The Shadow

Critics Consensus

Bringing a classic pulp character to the big screen, The Shadow features impressive visual effects, but the story ultimately fails to strike a memorable chord.

36%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,193
User image
  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

Where to watch

The Shadow Photos

Movie Info

A crime fighter created in the 1930s and popularized in movies, pulp novels, and a radio show starring a young Orson Welles, The Shadow came back to life in 1994 in this slick, well-cast production. Alec Baldwin stars as Lamont Cranston, a murderous opium dealer reformed by a Tibetan mystic, who teaches him how to use his keen mental powers to manipulate others. As penance for his past misdeeds, Cranston masquerades as a degenerate New York City playboy by day and secretly plays the heroic Shadow by night, staving off evildoers with a network of agents and a cab-driving sidekick (Peter Boyle). A greater challenge arrives when Cranston must fight Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the final descendent of Genghis Khan, who has received training from the same Tibetan master who instructed Cranston. Shiwan plans to use atomic weapons to take over New York and then the world. At the same time, Cranston meets socialite Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller), and, although he's instantly enamored of her, he discovers that her psychic abilities render his secret identity vulnerable. The Shadow was directed by former music video creator Russell Mulcahy, whose feature film debut Highlander (1986) was a cult classic.

Cast

Alec Baldwin
as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow
John Lone
as Shiwan Khan
Peter Boyle
as Moe Shrevnitz
Ian McKellen
as Reinhardt Lane
Tim Curry
as Farley Claymore
Sab Shimono
as Dr. Tam
James Hong
as Li Peng
Joseph Maher
as Isaac Newboldt
John Kapelos
as Duke Rollins
Max Wright
as Berger
Wesley Mann
as Bellboy
Joe D'Angerio
as English Johnny
Larry Hankin
as Taxi Driver
Woon Park
as Tibetan Kidnapper/Mongol
Brian Khaw
as Tibetan Kidnapper
Nathan Jung
as Tibetan Kidnapper
Al Leong
as Tibetan Driver
Gerald Okamura
as Tibetan Passenger
Alix Elias
as Woman in Taxi
Abraham Benrubi
as Marine Guard
Steve Hytner
as Marine Guard
Lily Mariye
as Mrs. Tam
Kate McGregor-Stewart
as Mrs. Shrevnitz
James Lew
as Mongol
Leo Lee
as Mongol
Al Goto
as Mongol
Phillip Borsos
as Duke Rollins
Billy Wong
as Mongol
Dan Koji
as Mongol
Bruce Locke
as Cranston Guard
Tera Tabrizi
as Concubine
Cristina Lawson
as Concubine
Raul Reformina
as Chinese Man
Kathy Lee Doherty
as Chinese Woman
James Alan
as Paper Boy
Keith A. Wester
as Radio Announcer
View All

News & Interviews for The Shadow

Critic Reviews for The Shadow

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (30)

  • The movie has all the coherence of a bad acid flashback.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • It has enough of the innocent exoticism and splendor of silent thrillers to suggest a continuity with the past missing from most other movies; all that's required is a capacity to sit back and dream.

    Apr 25, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Despite similarities as a vigilante creature of the night, however, the Shadow -- a character that enjoyed its greatest success in radio after being created in pulp novels -- lacks the visceral appeal of Batman and won't strike the same chord.

    Apr 25, 2007

    Brian Lowry

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Baldwin's low-key performance lacks charisma, Lone alternates between lip-smacking villainy and camp humour, and Miller is chiefly a clothes-horse for a series of slinky '30s frocks.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It offers a diverting, nostalgic retreat to the innocent days when crime fighting was a pleasant, rich man's hobby.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5
  • This thing is all packaging and no content, or, dare I say it, all shadow and no substance.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shadow

  • 2d ago
    Problematic narrative elements aside, I think one can still appreciate how weird this movie is. Clearly a result of a major Hollywood studio seeing the financial success of Tim Burton's two Batman movies and assuming if they found a dark, Noir, Art Deco, and puply equivalent, they'd also be rolling in money. It's a mess but a beautiful one filled with memorably imagery and strange characters.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2017
    Pros: *Alec Baldwin does really well in the lead role. He manages to be both charming and subtly menacing, especially in scenes where he is using just his voice to scare the villains. This movie made me realize that Baldwin would have made a good Batman if he was ever given the chance. *Lamont Cranston (aka. The Shadow) is a very interesting protagonist (at least conceptually) because he is a man who used to be an evil individual but is now trying to atone for his past sins by using his own inner darkness (his shadow) to fight evil. It's a nice backstory and the scenes in which Cranston uses his mind-manipulation powers to make people forget things adds nice layers of gray to the story. *The art direction and dark film noir-ish set designs of 1930's New York are impressive. *Jerry Goldsmith's score is very good and fits the dark dramatic atmosphere that the film was going for. *Russell Mulcahy still provides his distinct eye for visuals and clever scene transitions. *There are some pretty funny lines of dialogue. Cons....or Khans: *The storyline is very generic and un-eventful. *It doesn't help that The Shadows origin story is quickly glossed over through the combination of a rushed opening prologue and an ensuing text crawl. The whole affair feels like the second movie in a trilogy because it does the whole "hero fights an evil version of themselves" storyline, which doesn't work when we don't really know our hero. I personally wished this movie had been a "Batman Begins" type storyline to establish Cranston's origin and his early days as The Shadow. That way we would have been able to actually get to know him as a character, grow attached to him and understand his struggle. As it is, Cranston's internal struggles are rarely touched upon. Due to this I couldn't form an emotional connection and this applies to every character in this movie. *Ian McKellen and Tim Curry are sinfully underutilized. *There are not too many action scenes involving The Shadow and they are not too impressive. *John Lone (Shiwan Khan) is entertaining whenever he is sharing dialogue with Baldwin, otherwise Khan sadly ends up feeling like a stock villain. His plan is extremely silly and his final confrontation with The Shadow is extremely underwhelming and baffling. *Penelope Ann Miller ends up giving the weakest performance as Margo Lane. It doesn't help that some of her dialogue is pretty bad and her line delivery is even worse. *Some of the instances of CGI are okay (Ex. The dagger) but other times they are pretty creaky. Overall: This is a movie that seemed to have all the right ingredients: a charming leading man, a supporting cast filled with respected character actors, great set designs, a dark film-noir atmosphere, and imaginative directing. But due to weak action, underdeveloped characters, and an emotionally un-involving storyline, this comic book adaption becomes instantly forgettable.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2013
    "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" A campy, noirish film, The Shadow is entertaining and action packed. Based on the 1930s radio show, the story follows Lamont Cranston, who fights crime as the masked vigilante The Shadow by clouding the minds men, but he meets his match when a descendant of Genghis Khan attempts to destroy New York City. Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller, and Ian McKellen lead the cast, but they don't seem that comfortable with the material. And the film itself has an inconsistent tone; as the mixture of comedy and action doesn't really work that well. Yet despite its problems, The Shadow is a unique and interesting superhero film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2011
    This is actually a pretty good movie. Could stand up and surpass many of the Superhero movie's released in past 3 years. Alec Baldwin does an excellent job as in the role of the Shadow. Surprised to see Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen and Jonathan Winters in this one. Shiwan Khan has come to NYC with a Bomb and the Shadow has to find it. Great Special effects. 4 Stars
    Bruce B Super Reviewer

The Shadow Quotes

News & Features