Spike Lee’s slick hostage thriller offers a handful of new twists on the genre but doesn’t transcend it. Clive Owen plays the wicked smart criminal who trades the familiar lines with Denzel the negotiator: “You’ll give me exactly what I ask for or I’ll start killing hostages!” etc. Willem Defoe is the SWAT team leader who gets this close to botching it all, and Jodie Foster can’t quite get a handle on her role as supertough mystery woman. The few fresh ideas make the movie worthwhile, and it’s curious to see Lee’s attention to race bleed into a big-budget thriller like this: there’s a Sikh screaming for his turban, a gangster lectures a kid about violent video games, and in my favorite jokey moment, a bunch of cops argue about train connections like only New Yorkers can. At times, the Terence Blanchard soundtrack made this film feel strangely like When the Levees Broke.