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Inside Man (2006)

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A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Russell Gewirtz
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Popularity
1,500 ( 227)
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Detective Keith Frazier
Clive Owen ... Dalton Russell
Jodie Foster ... Madeleine White
Christopher Plummer ... Arthur Case
Willem Dafoe ... Captain John Darius
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Detective Bill Mitchell
Carlos Andrés Gómez ... Steve
Kim Director ... Stevie
James Ransone ... Steve-O
Bernie Rachelle ... Chaim (as Bernard Rachelle)
Peter Gerety ... Captain Coughlin
Victor Colicchio Victor Colicchio ... Sergeant Collins
Cassandra Freeman ... Sylvia
Peter Frechette ... Peter Hammond
Gerry Vichi Gerry Vichi ... Herman Gluck
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Storyline

Composed and meticulous, the soft-spoken and ingenious bank robber, Dalton Russell, has orchestrated the perfect heist--shortly, the Manhattan bank at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway along with dozens of hostages will be his to command. Try as he might, the rough hostage negotiator, Keith Frazier, is always one step behind the criminal mastermind--and what is more disheartening--the institution's silver-haired founder, Arthur Case, recruits the intelligent problem-fixer, Madeline White, to retrieve something of paramount importance. However, the thieves seem to procrastinate intentionally, when they should be rushing into action. Will Arthur and Madeline get what they want this time? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can't judge a crime by its cover.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | UIP [Germany]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Albanian | Spanish

Release Date:

24 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El plan perfecto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,954,945, 26 March 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$88,513,495

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$184,376,254
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second film in which actor Walrs Ahluwalia has played a character with the name Vikram. He previously portrayed the character Vikram Ray in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). See more »

Goofs

The cops are supposedly fooled when the gang play part of a speech in Albanian by the late Enver Hoxha to fool their listening devices. But even though they don't know the language, they ought to notice that it sounds like a monologue by one man rather than a possible conversation between four bank robbers, one of them female. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dalton Russell: 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the opening, instead of the regular "A Film by...." the title reads "A Spike Lee Joint" See more »

Connections

References Sudden Impact (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Chaiyya Chaiyya - Bollywood Joint
Written by A.R. Rahman, Gulzar, Panjabi MC
Performed by Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi featuring Panjabi MC
Courtesy of Venus Records and Tapes Pvt. Ltd, India Talkies Pvt. Ltd & A.R. Rahman
Orchestral Arrangement by Terence Blanchard
Produced and Scratched by DJ Premier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

By not being a straight genre film it manages to strengthen and weaken itself at the same time
19 March 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

An ordinary day in a major bank, a man dressed as a painter walks in and points torches at the CCTV cameras. Seconds later more people dressed as painters burst in and announce their intentions to all inside. As the hostages are professionally moved into a group and made to dress in the same suits as the robbers, the alarm is raised by a passing cop. For Detective Frazier this is just what he needs to help take his mind off accusations of corruption and girlfriend stress. With a by-the-book hostage situation in front of him things look good but internal and external pressures soon convince him that things are not as straightforward as he first thought.

With the trailer offering a great Saturday night, twisty crime thriller, a heavy cast and a strange directorial choice in Lee, this was a film I was hoping would be glossy, slick, silly and fun. However, although I enjoyed it for what it was, I must confess that the lack of consistent direction and pace made it more difficult to get into than I had hoped. It isn't like this at first, with the film jumping right into a very slick taking of the bank and establishing a professional group of thieves to content with. Bringing in Frazier continues this delivery because he has a good swagger to him and it looked like they would pull off this film. You see, things like this need pace and energy and direction – like sharks, they need to keep moving forward or they die; they die by letting the audience question things or move back off the edge of their seat to a vantage point of criticism. With things like Phone Booth, we were never allowed to step back and thus it worked; however here it tries to do other things (to its credit) but these produce an irregular pace, inconsistent tone and tend to take away from the central, gripping action without putting in more than they take out.

It still works but it steps away from the robbery too often to touch on other areas. Now these areas could have been a great compliment to the main thread but they don't work as well as they should. The external pressures from Madeline White should have increased the tension in the film but instead they were mostly separate – interesting still but not complimentary. It doesn't help that many of the twists are obvious (certainly the reason for the robbery was obvious – even if it is never actually explained or justified that well) and when the final one does come it is delivered too slowly and reduces its impact. The film is funny and this works quite nicely without slowing things down. The device of the interviews as jumps forward is interesting but unfortunately it tells the audience too much and spoils some of the later action by making it too predictable. Like I said, I still enjoyed it but at times I found myself bothered by the impression that it was a genre movie actively trying not to be a genre movie and only hurting itself in the progress.

Visually the film is impressive even if occasionally it felt inappropriate for the material. The movement of the camera, the lush shots of New York, the "chest-cam" shots and the use of music are all unmistakably Spike Lee and it looks great for it. At times it is a bit obtrusive and almost feels too grand for the material but it is hard to criticise a great director (which is what I personally think Lee is) for having his own style and feel, even if at times he is a fault for reducing the pace and energy of the material. He shows that, although his personal films are more interesting, he can do a good job as director-for-hire as well. The cast are impressive on paper but the delivery means they are not all that good. Foster is a good example, she is a solid presence but her material is weak and half-done and I personally felt she could have been totally removed from the film without any great detriment. Washington is cool in the lead and gives a lively genre performance. The film suggests that he thought he was doing more than just a genre film and there are bits of his character that don't work – his eclectic wardrobe is one but his past and his girlfriend are also threads that don't work that well. Owen is lucky enough to have the best material and despite a so-so accent he does convince and drives the film forward. His motivations and background are annoying question marks but this is not his fault – it is the fault of the delivery that let me question things rather than rushing forward at full speed. Ejiofor is good and works well despite having little to work with. Dafoe is a nice addition but I did feel his material could have been done by someone less famous just as well as he did. Plummer starts the film with such an air of a "powerful old man with sinister secret" that you never doubt for second where the film is taking him – again not all his fault but he is not used at all well.

Despite all my misgivings, the film did do enough to engage me and entertain me on a Saturday night as I suspect it will many viewers. However in the cold light of day the film does have threads that don't work and problems relating to pacing and inconsistency in tone. Funnily enough it is actually the irregular pace that reveals the problems whereas it is had played itself as a straight genre film then it would have covered these with pace and energy. Worth seeing but by not being a straight genre film it manages to be both stronger and weaker at the same time.


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