Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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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 dollars worth of debt owed to a local crime boss. Shade premiered at the 2003 CineVegas film festival and also features Dina Merrill and Melanie Griffith. … More
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as Charlie Miller
as The Dean
as Larry Jennings
as The Professor
as Tony D.
as Louis Freese
as Jack Thornhill
as Young Dean
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Critic Reviews for Shade
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.
A failure on every conceivable level -- from its trite, pedestrian dialogue to its static, torturous pacing.
Loaded with dizzying cons and betrayals, it pays off with a satisfying and unpredictable finish.
Through some mystery of connection and financing that involves producer Merv Griffin, many worthy players are degraded by Nieman's amateur stylings.
A dramatic thriller with a large cast playing the hell out of some very juicy roles.
Audience Reviews for Shade
When gambling your life, leave nothing to chance.
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.
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.
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