Inside Man is a Spike Lee movie anyone can love. It is hard to know if Lee deliberately set out to create a movie that was politically neutral or if he just really liked the story. This is a taut and well-told heist story with a twist that deserves your time.
Lee is one of the few directors working anywhere who is as much a character in his movies as the actual characters in the movies. Like Hitchcock, Lee's stamp on a movie is indelible. As with all great directors the number of actors who want to work with Lee are legion and for Inside Man some actors of great distinction grace the screen. Christopher Plummer, in a remarkably low key performance for the great stage actor, plays a shadowy banker who is keen on keeping his own secrets. The great Denzel Washington place a bulldog of a detective that just will not leave things buried. Jodie Foster delivers a bravura performance as Madeline White a person whose job it is to keep the very rich and very powerful from prying eyes. Not to be forgotten is a subtle Clive Owen who is simply perfect as the perfect robber.
There is too much that can be given away by discussing the movie but nothing will be given away by saying that nothing is what it seems in Inside Man. There are probably some jaded people out there who don't like to be fooled by a good script and there are definitely people who just don't like Spike Lee and his style of directing. Those people aside this is an eminently watchable movie and one to which you will return for repeated viewing.