In the Shadows (2001)

Matthew Modine, James Caan, Joey Lauren Adams, Lillo Brancato,
In the Shadows is a movie starring Matthew Modine, James Caan, and Joey Lauren Adams. A hitman, sent to kill a veteran Hollywood stuntman, falls in love with the target's daughter, and decides to become a stuntman himself.
  • 5.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Ric Roman Waugh, Director:
  • David Glasser, Vincent Newman, Adam M. Stone, Tucker Tooley, Producer:

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6 / 10

Modine Shows Some Angst

A simple if improbable plot that gives Modine a chance to show his own shadowy side. I thought he did an excellent job for a guy who usually portrays the grinning, likeable, young quasi-hero. Here he has a lot of baggage as a mob hit man who is more mechanical than actually living, until he meets Joey Lauren Adams, who gives another lovable performance. It's always great to see James Caan as well, as he reminds me of an actor like Burt Lancaster. I enjoy every moment he is in a scene and how quickly he tends to dominate the moment. I thought the ending was a little surprising, but in the tradition of the classical Greek tragic-hero, it was appropriate.

7 / 10

Good small film

It took me a little while to get into this movie, but eventually I found it intriguing and sometimes touching. The performances help buoy the plot's inconsistencies. Matthew Modine is good and convincing, not looking like a pretty boy this time around. He's handed a much darker role than he usually plays, and he does a fine job at carrying the film on his shoulders. James Caan is always great, and I was delighted to see every minute of his presence. And Joey Lauren Adams gives another charming performance. Unfortunately, Cuba Gooding Jr. only appears in the film for about 10 minutes. His first scene almost had me laughing--and I wasn't exactly laughing with him. I'm sorry, Cuba was convincing as a street thug back in his "Boyz N the Hood" days, but now it's just laughable. After seeing his dynamite performance in "A Bronx Tale," I was hoping to see Lillo Brancato on screen again. Well, I got my wish and he does a fine job. Unfortunately, he doesn't get much screen time either.

One thing that irked me about the plot was how swept away Joey's character was by Modine. She meets this soft-spoken, monotoned, stonefaced guy who doesn't give her much background on who he is, and she doesn't even think for one second, "Isn't this guy a little creepy?" I think if a real woman were to see such a quiet soul who doesn't even crack a smile, she would freak and think he was some serial killer (or gangster, in his case). But as I said, the actors help make the scenes more credible. The ending is touching and sad. I don't suppose I'll remember this film in years to come, but for a little-known film it's surprisingly good.

My score: 7 (out of 10)

7 / 10

Good Flick

I saw this movie on Showtime one afternoon. It is a really good movie all things considered. I enjoyed Matthew Modine in a darker role than he normally has. James Caan was great acting self as stuntman Lance Huston. Joey Lauren Adams was well cast in her role as Clarissa, Lance's daughter. Lillo Brancato who I loved in Bronx Tale, seemed to be going through the motions. I didn't find Cuba Gooding Jr. a good fit for his role as a Draven the undercover cop. The movie is a little slow at first but it comes around in the end. I liked the ending, though most romantics might not. If you have the chance to see it I would recommend doing so. I give this movie a 7.5 out of 10.

4 / 10

In the dumpster

"In The Shadows" tells of a hitman with a conscience (Modine) who becomes a stuntman because this dumdass flick wouldn't work if he didn't. Ill-conceived, sophomorically contrived, poorly written, and poorly directed, this flick is long of atmospherics and short on everything else. One can only watch and wonder how Caan, Adams, Modine, and Gooding climbed aboard such a shabby project. A waste of time for all but diehard fans of the principals and maybe people with some interest in film stunts. (D+)

7 / 10

There are shadows lying deep in the hearts of all men

On the whole, I thought "In the Shadows" wasn't all that bad. There were times when the dramatics were a little overdone and the short part that Cuba played as a bad-ass international drug smuggler was really NOT believable. Poor casting there folks.

James Caan, on the other hand, was quite easy to see as an aging stunt guru. I have always liked watching Caan in a cool, collected, everyday-guy-in-extrordinary-circumstances type of role. He truly shone in this film.

Joey Lauren Adams was the one predictable dissapointment. C'mon, a Pediatric Oncologist? Not with her language skills.

Overall, I felt it to be a good story. I can't figgure out why everybody else has panned it in their ratings. Sure it's not blockbusting break the bank material....but it was better than the 4.3/10 the rest of you folks gave it.

My call: 7/10