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Inside Man (2006)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 197
Fresh: 170 | Rotten: 27

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.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 5

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.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 348,522

My Rating

Movie Info

The volatile showdown between a determined cop and a perfectionist bank robber is sent spiraling toward disaster when a scheming power broker steps in to take control of the situation in this hair-raising heist flick directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster. Dalton Russell (Owen) is a bank robber with a difference. In his quest to execute the perfect heist, Dalton has taken every possible factor into consideration. Dalton's uncanny ability of staying one


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Russell Gewirtz

Aug 8, 2006


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Inside Man

January 19, 2009:
Spike Lee Talks Inside Man 2
Speaking to MTV from Sundance, Spike Lee has revealed that work on "Inside Man 2" is moving along,...
September 8, 2008:
Spike Lee Finds Another Inside Man
Spike Lee is working on a sequel to "Inside Man" for Universal, with Terry George in negotiations to...


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All Critics (201) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (170) | Rotten (27) | DVD (33)

[A] wily thriller, which revitalizes a familiar premise by turning it inside out.

April 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A slick, kinetic and relatively straightforward -- which is to say enjoyably twisty-turny -- tranche of cat-and-mouse procedural.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I gloried in the sheer spectacle of Jodie Foster as Madeline White, an exquisitely groomed, fearlessly feline fixer striding on her high heels and her high horse into one supposedly perilous situation after another.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's very satisfying.

March 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even past the midway point, it's all working -- it's taut, it's funny, it's trenchant, it's stylish. And then it isn't.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lack of characterization of the robbers, while true to the structure of the story, makes it seem a bit flat. At the end of the day, it's not really about anything; it's just a bunch of stuff that happens. But it's a bunch of stuff that's fun to watch.

March 27, 2011 Full Review Source:

An intelligent, invigoratingly airtight caper and a love letter to New York on crumpled, coffee-stained paper, "Inside Man" is the best kind of Spike Lee joint - one where he doesn't stumble over his sledgehammer before swinging it.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

A limp ride that, for all the shove of the camera and the grabby intimations of buried corruption, is no different from a John McTiernan Joint

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

... remains consistently watchable as a mechanical exercise.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: DVD Review
DVD Review

With great performances by Washington, Ejiofor, and Owen, this is a bank robbery thriller that will keep you in your seat.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Since bankrupting his film production company with dreadful movies like "Bamboozled" and "He Hate Me" Spike Lee now works as a Hollywood gun-for-hire creating a blasé and muddy suspense police drama.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Inside Man is the Spike Lee film for people who don't go to see Spike Lee films, and it's also a fun treat for people who see everything the man does.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CHUD | Comment (1)

An enjoyable, polished thriller, ideal for Friday night entertainment.

April 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

[Lee] nails the irritable yet alive soul of New York -- particularly, now, New York post-9/11 -- better than anyone else.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source:

With a few notable exceptions, there's little of Mr. Lee's trademark style anywhere to be seen. And he is sorely missed.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

the apotheosis of its genre, honing the heist siege flick to the perfection of a diamond. See it, and be dazzled.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Supremely annoying and nonsensical.

January 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comment (1)

It's okay, if you like investing two hours in a whodunit only to discover that a butler who was barely in the picture did it.

January 17, 2007 | Comments (8)
Bean Soup Times

This is the fourth time that Lee has directed Washington, and they have become as great a team as Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Yes, Lee did a contract job -- but that doesn't mean he slapped his coat of paint onto someone else's house.

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

The movie bristles with life with the meeting of people from different races. It's a Spike Lee joint after all, and it's at its most entertaining when reflecting these tensions.

September 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Un policial interesante y algo original, con comentario socio-político incluido. Al final le sobran facilismos y algunos cabos sueltos, pero las buenas actuaciones y la mano del director lo compensan.

August 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

A hugely entertaining heist film, with a refreshingly straightforward plot, excellent characters, and just the right amount of Spike's snarky class/racial digs.

August 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Inside Man

Spike Lee's Inside Man leaves it all inside the bank.For a 2 hour film that spends most of its time in a bank, the story remains intriguing throughout. The pacing is never to slow nor to fast, but the storytelling is choppy during some instances, although it is easy to see what Spike Lee is trying to do. It's only a minor irritant when all is said and done.There's not a lot of action in here, and quite frankly this picture doesn't need it. The plot and dialogue of the characters is enough to keep this film afloat.Denzel Washington's persona and line delivery is on the money, while Clive Owen's confident character is a good adversary for Washington. The mystery that surrounds Jodie Foster's character is fantastic; however, she loses points for lack of screen time.As far as crime thrillers go, Inside Man comes together as a recommendable production.
November 18, 2012
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer


A beautifully shot, slick and stylish, brilliantly acted heist drama featuring stand out performances from lead Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster, who is great in her sleazy supporting role that is both very well executed and engaging. There are however some problems with it, on the down side of things, the huge lack of action set pieces may alienate some people. Personally I think in the sense that it still works for a heist movie that it is incredibly intelligent and something special that makes it a great deal more memorable than some recent flick thrillers. Unlike Spike Lee's earlier work it has none to very little substance but his intensions were to make a psychological drama with twists, turns and tension and Inside Man worked effectively on that level. Despite it's surprising extraordinary length for a movie of it's genre, it has some good humour. Plus a witty script and grips you literally, right from the start, when the robbery begins.
July 4, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I understand that I am alone in this, but I still stand by my opinion. I was not engaged in this heist thriller. Did not enjoy the score. Loved the cinematography and the acting, but the plot failed to impress and draw me in.
March 10, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

A new area for Lee, this exciting thriller features great performances but also Lee is still able to inject his usual social commentary subliminally, this is Spike Lee's late masterpiece.
October 30, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

    1. Det. Bill Mitchell: Let me see your shoe.
    2. Detective Keith Frazier: Why?
    3. Det. Bill Mitchell: 'cause I have never seen anybody put their foot that far up...
    – Submitted by Manas P (23 months ago)
    1. Dalton Russell: This time next week I'll be sucking down pina coladas in a hot tub with six girls named Emily and Tiffany.
    2. Detective Keith Frazier: More like taking a shower with two guys named Jamal and Jesus, if you know what I mean. And here's the bad news: that thing you're sucking on? It's not a pina colada.
    – Submitted by Palmer R (24 months ago)
    1. Dalton Russell: Fact is, all lies, all evil deeds, they stink. You can cover them up for a while, but they don't go away.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Dalton Russell: My name is Dalton Russell. Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself. I've told you my name: that's the Who. The Where could most readily be described as a prison cell. But there's a vast difference between being stuck in a tiny cell and being in prison. The What is easy: recently I planned and set in motion events to execute the perfect bank robbery. That's also the When. As for the Why: beyond the obvious financial motivation, it's exceedingly simple... because I can. Which leaves us only with the How; and therein, as the Bard would tell us, lies the rub.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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