Clive Owen Weekend – Inside Man (2006)

logoDirector: Spike Lee

Writer: Russell Gewirtz (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Plot: A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal’s brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: The Best Modern Heist Film

Story: Inside Man starts with Dalton Russell (Owen) who explains the perfect bank robbery from inside a cell. We see how Dalton and his team start their robbery before meeting Detective Frazier (Washington) who has personal and profession problems and his partner Detective Mitchell (Ejiofor). The pair end up getting the call on the hostage situation.

The bank just so happens to be owned by Arthur Case (Plummer) who is worried when he hears about which bank it is. Cue the flash forwards to all the hostages getting interviewed by the police. Arthur calls Madeleine White (Foster) and lady who has the ability to deal with delicate situations and retrieve a certain item.

What follows is the plan unfolding but just who is behind it all is up to the police to discover as each hostage is a suspect. The other question remains what were they after?

Inside Man is a heist film that doesn’t end up making either the robbers or the cops the villains and both do come off as heroes, out villain is a banker showing the feelings we have about them in real life. The film has one of the best twists on the bank robbery genre and you literally don’t know what will happen. I personally didn’t like the flash forward but I did understand that it was needed. I think this could easily be up there with the best heist movies ever but seems to have got forgotten at that level. (8/10)

Actor Review

Denzel Washington: Detective Keith Frazier is the lead on the hostage situation, he has been getting framed in the work and this case is a chance to redeem himself. He tries to let the robbers make the first move but only finds himself being played. He ends up stepping in to make things happen but he just can’t work out who was involved in the robbery. Denzel does a good job in this role without really excelling. (7/10)frazier

Clive Owen: Dalton Russell is the mastermind behind the robbery, he seems to keep calm through every situation, he enjoys playing his cat and mouse battle where he ends up gloating about the outcome from the opening scene. Clive does a good job showing he can go against the biggest names in Hollywood. (8/10)dalton

Jodie Foster: Madeleine White is the professional problem solver who gets called into retrieve an item from inside the bank for the owner, she uses all her skills to get close to the case showing she always thinks she is ready to out smart whoever he meets. Jodie does a good job in a role you wouldn’t expect from her. (7/10)maddy

Christopher Plummer: Arthur Case is the owner of the bank who has a secret locked up in the bank, one he doesn’t want coming out leaving him to called Madeleine to solve his problem. Christopher gives us the standard performance in a villainous role. (6/10)arthur

Support Cast: Inside Man has a large supporting cast that includes many hostages along with small supporting roles from bigger name stars.

Director Review: Spike Lee Spike does give us a good heist film that still ends up putting his own messages in the film. (7/10)

Crime: Inside Man brings us an all new look at the heist genre which should be one of the most popular of recent times. (8/10)

Mystery: Inside Man does keep you guessing to what will happen by the end of the film. (8/10)

Thriller: Inside Man brings you to the edge of your seat from the moment the robbery starts. (8/10)

Settings: Inside Man keeps the setting easy to keep on top of because it stays mostly inside the bank and just outside. (9/10)

Suggestion: Inside Man is a film I think everyone should see at least one time in their life. (Watch)

Best Part: Dalton giving away his exit and following it up.

Worst Part: Goes on a bit after the robbery is complete.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $88 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

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

Overall: The best modern heist movie

Rating 80

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Righteous Kill (2008)

logoDirector: Jon Avnet

Writer: Russell Gewirtz (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Curtis Jackson, Carla Gugino, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Dennehy

 

Plot: Two veteran New York City detectives work on a case of serial executions of criminals who escaped justice.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heavyweight Casting, Average Story

 

Story: Righteous Kill starts by introducing us to Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) two cops who have been partners for years before showing how Turk is confessing how he had killed people on the force. We also see how the pair worked together to frame a man who was guilty but got off the crime. We continue to see how the pair takes out the trash as they see it.

The next case the partnership take is to take down drug dealer Spider (Jackson) but when their normal methods get the case thrown out the couple find themselves seeing shrinks. Learning that another couple of Detectives Perez (Leguizamo) and Riley (Wahlberg) are investigating the cards left at the crime scenes, which are the guilty men that Turk and Rooster are leaving. Fearing there is a serial killer Turk and Rooster end up becoming the leads case investigating themselves.

As the shrink sessions are showing the differences between the two starts to show, with Rooster coming off calm and collected but Turk is tightening up. Riley and Perez start to suspect that Turk could be behind the killings mostly because of their disagreements between them. As the story continues we learn that not everything is as it seems but all the clues point to Turk.

Righteous Kill is a film that took a lot of criticism which I think is unfair. The problem with this film was that it was sold as Pacino and De Niro together which on paper sounds great but if things don’t go well people turn around and says the film is bad. The positive about this film is that the story is actually quite good, it puts you in the position of knowing who the villain should be and watches how things get investigated, but the twist comes (though it is easy to work out) and makes you have to re-watch certain scenes to figure out the truth. I do think if this didn’t have the big names in it, we would have had a much more popular film but as a story alone this is very interesting. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert De Niro: Turk the man telling the story about how they killed people but his reasons is righteous. He starts to crack under the pressure starting to let everything get to him. Robert doesn’t give a star performance but still gives a solid one. (6/10)

 urk

Al Pacino: Rooster slick partner who always seem to be calm during ever situation, he keeps the hot headed Turk under control. Pacino gives a solid performance but not to the level you would expect to see from him. (6/10)

 rooster

Support Cast: Righteous Kill has the supporting cast of the fellow detectives trying to solve the case that starts to suspect Turk. It also has the victims of the killer who are all criminal in their own right.

 

Director Review: Jon Avnet – Jon does give us an interesting investigation film with good mystery and thrills but struggles to get the most out of the a-list cast. (6/10)

 

Action: Righteous Kill doesn’t have as much action as you would like to see in a film with this subject matter with nothing really sticking with me. (2/10)

Crime: Righteous Kill enters into the real crime world of potential police corruption. (7/10)

Mystery: Righteous Kill does manage to keep the mystery of who will be next alive well throughout. (7/10)

Thriller: Righteous Kill tries to keep you guessing but the twist seems clear from early on. (6/10)

Settings: Righteous Kill doesn’t really make a point of any settings being key to the story. (5/10)

Suggestion: Righteous Kill is one to try, it doesn’t deserve to be hated as much as it does. (Try It)

 

Best Part: De Niro and Pacino

Worst Part: De Niro and Pacino not at their best.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $78.5 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: There’s nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot

 

Overall: Righteous Kill has such a heavyweight cast you would expect perfection, look past the mediocre performance and you get a very interesting film.

Rating 66