In the movie Inside Man a bank robbery becomes a waiting game. New York City police detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) is a laid back thinking man’s cop who meets a thinking man’s bank robber. Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) Russell and his gang step into a bank and quietly take over as they go about taking hostages. Russell and his people are dressed identically, including their masks; they force the hostages do the same. The robbers and the hostages are now indistinguishable; the waiting game begins.
The thieves get into the vault, however, that’s as far as they go, no money is removed. What’s going on? What starts as a simple so-called “perfect crime” turns into a “who’s on first? “waiting game. Meanwhile, Police Captain John Darius (Willem Dafoe) does not have much faith in Frazier’s skills or his method of handling the crime scene. It is up to Frazier and his partner detective Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to find out what the robbers really want. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will be remembered for his portrayal as the cruel crime boss in the 2005 movie Four Brothers.
Dalton Russell and his team are in sync with each other every inch of the way. Russell is in full command at all times and has managed to stay one-step ahead of the police. Clive Owen as the cool-headed mastermind, Dalton Russell, is excellent and is the perfect foils for this role. He and Denzel are perfect foils for one another.
Bank president, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer) steps up and brings in an unlikely outside negotiator, (Jodie Foster). Foster portrays Madeline White, a major power broker with a rolodex worth millions of dollars, because knowledge is power. White has no qualms about using who and what she knows to bring closure and satisfaction to her client, who has his own agenda. Spike Lee's Inside Man has a clever and complex plot that keeps you guessing to the end.
Denzel Washington seems to be at his best when portraying a cop under pressure. He can be seen in the 2003 movie Out of Time. Washington is the Chief of Police in a small town who gets caught up a tangled web involving stolen money and the murder of his married girlfriend.
Jodie Foster has been acting since she was a child, and has become an accomplished and respected actress. There are other young actors who have grown up in show business, you have to wonder if they have the talent or will have longevity of Foster. See Flightplan (2005)