Four people dressed in painters’ outfits march into the busy lobby of Manhattan Trust and place the bank under a surgically planned siege. 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 gang’s ringleader, Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), and ensure safe release of the hostages.
While 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, 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 intense tense, with Frazier’s superiors becoming more concerned about his ability to keep the standoff from spiraling out of control.
The robbers appear to consistently be one step ahead of the police, outwitting Frazier and Mitchell 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, a controlling entrepreneur named Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer),is also uniquely interested in the 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.
Inside Man is directed by Spike Lee and stars Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer andWillem Dafoe. The film opens wide this Friday, March 24, 2006.
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