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Inside Man

Review by Mr. Stinkhead

8 out of 10

I had wanted to catch Inside Man in theaters. It starred Denzel Washington, Clive Owen (whom I loved in Sin City), and Jodie Foster. It was directed by Spike Lee, but all the critics said it wasn't a preachy Spike Lee joint, it was just really well directed. I finally got the opportunity to check it out, now that it's on DVD, and I was impressed, but not completely blown away like I thought I might be.

I was initially intrigued by Inside Man because I love the "perfect heist" type scenarios. Matching wit, clever plans, masterminds; this movie has it all. I had also read that it came from a first time screenwriter, and the critics still loved it. I had to see this movie.

Overall, the filming, pacing, character development, and dialogue are very sharp. I'm impressed. This movie is beautifully acted too. Denzel does his Denzel thing, but it still feels fresh and intriguing. I had kind of wished for more from Jodie Foster. She did a great job, but wasn't on screen long enough, in my opinion Christopher Plummer was great too. There's action and cool camera angles, and the overall plot of the movie is pretty interesting. I also enjoyed how they interspersed segments from the "end" of the storyline throughout the movie. I recommend this flick.

So I have to get the one "problem" off my chest. I don't know if it was the directing or writing, but two (of the many) surprises in the movie were pretty predictable (to me anyway) and I kind of laughed at how long it took the characters to figure out what was going on. I'm trying hard to discuss these without ruining anything for people who haven't seen it yet. One issue is the contents of the envelope, the other is the Albanian conversation. Seriously, I didn't ruin anything there. But I felt the movie kind of massaged these two secrets a little too long, like the filmmakers were really impressed with themselves for having come up with them. There are lots of surprises and twists in this, so that's a minor point, and didn't hurt the overall enjoyment of the film for me.

This movie is indeed smart. Everything about it is top shelf, I'm sad that it didn't have a bigger impact at the box office, because when I tell people I just watched Inside Man, they have no idea what I'm talking about. This should have been bigger. It deserves it.

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