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Characters / Inside Man

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    Dalton Russell 

Dalton Russell
Pay strict attention to what I say, because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself.

Played by: Clive Owen

I'm clearly a lot smarter than you, and have planned this to perfection.

The main bank robber, and the only named one. Is robbing the bank not just for the money, but also because he has a moral cause.

  • Anti-Villain: In addition to committing a crime, he's there to out Case as a Nazi collaborator. "I'm no martyr. I did it for the money. But what's the point of getting rich if you can't look at yourself in the mirror?" Granted, he is still willing to traumatise and even violently assault and threaten to kill hostages, even though he's bluffing.
  • The Chessmaster: From distracting the police with a foreign-language sound tape, to knowing he is bugged, to himself outsmarting the police by bugging them, he has planned for everything. He himself refers to his bank robbery as "the perfect bank robbery", and he certainly seems qualified to brag about it.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The complexity of his plan is quite ambitious and presumably required a significant investment of time and money to pull off.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Russell makes clear in his narration that he is a thief first and foremost and he wants money, but screwing over a war criminal feels a whole lot better for his self-respect than "just" taking the money.
    • Also Played for Laughs when he discovers one of the hostages, an 8-year old boy, playing a violent video game.
      I'm going to have to talk to your father about this.
  • Karma Houdini: He gets away scott-free with the robbery in the end.
  • Wicked Cultured: Light on the former, heavy on the latter.

    Detective Keith Frazier 

Detective Keith Frazier
You never know who's listening.
Come on, don't bullshit a bullshitter!

A New York police Detective who handles the bank robbery. He's on very thin ice at work because he's being suspected of having embazzled money (he's innocent though). His girlfriend wants them to get married but he's hesitant because he can't even afford an engagement ring.

  • Badass in a Nice Suit: A sharp-dressed police Detective whoís a lot smarter than both White and Russell give him credit for. He also almost gets the drop on Russell at one point, wrestling him to the ground and coming close to unmasking him. If not for a timely intervention from Steve-O, Russellís plan wouldíve failed.
  • Guile Hero: Frazier is pretty damn close. Russell flat out says it: "You're too smart to be a cop."

    Madeleine White 

Madeleine White
My bite's much worse than my bark.

Played by: Jodie Foster

I got where I am by collecting friends, not enemies.

A woman with the unusual job of "favor broker", who is hired by the bank's owner, Arthur Case, to make sure the contents of his safe in the bank don't come out.

  • Blatant Lies: "I got where I am by collecting friends, not enemies." While all of her power comes from her many connections and the favours they owe her, it's clear they all resent her enormously.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even White, who is an unscrupulous political fixer, is appalled by Case's history of collaborating with the Nazis.
    Ms. White: Well, I'd love to tell you what a monster you are, but I have to help Bin Laden's nephew buy a co-op on Park Avenue.
    Case: If that were true, you wouldn't tell me.
    Ms. White: We're listing you as a reference.
  • The Fixer: She's explicitly identified as such.
  • Insult Backfire: The mayor she demands access to the bank from, calls her "a magnificent cunt". However, instead of being insulted by this, Ms. White smiles and happily answers "Thanks you", as though it were a compliment. Given that the nature of her job demands her to be one, it's understandable she's proud of it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It's her job to get and give favors, and when she's called "a magnificent cunt" she takes that as a compliment.
  • Technically a Smile: Madeleine White has a way of smiling in a way that looks genuine at first, but without any warmth whatsoever.

    Arthur Case 

Arthur Case
I'll face some difficult questions [if the contents of that safe come out].

All lies, all evil deeds, they all stink. You can cover them up for a while, but they don't go away.
—Russell, about Case

The owner of the bank being robbed. He has an unlisted, secret safe in the bank, the contents of which he's trying to keep secret, as it would be very bad for him if they ever came out. As the film unfolds it becomes clear he's not who he seemed to be.

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Since he apparently used to know so many Jewish people, he's probably Jewish himself, though it's never stated. It can be seen he keeps a menorah somewhere but it's unclear if it's in plain sight or hidden away; Fridge Horror could even be that it belonged to one of the Jewish persons Case got murdered, and Case took it.
  • The Atoner: Although not presented sympathetically. His lifetime of charitable work and charming personality are basically a conscious effort to "cancel out" his dodgy past of collaborating with the Nazis. He seems to be less repentant than hell bent on keeping secret his past misdeeds.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He has been putting on a friendly facade for 60+ years after WWII, but turns out to have been collaborating with the Nazis in WWII, selling out Jewish people to be killed.
  • Deal with the Devil: Case reveals that he sold out one of his Jewish friends to the Nazis for money, even when he had the opportunity to help him.

