Inside Man

  • 15
  • Spike Lee (2006)
  • US
  • 123 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Director Spike Lee returns to form after the ill-conceived She Hate Me with this smart and emotionally complex thriller. One of his strongest films in recent years, it combines a slick heist movie with a subtle exploration of post 9/11 society. Denzel Washington is sharply charismatic as a police hostage negotiator called in after Clive Owen's criminal crew lays siege to a Manhattan bank. What begins as a routine scenario suddenly becomes a powder keg of corruption and intrigue, as a shady power broker (Jodie Foster) arrives to cut an independent deal with the robbers on behalf of the bank's chairman. The subsequent cat-and-mouse game has the character-driven punch of Dog Day Afternoon, but with a dynamic visual and structural style that intensifies the twisting drama. Lee handles the material shrewdly, balancing tension with dark humour. However, it's his succinct commentary on racial prejudice and preconceptions that gives this sophisticated picture its distinctive edge.

Plot Summary

Crime thriller from director Spike Lee, starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster. When police detective Keith Frazier is called in as a hostage negotiator following a siege at a Manhattan bank, he thinks he's dealing with a straightforward crime scenario. However, the criminal ringleader scuppers all police attempts to take control of the situation and events are further complicated by the appearance of shady power broker Madeleine White, whose main objective is to protect the personal interests of the bank's president rather than aiding and abetting the police operation.

Cast and crew


Detective Keith Frazier
Denzel Washington
Dalton Russell
Clive Owen
Madeleine White
Jodie Foster
Captain John Darius
Willem Dafoe
Detective Bill Mitchell
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Arthur Case
Christopher Plummer
Carlos Andres Gomez
Kim Director
James Ransone
Bernard Rachelle
Captain Coughlin
Peter Gerety
Sergeant Collins
Vincent Colicchio
Cassandra Freeman
Ken Leung
Mobile command officer Rourke
Daryl Mitchell
Florina Petcu
Nancy Mann
Samantha Ivers


Spike Lee

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 24 Mar 2006
Certificate 15