By Amy Ryan
Updated March 20, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST
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Credit: Inside Man: David Lee

Which Spike Lee do you think showed up to direct Inside Man (pictured, starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster)? That’s the question many critics will be asking before the bank robbery film’s opening on Friday.

Will it be the Lee who demonstrated a light touch with comedy in She’s Gotta Have It? Or the Lee whose humor tended toward the heavy-handed in Bamboozled and She Hate Me? Will he take on racial politics as he did in Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing? Or as he did in Mo’ Better Blues and Jungle Fever?

Whichever Spike shows up, judging by early buzz, he may have his first commercial blockbuster hit since — well, ever. Though most critics have praised She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and The 25th Hour, none of them have ever really made any money.

In addition to the four mentioned above, my list of favorite Spike Lee “joints” would also include the underrated Crooklyn, Clockers, 4 Little Girls (his documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombing), and Summer of Sam. I hope when I see Inside Man, I can put it on the list.

What are your favorite Spike Lee films? Are you lining up to see Inside Man?

addCredit(“Inside Man: David Lee”)

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