Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Spike Lee|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer|
|Written by||Russell Gewirtz|
|Music by||Terence Blanchard|
|Editing by||Barry Alexander Brown|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||March 23, 2006|
|Running time||129 minutes|
Inside Man is a 2006 crime-drama film directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, and Christopher Plummer. The film's screenplay was written by Russell Gewirtz and produced by Brian Grazer. It was released in North America and several European markets on March 23 and 24, 2006.
The film was shot on location in New York City and features an expansive and diverse ensemble cast. In addition to being a cerebral crime thriller, the film handles issues of good and evil in unexpected sources, corruption, prejudice, multiculturalism in the United States (and New York City in particular), and leaves several interpretations of right and wrong open to the audience.
The film begins in medias res with Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) narrating his plight in the confines of an undisclosed cell, musing about the difference between a cell and a prison. Shortly afterwards, he begins in narration to describe the "perfect" plan for a bank robbery.
The robbery begins in flashback as robbers, dressed as painters and utilizing aliases under variants of the name "Steve," enter a bank, disable the security cameras, and seize control. All customers and bank employees are herded into the basement, where they are forced to surrender their keys and cell phones and change into painter uniforms and face masks identical to the robbers'. The hostages are locked into several rooms; periodically the robbers rotate them and sometimes place themselves in among the hostages at various points.
Meanwhile, the police surround the bank. Detectives Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) introduce themselves to Captain Darius (Willem Dafoe) and briefly discuss the situation. Russell demands that the police provide food, and they provide pizzas with electronic bugs in the boxes. They overhear conversations in a foreign language and eventually identify it as Albanian. They discover, however, that the conversations are in fact propaganda recordings of deceased Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha, implying that the robbers anticipated the attempted surveillance.
After being informed of the robbery in progress, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), chairman of the board of directors and founder of the bank, hires "fixer" Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) to try to arrange for the contents of his safe deposit box at the bank to remain secret. White meets with the mayor, then manipulates Frazier to let her talk with Russell. Mentioning the special interests she wants to protect, she persuades Russell to let her enter the bank to talk. When White requests access to the safe deposit box, Russell shows her a document bearing a swastika symbol, suggesting that Case received money, enough to fund his bank, from the Nazis during World War II for unspecified services that resulted in Jewish deaths. Russell reveals his motivation, saying, "Fact is, all lies, all evil deeds, they stink. You can cover them up for a while, but they don't go away." After assuring Russell that Case will make him a very wealthy man if he destroys or covers up this document, White leaves.
Attempting a bluff, Frazier informs Russell that the plane he demanded is ready but he needs to confirm that all the hostages are safe before permitting them to leave. Russell allows him to enter the bank and escorts Frazier around the building. As they check the hostages, they discuss the situation, and also Frazier's desire to propose to his girlfriend, something which Russell suggests he should do regardless of finances. Upon exiting the bank, Frazier attempts to overpower Russell, but another robber comes to Russell's aid. Russell lets Frazier leave unharmed with seemingly no repercussion for his attack. Frazier tells his colleagues that he intentionally tried to provoke Russell, but as Russell failed to harm him, he believes Russell is not a killer. Soon after, the robbers call and direct the police to point their cameras to a specific second-floor window where a hostage is executed. An enraged Frazier confronts Russell again, demanding to know the robbers' true intentions. Russell simply replies that Frazier is, "too damn smart to be a cop".
The execution incident prompts the ESU team into action, and they plan to raid the building, using rubber bullets to knock everyone out. Frazier, however, discovers that the drawer Russell sent out that contained the robbers written demands also hid a radio transmitter. He tries to order Captain Darius to cancel the impending attack, but Darius ignores him.
Inside the bank, Russell overheard the conversation between Darius and Frazier and is alarmed that the police plan to move in. The robbers detonate smoke bombs throughout the bank and release the hostages, resulting in a horde of identically dressed people exiting through the smoke in mass confusion. The police detain and interrogate everyone. However, the police are unable to distinguish the robbers from among the hostages. The police search fails to turn up Russell, but reveals the hostage execution was faked and the robbers' weapons turn out to be plastic toy replicas. As nothing appears to have been stolen, Frazier's superior orders him to bury the case, commenting "What do you expect me to say?".
