Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 15
  2. Negative: 8 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Greg Burk
    70
    This is a sick flick. Sick, but satisfying. A cartoonish parable in the mode of Cronenberg's "A History of Violence."
  2. 63
    Despite the edifying square-up -- moral lessons about family, the legacy of violence and the tenacious power of love -- the appeal is freak-show all the way.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    60
    Admirably jostles and upends the fatigued killer-for-hire genre.
  5. A strident and shocking jumble, Shadowboxer suggests what you might come up with if you decided to inject John Huston's dark 1985 film, "Prizzi's Honor," with Oedipal overtones.
  6. 50
    Despite the tenderness between them, Rose and her perfect younger man have the sickest mother-son relationship since Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey in "The Manchurian Candidate" - and Mikey seems just as brainwashed.
  7. In this lukewarm climate of pointless remakes and uninspired sequels there's always welcome room for a film that wants to push the envelope, Shadowboxer merely crams it with a lot of nonsense.
  8. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    38
    Gruesome and supremely disjointed foray into the world of hired assassins.
  9. 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.
  10. 30
    This monumentally ridiculous film doesn't stop at subverting stereotypes; it discombobulates narrative logic and the basic laws of human behavior. Still, there's a certain pleasure to be derived from watching the actors attempt to dig out from under the rubble that William Lipz's screenplay repeatedly dumps on their heads.
  11. 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.
  12. 30
    By the time Gooding showed up for one of his assignments disguised as a call girl, even "Boat Trip" looked good to me.
  13. There's no satisfaction and no pleasure to be gained by sitting through it. The characters are ludicrous and, worse than that, boring. And this is despite all the lead actors doing the best they can.
  14. 0
    A couple of years ago, a disaster like Shadow boxer - with the hapless Cuba Gooding Jr. scraping below the bottom of the barrel - would have gone straight to video or been buried on an obscure cable channel at 3 a.m.
  15. 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.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    3
    Whoever cast this needs to find a new job. Helen Mirren as a serial killer? Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a doctor? Mo'Nique as his girlfriend? WithWhoever cast this needs to find a new job. Helen Mirren as a serial killer? Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a doctor? Mo'Nique as his girlfriend? With all the names popping up on the screen you would figure that the movie would have to be good otherwise why would these actors have signed on, right? Wrong. As stated the casting was way off, the odd story which includes Gooding and Mirren as step-son and mother-in-law in a relationship with each other just doesn't work. Cuba can act we have all seen it but in Shadowboxer he felt stale and out of place. Not much good I can say about this so I will just end it there. Full Review »
  2. FrankJ.
    Apr 2, 2007
    7
    I enjoyed Mirren and Gooding and while preposterous in its twists, the movie held my interest and entertained despite its gratuitous I enjoyed Mirren and Gooding and while preposterous in its twists, the movie held my interest and entertained despite its gratuitous violence. How many close up homicides are necessary to maintain audience interest? How many butt shots of Gooding are necessary to make a point? Hollywood does not let us down again with its insistence upon redundancy and hit you over the head subtlety. Tinseltown just may never overcome its compulsion to play down to its audience. So they need to balance this insulting direction with casting a Helen Mirren. Full Review »
  3. SeanJ
    Dec 11, 2006
    2
    Those rating it high must be ringers for the distributors - this was trash. Outside of a couple of tepid chuckles at a sex scene in a Those rating it high must be ringers for the distributors - this was trash. Outside of a couple of tepid chuckles at a sex scene in a doctor's office, the look on our faces was boredom. Other sex scenes were contrived, a pointless plot and the second female lead was trying too hard to look like Angelina Jolie--don't waste your time - rent/buy/download something else. Anyone's life is more precious than spending it on this dreck. Full Review »