Inside Man (Universal Pictures, 2006)

Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) is having a rough day. Four hooded, masked criminals have taken control of a major New York City bank and are holding hostages. Yet somehow, this does not appear to be a typical bank robbery. The head robber (Clive Owen) appears to be motivated by something more than just money, and deftly manipulates Frazier, the police, and the hostages so that nobody can figure out what he's up to. Elderly bank owner Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), considered a pillar of the community, acts as though he has something to hide. Complicating things even further is the presence of smug, smarmy Madeline White (Jodie Foster), who does "favors" for the rich and powerful and is hired by Case to make sure his interests are protected.

This is the backdrop of Spike Lee's thriller Inside Man, an excellent new take on the concept of the "perfect crime." Every breakthrough Frazier makes in the case poses more questions than it answers, and only at the very end do most (but not all) of the pieces fit together in a tidy fashion. Lee keeps the film very well paced from start to finish, inserting a handful of moments of levity (the best of which involves a young child explaining the point of a rather violent video game to an appalled Owen) to lighten the otherwise constant tension. All of the blue ribbon cast of actors perform to their reputations as well. The payoff comes as the details of the crime and the true motivation of the perpetrators are uncovered, revealing a brillianty thought out plan that's plausible enough to satisfy any sticklers for detail.

Inside Man
is well conceived, well executed, and thought provoking, with a carefully designed plot that holds strong throughout the two-hour length of the film. It's been a while since I've seen as good a movie in the suspense genre.

Overall Grade: A-


Anonymous said...

this is plot summary... how about giving a real review?

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the link to his reviews is:

Digital Doc said...

Thanks for visiting and hawking your site. Quite honestly, your site is quite difficult to navigate, and I couldn't even find your review of the movie. Sorry dude, but a summary of the plot is part of a movie review!