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Shade (2003)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 6,354

My Rating

Movie Info

Shade, the first feature film from real-life card shark Damian Nieman, who wrote and directed the picture, stars Gabriel Byrne and Thandie Newton as a duo of con artists looking to beat the "Dean" (Sylvester Stallone), a legendary card shark, in a high-stakes poker game. Their first step is hiring two fellow tricksters -- Jamie Foxx and Stuart Townsend -- to provide the smooth talking and to procure the necessary funds. Unfortunately, Larry (Foxx) blows his hand and finds himself with 85,000


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Damian Nieman

May 25, 2004

RKO Pictures

Watch It Now



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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (5) | DVD (6)

Card sharks and grifters look like the stuff of an engrossing movie in Shade, but, in the end, under-realized direction and characters deliver less than a full deck.

June 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A failure on every conceivable level -- from its trite, pedestrian dialogue to its static, torturous pacing.

April 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Loaded with dizzying cons and betrayals, it pays off with a satisfying and unpredictable finish.

April 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Through some mystery of connection and financing that involves producer Merv Griffin, many worthy players are degraded by Nieman's amateur stylings.

April 8, 2004 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dramatic thriller with a large cast playing the hell out of some very juicy roles.

April 8, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shade is the kind of film that makes for a perfect Saturday night rental.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

...the plot becomes almost irrelevant -- these guys are just fun to watch, and only Newton seems to be on a vain superstar trip.

May 22, 2004 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

O diretor/roteirista Damian Nieman mantém o filme com um ritmo sempre envolvente e conta com as ótimas atuações de todo o elenco (Stallone e Townsend, em especial).

April 27, 2004
Cinema em Cena

With so many sucker bets coercing your hand before you're really ready to make a safe cinematic wager, this will be one film you won't mind losing your money to see.

April 16, 2004 Full Review Source:

Too much of a jumble.

April 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Good fun for those who like Mametian con-inside-a-con-inside-a-con trickery.

April 9, 2004
Film Blather

In a movie about the con, the play is to hustle the audience into thinking it's more than it is.

April 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

A fan of gambling flicks? Then, ante up for this one.

March 25, 2004 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Audiences are (or should be) too keen on the con genre for filmmakers to keep expecting wide-eyed reactions on twist after twist, but this is a pretty decent one and outside of Mamet it's not often something you should expect.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source:

In the game of con-poker, a pair of card mechanics beats a full house of gangsters every time.

June 20, 2003 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Shade

When gambling your life, leave nothing to chance.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

A swift, smart and wickedly entertaing crime thriller. Tense, clever and really cool. Teriffically funny and suspensful. Great twist and turns that never let up. Lot's of fun and enjoyment. A con you cant help but get caught up in. The cast is brilliant. Stuart Townsend, Thandie Newton and Gabriel Bryne are sizzeling. The three actors have great chemistry. Sylvester Stallone is teriffic. One of his best performances in years. It has the flash and cash to keep up.
March 28, 2008

Super Reviewer

Shade is the story about one great poker mechanic (Vernon) pitted against the best (The Dean). Then the story gets incredibly tangled and you're not too sure what is really happening until the very end, which throws me for a loop every time I see it. But the crux of this plot is the big poker game with the very best that are around. Our hero, Vernon, gets his buy-in through the financial backing of his partners, Tiffany and Charlie Miller. The game takes place, then starts this domino of events that are just plain absurd, and then we see the truth and pick up our slacked jaws.

The way the movie is done reminds me a bit of Pulp Fiction in that the first half of the movie is not straight forward, but sideways we can say. It adds a really neat feel to the movie and kind of keeps you guessing for a while. The club/bar scenes and techno music add a nice flavor to the hustling vibe this movie has, big props for that in my opinion. The acting seems a bit forced for some, especially Tiffany, but otherwise it's a good little flick. I'd say overall somewhere near a 7.75/10, but since there's no fractions I gave it an 8. If you enjoy poker/hustling/Stallone, check this one out.
August 19, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. The Dean: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    – Submitted by Nigel N (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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