On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the LAPD with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
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.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.
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 Madeleine White, 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 ringtone on P. Hammond's mobile at the start of the movie is Kanye West's "Gold Digger". See more »
When Frazier and his partner leave the precinct, Frazier tosses his suit jacket in the back seat. When he arrives at the scene of the crime, the jacket is in his lap as he is exiting the car. 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 »
Would have been better if it wasn't so 'clever'...
It's all too obvious that Inside Man is meant to be a lot more clever than it actually is; director Spike Lee peppers his film with a light sprinkling of comments on race and society, but not many of them hold any weight and by the time the film ends, it's difficult to work out just what Lee is actually trying to say. Films that try to be intelligent and fail usually receive low ratings from me, but this one manages to claw some points back because it is entertaining, and the central bank robbery plot line is intricately handled with care and panache. It's a shame that Lee decided to try and make more of this than was necessary. I realise that a great deal of undemanding bank robbery films have already been made; but this one could have been one of the best if the director had stuck to the strongpoints. The plot has two sides to it as we follow a bank robbery from inside the bank and out. Dalton is a smart bank robber who figures out a way to both rob a bank and bamboozle the police at the same time. Denzel Washington is the cop on the case, while the plot is given a third dimension from a scheming power broker.
One of the principle problems with this film is that too much is made of it, and the plot sometimes doesn't come together very well as Lee analyses his plot from both a past and present perspective. This means that we have the police interviewing suspects at the same time as the robbery is going on, and this usually involves cutting back to the bank and seeing someone doing something memorable, before Denzel Washington and his partner try to crack the people they think could be responsible. It gets a bit repetitive too often, but there's usually just about enough going on to make the film interesting. The acting is good, with the wooden Clive Owen getting a role that suits him as the masked bank robber; while the charismatic Denzel Washington provides more interest as the copper. Willem Dafoe doesn't make much of an impression, however, and Jodie Foster could have been better used. Scenes such as the one that sees a kid talking to Clive Owen about a video game involving some rapper are painful and unnecessary, however. The heist plot is well worked out, though, and seeing the plan come together at the end is the film's biggest highlight. Overall, I can't say I didn't enjoy this film as its entertaining and well worked; but it's not the great film that the director obviously wanted it to be.
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