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66 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Man Is Sharp Filmmaking With An Amazing Cast, Truly Entertaining Even With Lee's Social Commentary, March 27, 2006
MOVIE: Spike Lee has never been on my top list of directors. His movies usually have very strong social commentaries, and nothing more than that. Those social commentaries though are usually the same thing, and it always has to deal with race. Hell, he calls every one of his films "A Spike Lee Joint". I'm not against it, but it usually detracts from the story. Inside Man is really his first movie that really focuses on the narrative and is intent on telling an entertaining story. The film is his most mainstream film to date, and in my opinion is his best. Clive Owen plays a bank robber who decides to go Dog Day Afternoon style and perform an elaborate bank heist, but this theif has everything planned to perfection. The film opens right into the action and wastes no time. Denzel Washington plays the "average joe" hostage negotiator who is assigned to the case, and Chiwetel Ejiofor plays his partner. As the story progresses we learn more of what the true purpose of this bank heist is. The owner of the bank, played by Christopher Plummer, has a secret about his past that could destroy his repuation if released to the public and it happens to be located in an unlisted safety deposit box in that bank. He hires Jodie Foster to help him try and reason with Clive Owen's character, while all Denzel Washington is concerned about is serving justice. The film is quick, superbly edited, and extremely entertaining. Spike Lee doesn't compromise his techniques and the film still retains all of the familiar Lee social commentaries. Race and politics become the underlaying theme for the film and it moves it in the right direction. All the reviews and ads talk about the twist ending and a plot full of surprises. It's not that kind of movie, there isn't a Shyamalan twist waiting at the end of the movie, but there are a few secrets about the characters that are slowly revealed throughout. There are some surprises that will make you grin with shame becaue you didn't see them coming, and those are always fun. The racial and political theme is not overpowering, it's not what drives the film but rather enhances the character relations in the film. It's a really well put together piece of filmmaking. Sharp dialogue, light tone, and great entertainment make Inside Man a joint worth passing to the next person.

ACTING: This is the dream cast that any director would kill for. Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, and Willem Dafoe headline this impressive ensamble. I mean, how can you have bad acting with a cast like this? It's impossible. The cast is so experienced that they make it look easy to pull off roles like these. The characters feel natural and real, and are emotionally involving. It's a great cast.

BOTTOM LINE: Spike Lee proves himself to be a great storyteller. He focuses on the important things and highlights them with his personal touches. He even has his trademark "floaty camera" technique, which he uses to show determination on Denzel Washington's character's part. Even the opening titles and credits are done with style. He uses a very catchy song for the opening and closing credits that sets the perfect tone for the film. It's a song from Bollywood composer, A.R. Rahman. It's titled "Chayya Chayya". You can find the album on Amazon, it's the soundtrack to Dil Se. Inside Man is a tightly woven piece of filmmaking, and is worth your time
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2008 9:37:31 AM PDT
stormie says:
Long reviews are taxing on the eyes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2010 11:51:18 AM PDT
Sapphire says:
Useless comments are a waste of people's time, stormie.
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