Inside Man (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner23/03/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 129 mins

Spike Lee’s most accessibly mainstream film to date – this is an enjoyably twisty thriller with strong performances and a sharply written script.

What’s it all about?
When a group of bank robbers hold up a Wall Street bank, NYPD hostage negotiators Keith Frazier and Bill Mitchell (Denzel Washington and Chiwetel Ejiofor) are sent in to establish contact with the heist’s masked ringleader, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen).

However, nothing quite goes to plan and the robbers constantly appear to be one step ahead of the police. Things get even more complicated with the arrival of Madeleine White (Jodie Foster), a mysterious power player with far-reaching connections.

The Good
The performances are superb – Washington and Ejiofor make a terrific double-act and there’s strong support from the likes of Willem Dafoe and Christopher Plummer. Meanwhile, Clive Owen is well cast as the cool, calm and collected Dalton and Jodie Foster brings a welcome blast of intensity to her role, clearly enjoying the opportunity to play a character who is, frankly, a bit of a bitch.

In addition, Spike Lee keeps things interesting by including flash-forwards in the form of interviews, with the hostages being debriefed by Frazier and Mitchell.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the film isn’t quite as clever as it thinks it is and it’s pretty easy to see where it’s heading, even if you’re constantly surprised by the route that it chooses to get there.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an enjoyably intense hostage thriller with a tightly plotted script, crackling dialogue and strong performances. It’s also Spike Lee’s most unashamedly enjoyable film to date. Recommended.

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Inside Man (15)
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 14:35

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