Who's in It:
Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe
The Basics: I'm dragging out my box of Film Critic Words and Phrases for this one because it deserves them. It's "sharply written" and "tightly directed," full of "incendiary" performances that will "leave you breathless." No, seriously, this movie is rad. It's about a bank robbery and all the power plays that go along with it. And that's as much as I should give away or tell you other than go see it.
What's the Deal? I walked in dreading this "crime thriller" because, well, who needs another one, you know? Especially one with a boring title like Inside Man. Especially one opening in March with all the other sucky movies. Especially one by Spike Lee because
well, did you even see that horrible piece of crap called She Hate Me? But then Inside Man turned out to be best thing I've seen Spike Lee do in years, maybe since Do the Right Thing.
Foster in a Skirt: I know, right? After all the action-hero stuff she's been doing lately battling terrorists and home invaders it's weird to see her relieved of the burden of being The Man all the time and playing against type as a sinister-ish corporate power player. It helps you remember she can act like someone other than the alpha-dog version of herself.
Casting Director Working Overtime: Every single supporting character in this film, and there are tons of them, is so well-written and -performed you'd like to see each of them in their own movie. And the jumble of voices and ethnicities amounts to its own subplot about post-9/11 anxiety over public life.
Go to the Bathroom Before It Starts: It's 130 minutes long, and you're not going to want to get up during the middle of it. Avoid the large soda at the concession stand, too.