Inside Man | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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"We've all seen Dog Day Afternoon," hostage negotiator Denzel Washington tells bank robber Clive Owen in this wily thriller, which revitalizes a familiar premise by turning it inside out. Owen and his crew, clad in boilersuits and sunglasses, seize a Manhattan bank and barricade themselves inside with a couple dozen patrons and employees; Washington gets the upper hand only after he realizes Owen's too smart to have painted himself into a corner accidentally. In the last half hour the plot twists begin to subside and the thematic paucity becomes harder to overlook, but this is still a superior nail-biter. Spike Lee directed a debut script by Russell Gewirtz; with Jodie Foster, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Willem Dafoe, and Christopher Plummer. R, 129 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Chatham 14, Crown Village 18, Davis, Ford City, Gardens 1-6, Gardens 7-13, Lake, Lawndale, Lincoln Village, Norridge, North Riverside, Pickwick, River East 21, 62nd & Western, Village North, Webster Place.

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