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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bank robbers, angry cops, corrupt executives: All misbehave, cheat, and lie.
Violence & Scariness
Explosions (inside bank); a man is beaten behind a door (shadows visible and grunts audible), and he emerges bruised and bloody; gunshots, a seeming (and disturbing) execution of a character with a bag over his head.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to women's breasts (plus some jokes about men's tendency to focus on breasts); sexual language and discussion of sexual activity; hostages are upset when they're forced to strip (we see them looking uncomfortable in underwear).
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Lots of profanity. Several instances of the n-word (including a video game called "Kill Dat N---a"); over 50 uses of f-word; slang for genitals.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking (cigarettes and cigars).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film includes extreme language (frequent "f--k"s and other profanity, including the "N" word). The robbers take the bank with smoke bombs, dress in masks and painters' coveralls, and look ominous throughout; hostages are frightened, with some crying and others acting tough. The film includes sexual language. Characters display and discuss racism (most often, anti-Arab and anti-black). Characters smoke cigarettes and cigars. One crucial plot point involves a character making money by working with Nazis during WWII. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Tense, showy, and shrewd, Inside Man is Spike Lee's most accessible film, but that's not what makes it brainy or galvanizing. Indeed, its cleverest moments involve odd and telling details: The credits sequence use of "Chaiyya Chaiyya," the white-guy who recognizes but cannot translate Albanian language, and perhaps most energetically, the Sikh who resents being profiled as "Arab."
While the heisty plot includes the sorts of cunning turns familiar since Die Hard, its more compelling aspect is its New Yorkness. The city is everywhere in the film, outside and inside, but mostly, it's the incisive focus, impetus, and consequence. In between the figuring and plotting, the film flash-forwards to exit interviews with the hostage as Mitch and Keith press them to confess their collaboration. This array -- anxious, audacious, arrogant -- is clearly made up for "New York" embodiments, persevering, traumatized, post-9/11. Competing traumas, leveling oppressions, comparable resiliences. It's definitely New York.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate