When it was at the theater, there were several discussions of movies I might possibly make the effort to see, but whenever Inside Man was suggested, I'd shrug at the generic title, after which I'd be reminded that it was the new action movie with Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster. I'd respond, "But they haven't made a good movie in five years!"
The missing part was that it was the new Spike Lee movie with Clive Owen.
And it's really quite good.
I won't go into too much of why that is. It's smart. It knows we've seen this type of movie before and twists our expectations in a number interesting ways without stretching off into the absurd.
I'll reveal one of my two nitpicks, the second isn't significantly more substantial and involves too big a spoiler, to demonstrate how trivial my troubles were.
At the beginning, right after the people in the bank are taken hostage, the robbers demand they strip to their underwear. It's a rather ingenious part of their plan, in which they dress all of the hostages in overalls and masks identical to theirs. Of somewhere around fifty hostages, not one person was missing a key piece of underwear, no one had on dirty underwear, leather underwear, skimpy underwear or underwear with a vulgar pun or a picture of a cartoon character on it.
Their mother's would all undoubtedly be proud, but it felt out of line with the likely truth would be in reality and for just that moment, jarred me out of an otherwise compelling experience.