Shadowboxer

on July 21, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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A hit-woman with terminal cancer (Helen Mirren) finds herself doubting her latest assignment in "Shadowboxer," a drama that mixes originality with clichés to predictably ill effect. As Rose, the profane but also loving assassin, Mirren shines, and her character's relationship -- sexual and otherwise -- with troubled stepson Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr., in an unusually gritty role), makes for provocative drama. That's the original part of the movie. The clichés come into play as Rosa lets that old bugaboo, emotion, interfere with her plans to kill, especially when a cute kid pops up in the middle of the proceedings. It's all worsened by the presence of Stephen Dorff, who overdoes things as your typical psychotic gangster. "Shadowboxer" is a case of one step forward, two steps back. It wants to break new ground but lacks the ability to think outside of the box. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff and Macy Gray. Directed by Lee Daniels. Written by Will Rokos. Produced by Brook Lenfest, Lisa Cortes, Lee Daniels, Damon Dash and Dave Robinson. A Freestyle release. Drama. Rated R for strong graphic violence and sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use. Running time: 93 min
Tags: Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff, Macy Gray. Directed by Lee Daniels. Written by Will Rokos. Produced by Brook Lenfest, Lisa Cortes, Lee Daniels, Damon Dash, Dave Robinson, Freestyle, Drama
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