JOBLO'S MOVIE REVIEWS

SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Inside Man (2006)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: April 30, 2006
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Russell Gewirtz
Producers: Brian Grazer
Actors:
Denzel Washington as Frazier
Jodie Foster as Madeleine
Clive Owen as Dalton
Plot:
A New York City bank robbery quickly turns into a hostage negotiation situation with the bad guys forcing everyone inside the bank to dress like them (with masks), while the good guy negotiator outside, tries to figure out what exactly the baddies are up to. ďThis ainít no bank robbery!Ē says the negotiator, but it definitely is a film about bank robbery, so slap on your seatbelts and watch and listen closely.
Critique:
The only reason that Iím not scoring this film a little higher is because I didnít ďget itĒ entirely. Pieces of the puzzle were left on the side of my table, and for that reason, I canít score the movie a better grade, since my little brain wasnít able to put it altogether cleanlyóor, the film simply had plot holes. Thatís not to say that it isnít a very good movie, because it certainly is, but Iíd like to watch it again someday so that I can totally understand all of its nooks and crannies, so that I can judge it according to the whole picture, coherent from start to finish. As I sit here now though, itís still an extremely well directed film, with what-seems-to-be yet another bank robbery plotline, but one that slowly but surely turns into something a lot deeper and cooler than that. In fact, even after the bank robbery segment of the film is finished, another half and hour or so, is dedicated to the unraveling of it all. All of the actors come to play with Denzel Washington and Chiwetel Ejiofor doing their part to legitimize themselves as do-good coppers, while folks like Christopher Plummer and Jodie Foster straddle the line between the light and the dark. I also dug Clive Owenís performance as the man behind the robbery, but at the same time, I canít say that any of them truly provided the film with an unforgettable performance. They did their jobs and they did it wellÖbut thatís about that on that (although poor Willem Dafoe was kinda wasted).

Director Spike Lee also makes sure to spice the joint up with his unique blend of camera shots, including an ode to Harvey Keitelís camera-walk from Scorseseís MEAN STREETS, humor, with one scene featuring a Sikh being mistaken for an Arab riding that line of racism and funny (ďGive me back my turban!Ē), as well as the use of flash-forwards, with a bunch of sequences that take place later on in the film, inserted throughout the action, just to give you a sense of where itís all headed. Iím not sure what the intent of the foreign music was to start the film off, but I appreciated the homages to the world as it stands today, including the terrorists angle and even a shot at videogame violence (Note how the characters in the game were both black). One of the things that makes this film click as it does, is its ability to keep you guessing throughout and you canít really ask for much more from a mystery thriller, especially one drenched in such a tired genre. The film isnít afraid to laugh at itself either, as one of the characters says to the other ďThatís not how it works, didnít you see DOG DAY AFTERNOON?Ēóa peak film of the genre. It also starts off with a bang and gets right into the bank with guns a smokiní and masks all around. I enjoyed this film from beginning to end and was never really bored at any point. It kept me guessing and I appreciated all of its characters and looked forward to what was going to happen to them next. Did the film blow my nuts off? Certainly not, but it entertained me on this stinky afternoon and many times, thatís exactly what one looks for from a motion picture crime drama. Job well done.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

8:12AM on 05/20/2006

Better than Bad

Good movie, but I kind of had a different impression of what to expect cause of one of my friend's explanations of it. It was a decent movie. Clive Owen and Denzel Washington steal the show, but that is just an obvious statement none the less. The idea of the story is interesting, with the "perfect heist" motief, but really it loses it due to the fact that its only works for this certain situation, so really it didnt wow me with creativity. So if your looking for a decent popcorn movie check
Good movie, but I kind of had a different impression of what to expect cause of one of my friend's explanations of it. It was a decent movie. Clive Owen and Denzel Washington steal the show, but that is just an obvious statement none the less. The idea of the story is interesting, with the "perfect heist" motief, but really it loses it due to the fact that its only works for this certain situation, so really it didnt wow me with creativity. So if your looking for a decent popcorn movie check it out, bare minimum, you get to witness two great performances.
Your Reply:



