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USA: Universal Studios
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Carlos Andres Gómez, Kim Director, James Ransone, Bernard Rachelle, Peter Gerety, Victor Colicchio, Cassandra Freeman, Peter Frechette, Gerry Vichi, Waris Ahluwalia, Rafael Osorio, Rodney "Bear" Jackson, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, Ashlie Atkinson, David Brown, Robert C Kirk, Frank Stellato, Ken Leung, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Ed Onipede Blunt, Amir Ali Said, Lemon Andersen, Samantha Ivers, Peter Kybart, Jason Manuel Olazabal, Jeff Ward, Anthony Mangano, Michael Devine, Ed Bogdanowicz, Aaron Vexler, Anthony Borowiec Joe Coots, Lionel Pina, Ken Ferrigni, Frank Hopf, Robert Testut, Craig Marcus Spitzer, Lily Agosto, Patrick Illig, Frank Composto, Rozanne Sher, Rachel Matthews Black, Gregory Dann, Ben Crowley, Shon Gables, Dominic Carter, Sandra Endo, Kandiss Edmundson, Al Palagonia, Florina Petcu, Agim Coma, John Speredakos, Baktash Khadem Zaher, Ernest Rayford, Vincent Dimartino, Julian Niccolini, Ed Crescimanni, Bradley Williams
Director: Spike Lee
USA & UK: 129 mins
USA Rated: R for language and some violent images
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence and very strong language
USA Release Date: 24 March 2006
UK Release Date: 24 March 2006
No detail is unimportant. No clue is a throwaway.
Acclaimed actors Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster come together to explore the lure of power, the ugliness of greed and the mystery of a perfect robbery in a combustible new crime drama from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment—INSIDE MAN. The powerhouse actors play tough New Yorkers who must outwit one another to protect competing interests in this skilfully penned and tightly helmed thriller. With on-screen presence that demands rapt attention, Washington, Owen and Foster portray characters who present every piece of an interlocking puzzle, but is every piece what it seems?
In a celebration of the heist films and police corruption movies of the '70s, director Spike Lee (DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, 25TH HOUR) joins forces with Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (FLIGHTPLAN, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, THE DA VINCI CODE) to craft this pressure-cooker film in which nothing is as it seems, with an electrifying script by screenwriting newcomer Russell Gewirtz.
The three key players—Washington as a newly promoted detective who must rise above a corruption scandal, Owen as a brilliant criminal who upends what we think we know about a bank robbery and Foster as a mysterious Manhattan power broker who gets exactly what her clients pay top dollar for—collide in INSIDE MAN, in a mainstream potboiler for Spike Lee, who teases the audience with tricks of camera and twists of plot. By its didn't-see-that-coming conclusion, INSIDE MAN reveals itself as anything but your typical thriller.
It all starts out simply enough: four people dressed in painters' outfits march into the busy lobby of Manhattan Trust, a cornerstone Wall Street branch of a worldwide financial institution. Within seconds, the costumed robbers place the bank under a surgically planned siege, and the 50 patrons and staff become unwitting pawns in an airtight heist.
NYPD hostage negotiators Detectives Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are dispatched to the scene with orders to establish contact with the heist's ringleader, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), and ensure safe release of the hostages. Working alongside Emergency Services Unit (ESU) Captain John Darius (Willem Dafoe), all are hopeful that the situation can be peacefully diffused and that control of the bank and release of those inside can be secured in short order.
But things don't progress as planned. Russell proves an unexpectedly canny opponent—clever, calm and totally in command—a puppet master with a meticulous plan to disorient and confuse not only the hostages, but also the authorities. Outside, the crowd of New Yorkers grows as the situation becomes increasingly tense, with Frazier's superiors becoming more concerned about his ability to keep the standoff from spiralling out of control.
The robbers appear to consistently be one step ahead of the police, outwitting Frazier and Darius at every turn. Frazier's suspicions that more is at work than anyone perceives are justified with the entry of Madeline White (Jodie Foster), a power player with shadowy objectives, who requests a private meeting with Russell. The chairman of the bank's board of directors, controlling entrepreneur Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), is also uniquely interested in the moment-to-moment happenings inside the branch.
But just what are the robbers after? Why has nothing worked to alleviate the standoff, which stretches on hour after hour? Frazier is convinced that invisible strings are being pulled and secret negotiations are taking place as the powder keg situation grows more unstable by the moment. With loyalties and motives called into question, the detective engages in a risky game of cat-and-mouse—but with the rules of the game ever changing, one wrong move may take the volatile match closer to a disastrous and deadly conclusion.