Frazier, however, searches the bank's records and finds that safe deposit box #392 has never appeared on any records since the bank's founding in 1948. He obtains a search warrant to open it. He is then confronted by White, who informs him of Case's Nazi dealings. She attempts to persuade Frazier to drop his investigation, reminding him that she has held up her end of their deal (guaranteeing his promotion and returning money he was implicated in stealing prior to the events of the movie). He refuses, pointing out that he never agreed to such a deal, and plays back their earlier conversation from a secret audio recording pen, ensuring he is protected.
White confronts Case about his Nazi connections, and he confesses everything to her. She correctly surmises that the safe deposit box must have contained diamonds and that these were the robbers' true objective; Case then specifies a Cartier diamond ring, belonging to a Jewish friend whom he betrayed to the Nazis in exchange for money. Case is remorseful over his past, and had since engaged in international philanthropy to try to assuage his guilt.
Russell's opening monologue is then repeated, but with the revelation that Russell is in fact hiding behind a fake wall erected inside the bank's supply room, thus revealing him as the titular "Inside Man", for he has been inside the bank all along. He emerges a week after the incident, with the contents of Case's safe deposit box (including the documents and numerous small bags containing diamonds) in his backpack. As he exits the bank, he deliberately bumps into Detective Frazier, who does not recognize him. Russell's associates meet him in an SUV outside the bank. Asked about the missing ring, Russell assures them he has left it "in good hands."
Frazier opens the safe deposit box and finds Russell's gum wrapper, along with the Cartier ring and a scrawled message: "Follow the ring." Frazier confronts Case, informing him of his intention to investigate the ring. He confronts White and the Mayor, telling her that the ring was linked to Case's sordid past. He offers White the pen with the recording and gives her a card for the Office of War Crimes Issues at the U.S. State Department to request they investigate the situation.
After his final encounter with White, Frazier goes home and finds a loose multi-carat diamond in his pocket, realizing it must have been slipped to him by the man he bumped into in the bank, and that man must have been Russell. As the movie ends, it is implied that Frazier will use the diamond to propose to his girlfriend.
- Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier
- Clive Owen as Dalton Russell
- Willem Dafoe as Captain John Darius
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Detective Bill Mitchell
- Jodie Foster as Madeleine White
- Christopher Plummer as Arthur Case
- Ken Leung as Wing
- Carlos Andrés Gómez as Kenneth Damerjian
- Kim Director as Stevie, Valerie Keepsake
- James Ransone as Steve-O
- Bernie Rachelle as Chaim
- Peter Gerety as Captain Coughlin
- Victor Colicchio as Sergeant Collins
- Waris Ahluwalia as Vikram Walia
- Cassandra Freeman as Sylvia Frazier
- Peter Frechette as Peter Hammond
- Florina Petcu as Ilina Miritia
- Blerim Destani as Albanian mobster
- Lemon Andersen as Paul Guitierez
Much of the filming of Inside Man was done in Lower Manhattan at or near 20 Exchange Place, off William Street and Wall Street and just blocks from the New York Stock Exchange and South Street Seaport. Over three-quarters of the film's stage work was completed in New York City, making the production eligible for the city's "Made in New York" incentives program.
Along with being a heist film, Inside Man is notable for having a great deal of underlying racial tension and commentary on racial issues in modern American society, such as when the Sikh man, initially suspected to be an Arab, is immediately suspected by the police because of the turban he wears, and the tension between groups of different ethnic minorities.
|Film score by Terence Blanchard|
|Released||May 21, 2006|
Inside Man is the score to the 2006 film of the same name. It was composed by American jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard with additional orchestration by soundtrack composer Howard Drossin.
"Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint", composed by A. R. Rahman, is featured in the film's opening and ending.
