Shadows and Fog Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2009
Yet another Woody Allen vehicle centered around his trademark Semitic neurosis ...and yet again I smile and laugh and applaud. What is wrong with me??
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2012
Shadows and Fog, Woody's love letter to German Expressionism, boasts some cleverly detailed mise-en-scenes and 20s inspired shot scales, but it's little more than a replication.
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2009
I'm not a HUGE fan of Woddy Allen's work, my general problem is primarily his presence on screen.

While I can appreciate his work as a director / writer, I feel that as an actor he is a one trick pony. And unfortunately that "pony" is a sad, annoying and pathetic putz. Which can be good for a chuckle once in awhile and in the right context, but when it's all that you ceases to ammuse.

While he is slightly less annoying (then usual) here, I feel that his presence really detracts from the film.

Aside from that...the film is beautifully shot and wonderfully cast. The music is amamzing and perfectly suited to compliment the look and feel that Allen was going for.

I would have to say that while I haven't seen ALL of his films, of the handfull that I have seen...this is probably one of my top three "Woody Allen Films".
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2008
This movie is kind of boring. And all that fog doesn't help. Sorry, Woody.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2008
About as scintillating as Scoop.
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2007
Funny homage to german expressionism from Allen.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2010
A truly usual and offbeat film by Woody Allen that is very original and extremely entertaining. About a homicidal strangler on a killing spree, that has terrorizes a fog shrouded unnamed city, and a nebbish little man named Klienman, played to perfection by Woody Allen who agrees to help his neighbors who have formed a vigiliante group, to capture the roaming madman that only strikes at night. Astute direction by Woody Allen in what must surely be one of his must underrated films, which can best be described as a Kafkaesque -like nightmare with a mixture of dark humor, lt has magnificent black & white cinematography by Carlo Di Palma and a terrific production design by Santo Loquasto, the film is also blessed with a tremendous all-star cast in wonderfully acted roles which includes Mia Farrow, John Malkovitch, Kathy Bates, Madonna, Lily Tomlin, Donald Pleasence, Jodie Foster, John Cusack, Kate Nelligan, Fred Gwynne, julie Kavner, William H. Macy, John C. Reily, Victor Argo, David Ogden Stiers, David Strathairn, and Josef Sommer. A brilliant and vastly overlooked film that is a affectionate homage to the great film noir movies of the 1940s. Highly Recommendation.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2007
Credit to Woody Allen for trying something different, but German expressionism is best left to the Germans.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2011
This is not one of Woody Allen's best film. I was distracted by the story and of Allen who plays a nervous clerk sent out by his vigilante friends to keep a look out for a serial killer. Then the story involves a couple who works at a circus, they break apart because the husband is caught of adultury, so the wife (Mia Farrow) runs away and meets a prostitute (Lily Tomlin) who offers her to stay for the night but is offered $700 by a clientele (John Cusack). Then the Farrow character gets busted by the cops and is ordered to pay a fine and finally meets Allen's character to find the lurking serial killer.

The slapstick humour was so plain and wasteful I wasn't really laughing because I thought to myself and said "Haven't I've seen this suff before?" Towards the end of the film I didn't care if Allen and his cast found the killer or not because the movie already dived and bombed. There is an excellent all star cast and a tremendous black and white look reminiscent to the films of German Expressionism and film noir, but imo it is better to rent or watch those films on DVD/TCM. If one is going to pay homage, might as well make it compelling and moving like "The Artist". "Shadows And Fog" is not a success.
Super Reviewer
½ December 15, 2011
I can see why "Shadows and Fog" was met with such mixed reaction. There's not much of a plot and the final twenty or so minutes are completely preposterous. But that's not saying that I didn't find it interesting. The black-and-white cinematography is marvelous, the numerous celebrity cameos are a treat, and Woody Allen's comedic performance is splendidly funny. Plus, there are several moments of truth, with topics ranging from religion to existentialism to family values. "Shadows and Fog" is not necessarily a "good" film, but it's very enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2009
Woody Allen does tend to have a handful of stock formulas ready to go, this movie is a textbook example of the ?place the nebbish character in X old movie genre or other esoteric trope? formula. The genre Allen finds himself in the middle of here is German expressionism and there are also clear references to the work of Franz Kafka. Not a lot to report on, except that the cast is particularly well stacked with celebrities even by Woody Allen standards. Also I?d say the visual style here is a bit more ambitious than usual for Allen, the guy really can display a good control of Mise-en-scène when he chooses to. Some nice lines, but overall its middling and for Allen aficionados only.
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
This is definately a little known gem. I bought it for my Madonna movie collection - her role is about 2 minutes long - but I actually very much enjoyed the film itself. It was funny and unique.
October 25, 2013
An underrated Kafkian picture from Allen; paying great tribute to the cinema of German Expressionism of the 20s and 30s. Great fun...
October 5, 2010
visually, a very appealing film with its black and white cinematography, gothic atmosphere, and aesthetic homage to German Expressionism. I also loved the ensemble cast. content-wise, though, this really isn't anything new. the typical Woody Allen character, the typical Mia Farrow character, and the typical philosophical quandaries about sex, God, and so forth. the tone is also pretty unclear--it's not really funny enough to be a good comedy, and it's not serious enough to be a good drama. Allen had all the tools and then some to make this an outstanding film, it just ended up falling a bit short.
½ August 14, 2007
(Some spoilers in this review.)
This is the most visually tantalizing film by Woody Allen, with the possible exception of Manhattan's opening five minutes. Steeped in... well, shadows and fog, every scene plays out like everyone's awake at 4:00 in the morning, not quite themselves, not quite sure of what's going on them. Judging by reviews of the film, many people felt the message was too convoluted, trapped beneath an impressive cast list and jokes that fall flat. The message takes some thinking through, especially with the misleadingly happy ending that may seem unsatisfying and trite if taken at face value. The image of Allen's character never knowing what his part in the plan is (although everyone else seems to know and finds him incompetent for not knowing) stuck with me long after the film ended. Not a perfect Allen film, but one worth hashing through afterwards.
August 23, 2008
My first Woody Allen movie I ever saw, and I was a little suprised at how well done it was. It's about a strangler that runs loose as the towns people protect themselves and try to figure out who this killer really is. All in all it's not a very deep story, but the all star line up is entertaining with their characters. This film might make me watch more Woody Allen fims.
July 10, 2008
Well, I like the shadows and fog in the movie, but the story was annoying and ... pointless? I think this is the worst Woody Allen I've seen... unless I'm missing something.
March 18, 2007
One of the last Orion films, this is great mystery-Wood Allen in a stylized, Fellini-esque setting... will always be a classic film in my book.
January 13, 2007
I think that like Robert Altman, Woody Allen's films never come off perfectly, but somehow capture an timelessness of human behavior. He takes risk, or used to, or maybe still does. Props to him and this all star cast.
½ August 10, 2015
Woody Allen's first attempt at murderous themes deserves decent praise with this mystery comedy-drama.
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