Inside Man (2006)



Critic Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill -- and Denzel Washington is terrific as a brilliant hostage negotiator.

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 … More

Rating: R (for language and some violent images)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Russell Gewirtz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 8, 2006
Box Office: $88.4M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


as Det. Keith Frazier

as Dalton Russell

as Madeline White

as Capt. John Darius

as Det. Bill Mitchell

as Peter Hammond

as Capt. Coughlin

as Sgt. Collins

as Herman Gluck

as Vikram Walia

as Bank Guard

as Mobile Command Offic...

as Mobile Command Offic...

as Mobile Command Offic...

as Mobile Command Offic...

as Mobile Command Detec...

as Miriam Douglas

as Ray Robinson

as Brian Robinson

as Paul Guitierez

as Nancy Mann

as ESU Officer Hernande...

as ESU Officer Jesus

as Seth Greenblatt

as Gladys Perez

as Brad Stone

as Eric Dodge

as Borova

as Paul Guitierez
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Inside Man

All Critics (201) | Top Critics (47)

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

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 27, 2011

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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

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

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

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.

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.

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.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Inside Man Quotes

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– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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