Release Dates: March 24, 2006


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Taglines: It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can’t judge a crime by its cover.

Production Company: Universal Pictures/ Imagine Entertainment/ 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

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 (Washington) and Bill Mitchell (Ejiofor) are dispatched to the scene with orders to establish contact with the gang’s ringleader, Dalton Russell (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 (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 (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.

Crew: Spike Lee (director); Russell Gewirtz (screenwriter); Brian Grazer (producer); Jonathan Filley (co-producer); Jon Kilik, Daniel M. Rosenberg (executive producers)

Cast: Denzel Washington as Keith Frazier, Clive Owen as Dalton Russell, Jodie Foster as Madeliene White, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Det. Bill Mitchell, Willem Dafoe as Captain Darius, Christopher Plummer as Arthur Case

Studio: Universal Pictures

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