- "Ten Thirty" (1:58)
- "Thrown a Bone" (2:36)
- "Stevie Switcharoo" (1:35)
- "Dalton's World" (0:45)
- "357" (0:58)
- "392" (1:39)
- "2nd Floor Window" (0:46)
- "Defend Brooklyn" (1:17)
- "Food Chain" (1:11)
- "Above Your Pay Grade" (1:27)
- "Everything Hunky Dory" (1:29)
- "Frazier's Tour" (4:52)
- "Press Here to Play" (1:41)
- "Nothing Yet" (2:06)
- "Demands In Place" (1:00)
- "Here Lies Peter Hammond" (2:34)
- "Nazis Pay Too Well" (3:54)
- "Nice Talking to You" (1:18)
- "They Bugged Us" (1:45)
- "Hostage Takedown" (2:49)
- "Dr. Phil" (1:12)
- "Photo Ops" (2:00)
- "ESU Search" (1:26)
- "Dalton's Cell" (1:11)
- "Follow the Ring" (4:17)
- "Good and Ready" (2:20)
- "Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint" (6:44) (written by A. R. Rahman, Gulzar, Panjabi MC; performed by Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi, featuring Panjabi MC)
Critical reception 
Inside Man received high critical acclaim upon release. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has an 86% rating, making it "Certified Fresh". The site's critical consensus reads: "Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller touches on questions of race and class without taking away from the tension and fun of the cat-and-mouse games between a hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington), a bank robber (Clive Owen), and a high-powered fixer (Jodie Foster). Inside Man puts a spin on the Dog Day Afternoon scenario, with a group of sharp bank robbers who stay one step ahead of the police; it's a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill."
Empire gave the film 4 out of 5 stars with the verdict, "It’s certainly a Spike Lee film, but no Spike Lee Joint. Still, he’s delivered a pacy, vigorous and frequently masterful take on a well-worn genre. Thanks to some slick lens work and a cast on cracking form, Lee proves (perhaps above all to himself?) that playing it straight is not always a bad thing." Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote, "The basic story is elemental, but because Lee and Gewirtz invest it with grit, comedy, and a ton of New York ethnic personality, it's fresh anyway." Daved Ansen of Newsweek commented, "As unexpected as some of its plot twists is the fact that this unapologetic genre movie was directed by Spike Lee, who has never sold himself as Mr. Entertainment. But here it is, a Spike Lee joint that's downright fun." Giving the film a B+ rating, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Inside Man is a hybrid of studio action pic and Spike Lee joint. Or else it's a cross between a 2006 Spike Lee joint and a 1970s-style movie indictment of urban unease."
However Roger Ebert gave the film a mixed review. He wrote, "Here is a thriller that's curiously reluctant to get to the payoff, and when it does, we see why: We can't accept the motive and method of the bank robbery, we can't believe in one character and can't understand another."
Box office 
The film has grossed a total of $88,513,495 in the U.S. box office and $184,376,254 worldwide. Inside Man was Spike Lee's most financially successful film and it led to many offers for the director to make more bank heist films.
Abandoned sequel 
Spike Lee and Brian Grazer were developing a sequel to Inside Man. Terry George, the screenwriter who wrote Hotel Rwanda, wrote the script. However, in an ESPN chat on April 8, 2010, Lee said "We were going to do Inside Man 2 but it didn't work out."
- "Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Inside Man (2006) - Memorable quotes
- Inside Man (2006) - Trivia
- "The Made in New York Incentive Program". Retrieved 2006-10-04.
- "Inside Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack): Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awastha, Punjabi MC, Terence Blanchard, A.R. Rahman: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- "Inside Man Soundtrack CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- "Inside Man Soundtrack (complete album tracklisting)". SoundtrackINFO. 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- "Review (Empire)". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "'Inside Man' scores big". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "As unexpected as some of its plot twists is the fact that this unapologetic genre movie was directed by Spike Lee, who has never sold himself as Mr. Entertainment. But here it is, a Spike Lee joint that's downright fun.". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "Review (Entertainment Weekly)". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "Inside Man". Roger Ebert.
- "AFI Picks the Best Movies of 2006". Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Collis, Clark. "Fall Movie Summer Preview, September: Miracle at St. Anna." Entertainment Weekly, Iss. #1007/1008, August 22/29, 2008, pg. 42-45.
- Jim Vejvoda. "Inside Man 2 Status Report". Uk.movies.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- "Chat: Chat with Spike Lee - SportsNation - ESPN New York". Espn.go.com. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Inside Man|
- Official website
- Inside Man at the Internet Movie Database
- Inside Man at AllRovi
- Inside Man at the TCM Movie Database
- Inside Man at Box Office Mojo
- Inside Man at Rotten Tomatoes
- Inside Man at Metacritic
- Inside Man soundtrack
- Inside Man Script (January 17, 2005 revision)