A Shock to the System (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Shock to the System (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Shock to the System Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Shock to the System is a black comedy about a middle-aged advertising executive (Michael Caine) who loses his long-awaited promotion to a younger man (Peter Reigret). In frustration, Caine accidentally pushes a panhandler in front of a subway train--and he gets away with the death. Realizing that committing murder might be a little easier than he previously had thought, he begins plotting the murder of several of his corporate enemies.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Andrew Klavan, Alice Arlen
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 25, 2004
HBO Video


Michael Caine
as Graham Marshall
Elizabeth McGovern
as Stella Anderson
Peter Riegert
as Bob Benham
Swoosie Kurtz
as Leslie Marshall
Will Patton
as Lt. Laker
Jenny Wright
as Melanie O'Connor
John McMartin
as George Brewster
Haviland Morris
as Tara Liston
Philip Moon
as Henry Park
Sam Schacht
as David Jones
Christopher Durang
as Convention Speaker
Mia Dillon
as Graham's Secretary
Alice Haining
as Benham's Secretary
Kent Broadhurst
as Executive
Patience Moore
as Wanda Maas
Zach Grenier
as Executive
Darrell Wilks
as Mailroom Boy
Mike Cicchetti
as Beggar in Subway
David Schramm
as Executive
Don Michael Perez
as Transit Cop
John Finn
as Motorman
Tyrone Jackson
as Messenger
Sylvia Marie
as Waitress/Dazzles
Scotty Bloch
as Secretary
Kim Staunton
as Secretary
Alicia Hoge
as Secretary
Elizabeth Morin
as Partygoer
Joe Zaloom
as Hot Dog Vendor
Socorro Santiago
as Rental Car Attendant
Welker White
as Kennel Driver
Sheila Stainback
as News Anchor Woman
Miguel Pérez
as Transit Cop
John Freeman
as Decorator
Frank Ferrara
as Cab Driver
Jim Dratfield
as Additional Dialogue
Fred Ephraim
as Additional Dialogue
Garry Goodrow
as Additional Dialogue
David Kramer
as Additional Dialogue
Angela Pietropinto
as Additional Dialogue
Craig Sechler
as Additional Dialogue
David Schramm
as Executive
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News & Interviews for A Shock to the System

Critic Reviews for A Shock to the System

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Shock to the System

I hardly remember anything about this film except I loved it. I'd really like to see this one again.

Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

A Shock to the System Quotes

– Submitted by Michael S (2 years ago)

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