    Detective Mitchell 

Detective Mitchell
You look around: there are five armed men pointing Uzis at you. Just picture them in their underwear.

Played by: Chiwetel Ejiofor

I have never seen anybody put their foot that far up a guyís ass.

Frazier's partner who also works on the bank robbery.

  • Distracted by the Sexy: Can't keep himself from blatantly staring at a woman's breasts when interrogating her, and is so distracted by them that he can't seem to keep his mind on the conversation.

    "Steve", "Stevie" and "Steve-O" 

"Steve", "Stevie" and "Steve-O"
Click to see them without their masks. 

Played by: Carlos Andrés Gómez, Kim Director, James Ransone

Steve: Heís gonna smell like shit.
Steve-O: What do you expect after a week?

Russellís accomplices, who are nicknamed versions of "Steve" by each other. The female one, "Stevie", is in a relationship with Dalton Russell.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: The college professor amongst the hostages says he teaches criminal law at Columbia, specifically in genocide, slave labor and war reparation. He is also a former attorney. At the end, it turns out he's part of the theft crew and maybe the mastermind; he's likely the one who found out about Case's past.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The complexity of their plan is quite ambitious and presumably required a significant investment of time and money to pull off.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: They make the hostages wear the same jumpsuits as them, which helps all three of them blend in both during the robbery (giving themselves alibis as the other hostages vouch for them later) and after the robbery is done, allowing them to walk free.
  • Karma Houdini: Like Russell, they all get away scott-free.
  • Identically Named Group: The bank robbers call one another by various forms of "Steve" (Steve, Stevie, Steve-O). This was part of their plan to stay confusingly anonymous.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The robbers threaten repeatedly to kill someone and at one point appear to have shot someone, but it's all just an act to keep everyone guessing (notably, their AK-47ís are all plastic. They however don't hesitate to beat up a bank manager for trying to hide his phone away from them.
  • One-Steve Limit: Deliberately averted in order to protect their identities and confuse everyone not part of the plan.
    • Played straight with two of their real names, Kenneth and Valerie...
      • ... then sort of averted again with Steve-Oís real given name, Darius, which is the same as the police captainís last name.
  • Saying Too Much: Steve-O gets the detectives scrutiny due to having known the bank robbers guns were Ak-47's but deflects suspicion by arguing that anyone whose seen an action movie knows what an Ak-47 looks like.
  • Smooch of Victory: At the end, when they have succeeded in robbing the bank, getting away with it, and outing Case as a Nazi collaborator, Stevie and Russell give each other a Big Damn Kiss on the lips to celebrate it.

    Unnamed female bank customer 

Unnamed female bank customer
This guy: ASSHOLE!

Played by: Samantha Ivers

[About her breasts] You want to take another picture? I could bend over and pick up a pencil.

A woman who happens to be in the bank during the robbery and is taken hostage.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Refers to the woman she has on the phone at the beginning as her "girlfriend", although this is also a common slang for simply a female friend particularly in that region at that time,
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: In-Universe: One of the hostages vouches for her, because he had been ogling her just before the bank robbery started, and knows she was a bank customer. You can see why during the robbery and afterward how she can be so... noticeable.
  • No Indoor Voice: Is talking too loud on her phone before the bank robbery, and asked by a security guy to lower her voice.
    I didn't know I was in a library. Itís a fucking bank.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The abovementioned quote about her breasts is said snarkily and not meant seriously, of course.
  • Skewed Priorities: She's more upset by the fact that a robber refers to her as "fat" (which she is not, BTW) than the fact that he's sticking a gun in her face.
    Robber, to her: Move your fat ass!!!
    Her: FAT ASS ?! Are you kidding me?! Are you kidding me?!

    Unnamed Brooklyn kid 

Unnamed Brooklyn kid

They don't scare me; I'm from Brooklyn, man.

An "eight-and-three-quarters" year old kid who happens to be at the bank with his father when it gets robbed, and is taken hostage.

  • Brooklyn Rage: During the interrogation, he says, to the amusement of Frazier and his partner, that he wasn't scared by the bank robbers with automatic weapons; he's from Brooklyn. Actually subverted in his real life because he's actually a very sweet and polite kid in real life, but he does play a (fictional) video game that is extremely violent, and acts out this trope within that game.