Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
From a cell, a man tells us he has planned the perfect bank robbery; he invites us to watch. An efficient gang enters a Manhattan bank, locks the doors, and takes hostages. They work deliberately, without haste. Detective Frazier is assigned to negotiate, but half his mind is occupied with the corruption charges he is facing. The bank's president has something to protect in a safe deposit box, so he brings in Madaline, a high-power broker with a hidden agenda. With an army of police surrounding the bank, the thief, the cop, and the plutocrat's fixer enter high-stakes negotiations. Why are the robbers asking for a plane, if they are so competent and they know they won't get one? Why aren't they in more of a hurry? If the job's perfect, why is the thieves' leader in a cell? Written by
The interrogation scenes were mostly ad-libbed. See more »
During the suspect interviews, one of the detectives moves his coffee cup from his left side to his right. In the next shot, the cup is back on the left side. See more »
My name is Dalton Russell. Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself. I've told you my name: that's the Who. The Where could most readily be described as a prison cell. But there's a vast difference between being stuck in a tiny cell and being in prison. The What is easy: recently I planned and set in motion events to execute the perfect bank robbery. That's also the When. As for the Why: beyond the obvious financial motivation...
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The opening credits form similar to the way a safe's rings/levers are operated, reflecting the theme of the film. See more »
High time the academy gives Spike Lee some respect!
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 cliché. 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.
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