1:43AM on 05/11/2006
Not great, but a decent enough heist movie. Although Clive Owen and Denzel Washington turn in solid performances, it's Jodie Foster who really steals the movie. She doesn't have that much screen time which is unfortunate. She gives the movie an extra and much needed spark that the rest of the movie lacks when she's not on screen. And I'm not crazy about the direction the movie takes at the end. What the heist ends up really being about. I did not care for that. That's actually not a
Not great, but a decent enough heist movie. Although Clive Owen and Denzel Washington turn in solid performances, it's Jodie Foster who really steals the movie. She doesn't have that much screen time which is unfortunate. She gives the movie an extra and much needed spark that the rest of the movie lacks when she's not on screen. And I'm not crazy about the direction the movie takes at the end. What the heist ends up really being about. I did not care for that. That's actually not a minor quibble. It's a serious flaw that I think really stops this from being a great movie. Still, even as is, it's a decent, solidly entertaining film.
Your Reply:



7:40AM on 05/03/2006
It seems like movies such as this are rare nowadays. Inside Man is a clever drama that is both story and character-driven. The story: easy, it's a bank heist; cop vs. robber . . . the characters: the cop - Denzel Washington, the robber - Clive Owen. Each character thinking that they're smarter than the other and each actor playing their respective parts perfectly. Thrown into the mix is Jodie Foster - a mysterious character that always seems to get her way; she's sort of a shady public
It seems like movies such as this are rare nowadays. Inside Man is a clever drama that is both story and character-driven. The story: easy, it's a bank heist; cop vs. robber . . . the characters: the cop - Denzel Washington, the robber - Clive Owen. Each character thinking that they're smarter than the other and each actor playing their respective parts perfectly. Thrown into the mix is Jodie Foster - a mysterious character that always seems to get her way; she's sort of a shady public relations person for hire. These three characters give the movie a great adrenaline rush with their charisma, attitude, and mysteriousness.

But the mystery doesn't just revolve around the characters, it also surrounds the bank robbery. While the movie does reveal what is going on with the robbers and their hostages, their motive isn't exactly clear. They let the cops outside tag along for the most part, but they also don't let them get too close. Allow for some tense scenes involving the robbers showing the hostages who's boss and a great scene between Clive Owen and Denzel Washington and the movie just oozes cool.

I wouldn't exactly call this movie a thriller, but it's a very well made psychological drama. Props to Spike Lee and the cast for delivering a movie that doesn't give away anything until the perfect moment. While the ending might be a little Spielberg-ian, a little too long and has a distant feel to it as far as the rest is concerned, the movie is never boring. Its characters are perfectly detailed and the performances are great. It's a good time at the movies.
Your Reply:



6:52AM on 05/01/2006

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

This is how thrillers SHOULD always be - almost every five minutes, you think you know what's going on, and that's when something else pops up, and you realize that you don't have a *damn* clue what's going on.

Denzel Washington was, as usual, charismatic and likeable. Chiwetel Ejiofor, was once again terrific in one of his unexpected roles, and as usual he'll be highly underrated. Jodie Foster was not as major a character in the movie as the credits and promotions seemed to indicate, but
This is how thrillers SHOULD always be - almost every five minutes, you think you know what's going on, and that's when something else pops up, and you realize that you don't have a *damn* clue what's going on.

Denzel Washington was, as usual, charismatic and likeable. Chiwetel Ejiofor, was once again terrific in one of his unexpected roles, and as usual he'll be highly underrated. Jodie Foster was not as major a character in the movie as the credits and promotions seemed to indicate, but she was great nonetheless. Christopher Plummer was great, also. BUT WHAT ABOUT WILLEM DAFOE?? He's a major character in the movie, and his name is way down on the list?? Grrr...so unfair. I've not enjoyed Clive Owen quite as much as I did here; he's not doing any particular departure from his usual dish of "smart and very, very serious," but he has a bit more finesse to it this time around; hopefully someday he'll drop the "professional" and go more for "natural" in terms of his acting; maybe sometime he'll have a role which is really "the big one" for him, which will really win me over (like Eric Bana's role as Avner in Munich - hated him before then, now I straight-up love him).

And overall, the movie was very impressive; excellent use of camera and lighting, some great plot devices and twists. Spike Lee definately has dished out a treat here. Now if you haven't already, do yourself a favor and go see it.
Your Reply:



JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!