wonderfully crafted film. 4/4
--Michael Sheridan (

external linkThis is an undistinguished, but entertaining film. 7/10
--Tony Medley (

external a very good film with some flaws towards the end. Spike Lee does a great job of integrating humor, drama and suspense with interesting things to say about race relations in post 9/11 New York City. Ultimately, Lee does an exceptional job of bringing something fresh and exciting to this genre. 4.5/5
--Elyusha Vafaeisefat (

external linkAn assured work that hits most of the right notes, Inside Man updates a genre piece with post 9/11 urgency and the beating drum of the admirable persistence of earthbound men and women who endure psychological assault as part of their daily lives. 8/10
--Jeffrey Chen (

external linkEnergetically paced and acted crime thriller could be Spike Lee's breakout film for mainstream audiences.
--Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywod Reporter)



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