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'Inside Man'

Movie Info


R for language and some violent images.


Mar. 24, 2006


Drama, Thriller and Crime/Gangster


Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor


Spike Lee


Universal Pictures


Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.


Inside Man

Movieguide Magazine - Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee, is a crime drama that follows the showdown between a meticulous bank robber and a fastidious cop.

Dalton Russell (played by Clive Owen) is an intelligent burglar determined to perform the perfect heist. Because of his studied and calculated research, Russell has managed to stay a step ahead of the pursuits of determined detective Keith Frazier (played by Denzel Washington). Circumstances force Frazier to solicit the assistance of a high-profile hostage negotiator Madeline White (Jodie Foster), who, despite her impressive track record, proves to add yet another element of risk to an already volatile situation. If all goes according to Russell’s airtight plan, the heist may go down as one of the most elaborate robberies ever executed.

While Inside Man has its entertaining moments, the movie fails to hit the mark, despite the efforts of such talents as Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, Christopher Plummer, and Willem Defoe. The narrative contains too many holes, and many of the script’s vague details have to be completed by the audience’s imagination. For example, how does Russell find out about the history of the bank owner and the placement of his guarded treasure?

The movie’s message seems to be that good prevails over evil, even if it means that the good guys are the bank robbers. Some of the leaders in the police force are both disorganized and dishonest, and are willing to cover up a crime for a price and/or promotion. They lack unity, and often place their focus on challenging one another’s authority, rather than considering newly presented information that can help bring the robber to justice.

The mayor also lacks integrity and judgment, and is willing to be manipulated by Madeline, who poses as a real estate agent and can be bought for a price. In this movie, the bank robbers end up being glorified, and the police and governments are vilified. The bank owner makes a statement that basically is summed up by saying that he sold his soul as a young and stupid entrepreneur and has spent the rest of his life doing good to try to buy it back. Regrettably, he is willing to manipulate the government, lie, and deceive in order to cover up his misdeeds.

Denzel Washington in 'Inside Man'Even though Denzel Washington’s character is a man in pursuit of justice, he is also portrayed as driven by self-interest rather than justice. The villian and the cop seem to share a common ground, however, and this relationship is probably the most complex and enjoyable.

Inside Man’s graphic obscenities and violent content make the movie difficult to enjoy. Inside Man has a light moral worldview which says that everyone will be held accountable for their actions. This positive worldview is mitigated by the harsh obscenities and the movie's other immoral elements, plus its politically correct content. MovieGuide ®, therefore, advises extreme caution.

Address Comments To:
Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Universal Studios
Marc Shmuger, Chairman
David Linde, Co-Chairman
Universal Pictures
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page:

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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.


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