Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Adrienne Martini
    Boyle, MacDonald, and Hodge honed this wonderful coupling of music, visuals, and clever words, as well as a strange affection for toy babies, in their first film.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Black comedy and film noir are around one another smartly and wickedly in Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave, a tense, twisty Scottish-made thriller that's going to break out of Glasgow in a big way. [24 Feb 1995]
  3. This is a fairly accomplished first feature -perky, visually inventive, and unusually nast
  4. 50
    All of the materials are in place for a film that might have pleased Orwell. But somehow they never come together.
  5. There's something in Shallow Grave that is admirable, beyond its obvious display of youthful talent. [24 Feb 1995]
  6. This pitch-black comedy is less lurid than its title, but director Danny Boyle ultimately fritters away his psychologically rich story in a horror-flick finale.
  7. 100
    This, the debut feature from acclaimed TV director Danny Boyle, is the best British thriller for years, a chilling and claustrophobic heart-stopper centring on a moral dilemma destined to fuel many a dinner party conversation.
  8. Danny Boyle's glittering, deadpan, nihilistic little thriller.
  9. Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge (who is a physician!) keep the action spurting forward, but their approach is oblique. We seem to be catching the odds and ends of scenes; it's as if the filmmakers wanted to make a movie in which all the expected high points were skimped.
  10. 58
    McGregor is a real charmer, a young Malcolm McDowell with a Scottish lilt; Brain Tufano's photography manages to be both rich and stark at once; Hodge's script has some genuinely arch lines. [03 Mar 1995]
  11. 75
    Taken as a whole, Shallow Grave is a reasonably enjoyable (for those captivated by this sort of thing) black comedy/noir thriller that justifies at least a portion of the praise being heaped upon it from overseas.
  12. In his big-screen directing debut, British film maker Danny Boyle demonstrates wit, intelligence and economy of style.
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    Smart and unsentimental as it is, Shallow Grave is more than a little forbidding.
  14. Just sit back, plug in, and enjoy the shocks - so adroitly administered, so sweetly sensational. [24 Feb 1995]
  15. A sky-high level of misanthropy overwhelms his film in ways that prove more sour than droll, despite the presence of skillful actors and a bizarrely enveloping plot.
  16. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    Danny Boyle's effective psychological thriller.
  17. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Shallow Grave, a tar-black comedy that zings along on a wave of visual and scripting inventiveness.
  18. This clever thriller has the juiced-up, hyperactive feel of a rock video. [07 Mar 1995]
  19. 50
    Boyle's characters, too, are young and fresh and promisingly rude - especially McGregor's Alex - but they become less and less interesting as the movie progresses.
  20. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    This is exactly the kind of weird, sardonic texture the movie is aiming for - and unfortunately, most of it occurs in the first half of the story.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Apr 30, 2011
    A slick, clever, well shot thriller. Almost everything about this film works, and works well. Danny Boyle, trés bien! The great sweeping shot that reveals just who was the quickest, is pure genius. Just great Full Review »
  2. Mar 27, 2014
    First serious movie by Danny Boyle. The actors are good, though the story is mostly predictable. The overall feel is like in other UK criminal-related movies. It was interesting to see the famous director's first full-length movie, but it was not as good as I expected. Full Review »
  3. BKM
    May 16, 2013
    It's nothing that hasn't been seen before. Friends are torn apart by greed after their flatmate dies and leaves a mysterious suitcase of money behind. What makes this film worth checking out is Danny Boyle's darkly comic approach to the material and Ewan McGregor's devilishly fun performance. Full Review »