Shadowboxer Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 25, 2006
Thumbs down to a movie of such vile and violent temper.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 25, 2006
Gosh, it's almost too bad/good to be true.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 19, 2006
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 7, 2006
The one thing I'll say about Shadowboxer is that it's never boring. Of course, I could also say that about stepping on crushed glass.
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
August 4, 2006
It ... has an insistently fussy and grandiose production design that mistakes lavish textures, brilliant colors and exotic backdrops for story atmosphere and style.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
August 3, 2006
It tells a story that would fit perfectly in a standard Hollywood action thriller, but it tells it in the grammar and syntax of an art film. The two sensibilities make no sense together.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 3, 2006
Arresting performances by Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. are squandered on a moody thriller that has way too much mood and not nearly enough thrills.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 28, 2006
The movie at heart is just a wallow in ugliness and unpleasantness in the service of nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 28, 2006
A ridiculous movie that starts off completely cracked and just gets crazier and crazier.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Bill Zwecker
Chicago Sun-Times
July 28, 2006
Daniels offers a lame attempt to do what Quentin Tarantino has frequently done better -- and with far more cinematic artistry.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 28, 2006
It doesn't take long to figure out that Shadowboxer's Helen Mirren, as a cancer-ridden hitwoman, and Cuba Gooding Jr., as her doting stepson, are the most unconvincing team of hired assassins in movie history.
Full Review | Original Score: F
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
July 27, 2006
The storytelling is so overwrought, humorless and misguided, the film is like a noir car wreck.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
July 27, 2006
Who says critics are useless? Now you don't have to see the movie, unless, of course, you derive some satisfaction/pleasure from graphic violence, unforgivably cliched scripts and/or repeated sightings of Gooding's bare bottom.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 27, 2006
One of the campiest, most lushly ludicrous movies to come out in a while.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
July 21, 2006
Billed as film noir, but because it lacks any subtlety and accentuates gratuitous violence that is more in-your-face than it is implied, the movie is about as noir-ish as Rocky.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 21, 2006
Not only will you want to shower after seeing this repellent movie -- the Rose-Mikey sex scenes are especially icky -- you'll feel sorry for the cast.
| Original Score: 0/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 21, 2006
If he earns no other accolades for his directorial debut -- a distinct likelihood -- Lee Daniels deserves some kind of award just for assembling the most bizarrely random cast of this young century.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 20, 2006
If only Shadowboxer had gone for more than an unwavering commitment to imitate better movies, it might have been one for the cult shelves at the video store. Right now, you'll be lucky if you find it in the giveaway bin.
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David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 20, 2006
A strident and shocking jumble.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 20, 2006
Shadowboxer, a gaudy thriller saturated in sex and violence, is an extravagance that leaves you with your mouth hanging open -- partly in admiration of its audacity and partly in disbelief at its preposterousness.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
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Greg Burk
L.A. Weekly
July 20, 2006
This is a sick flick. Sick, but satisfying.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
July 18, 2006
Shadowboxer admirably jostles and upends the fatigued killer-for-hire genre.
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
July 18, 2006
It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when it becomes clear that this lurid, steroidal neo-noir is certifiably insane (or at least a lot funnier than it means to be), but it's pretty early on.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
September 26, 2005
Apparently convinced that the daring material would provide them with an opportunity to give their craft a strenuous workout, Gooding Jr. and Mirren gamely apply themselves but end up looking uncomfortable under Daniels' heavy-handed directorial imprint.