Watch Shadowboxer

"Feeling Protected Is Very Seductive"
  • R
  • 2005
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 5.5  (6,920)
  • 33

Shadowboxer is a 2005 crime thriller film directed by Lee Daniels and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, and Vanessa Ferlito. The film follows the story of two contract killers, Rose and Mikey, who are in a romantic and professional relationship. However, their life takes a dramatic turn when they are hired to kill Vickie, the wife of a powerful man, and they discover that she is pregnant.

The movie starts with Rose (Helen Mirren), who is dying of cancer and has a short time to live. She is a veteran hit-woman who has spent her life killing people for money. Her partner in crime is her stepson Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who was raised by Rose as her lover and partner in the business. Together, they take on jobs of the highest stakes.

One day they get a new assignment; to kill the wife of a crime boss named Clayton Mayfield (Stephen Dorff). They successfully execute the job but soon realize that the woman they have killed is pregnant. In an act of conscience, Mikey becomes determined to protect the unborn child and Vickie’s other two children from being hunted by Mayfield's revenge.

Unwilling to let the children fall into harm’s way, the duo decides to protect them even though it means going against their client. Mikey, who is deeply loyal to Vickie, decides to take the children under his wings and protect them from the threats of Mayfield and his accomplices. As the movie advances, the relationship between Mikey, Vickie, and the kids becomes more and more complex, and their lives are at risk every second they remain in the city.

The film is a stylish and unpredictable thriller that moves at a brisk pace, mixing moments of brutal violence with tenderness and eroticism. The performances of the lead cast members are particularly noteworthy. Helen Mirren’s portrayal of the ailing Rose is both intense and deeply sympathetic, and Cuba Gooding Jr. delivers an equally engrossing performance as the emotionally conflicted Mikey.

Their relationship as mother and son, and the taboo love affair they share, is at the core of the movie. Despite its graphic violence, Shadowboxer remains a moving examination of love, loyalty, and betrayal. The twists and turns of the story keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, and the revelation of the characters' true nature is both surprising and satisfying.

The film’s unique visuals are also worth mentioning, as it employs a heavily stylized and color-saturated palette, reminiscent of the neo-noir aesthetic. The score, by composer Mario Grigorov, is likewise an essential component of this cinematic experience. The music blends seamlessly into the visual depiction of the story, punctuating the intense emotions and dramatic tension on the screen.

In conclusion, Shadowboxer might not be for everyone, as it deals with mature themes and features graphic violence. However, for viewers who appreciate well-crafted crime-thrillers and complex characters, this film is a must-watch. The performances of its talented cast, its stylish visuals, and its unexpected plot twists make for a thoroughly engrossing experience.

Shadowboxer is a 2005 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5 and a MetaScore of 33.

Where to Watch Shadowboxer
Shadowboxer is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Shadowboxer for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (6,920)
  • Metascore