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Reviews & Ratings for
Shade More at IMDbPro »

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35 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

My Thoughts

Author: leafsfanatic from Canada
29 June 2004

I work at Blockbuster so it's fair to say I have seen my fair share of movies and to be honest in the last 3 years...nothing has really caught my eye and made me sit and enjoy watching the same movie over and over again.

One thing I notice to is we get a lot of 'sleepers' or straight to DVD titles and often those are the better of the movies. Shade was one of them, this movie had an excellent story, great acting and was just fun to watch, when I saw it I wanted to own it, although it cost me $30 Canadian it was worth it. Stallone, although not well liked or viewed as a good actor by public opinion, I beg to differ. Rock, Cop Land, Shade were all excellent movies, he was good in the remake of Get Carter as well. Stuart Townsend also is an up and coming actor. It's a shame a well made movie like this didn't go to theaters.

It is movies like Shade and Poolhall Junkies that I can sit down and enjoy watching, forget sitting and watching the Pitch Black's, the Torque's and all those other overhyped movies, give me the sleepers anyday!

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Flawed fun

Author: Mike Keating ( from London, England
27 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Shade draws its audience into a world of sharp suits, jazzy tunes and card tricks, which, despite its obvious cool, doesn't really make the grade.

That isn't to say that Shade isn't entertaining. It looks good, it sounds good, and the performances are effective enough (Foxx is particularly...noticeable), but the film just isn't as well done as other con movies such as The Grifters (1990), and is way below the sophistication of bigger heist movies such as Ocean's Eleven (2001).

My biggest problem with Shade was the the final plot twist. It seemed a bit unnecessary. The biggest problem in terms of plot is that it's based on an a grudge from an event that happened before the film starts, that we only learn about through infrequent references. Sure, there's tension between Charlier (Grabriel Byrne) and Vernon (Stuart Townsend), but it's not enough, and it's something that could have been made clearer with a flashback or even a short conversation. After all, they did it enough for Stevens (Stallone), and he's a supporting character at the most.

That being said, Shade is still a decent enough con movie to be worth watching, and while it has a few problems, that doesn't stop it being enjoyable.

And it *did* make me want to play poker.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A shade better than expected.

Author: gridoon
5 January 2005

As movies about card games and/or con artists go, "Shade" is no "House Of Games" or "Nine Queens", but it's better than you might expect for a film that was barely released theatrically. The first two twists caught me completely off-guard (the final twist though....I saw it coming a few seconds before it happened). The poker scenes are highly entertaining (where can I get one of those "juiced" decks?). There are many good performances (Townsend, Foxx, Byrne), and nice turns by veterans (Hal Holbrook, Bo Hopkins). The weak links are Stallone and Melanie Griffith, who look awful in this film. Stallone's performance isn't bad, but they could easily have replaced him with an actor more appropriate for this role; Griffith IS bad, and it's hard to know what she's even doing in the picture. An actor who stands out (in a good way) is Roger G. Smith as Marlo, the mob enforcer with the extremely calm voice. (**1/2)

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Totally Unrealistic (possible spoiler}

Author: callnrick from United States
14 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a professional poker dealer for over 25 years I found this movie very hard to watch. Too unreal. It seems the producers of this movie either had done little or no research or just didn't care. The card tricks are something you never would see performed in a real poker game. Common sense right? Plus it was full of film cuts and such during the tricks. Who couldn't do that? The cheating was amateur stuff. Palming, marked cards, etc. Would you sit in a high limit game where they use opened deck cards? Would you sit in a game where the players push their chips into the middle of a pot (constantly), mixing them in then just verbalizing how much they bet? C'MON ! I gave it a 4 because the twists and turns might be interesting to some people but for those who know how to play the game it will be pretty painful. Next time they should use real players and get some insight on how to do it right. OUCH!!!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

does follow real rules of cards

Author: iloveannettebug from United States
11 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

decent movie if you know nothing about cards. if you are a card player, which now a days everyone plays Texas holdem, you will notice that this movie wasn't written well according to how cards are actually played. i haven't seen this movie for like 5 years so i don't remember everything that was wrong but someone should have pulled out a poker rulebook when making this movie. for example 1. they announce they are going to play a game of no limit Texas holdem, but instead are playing some variation of 5 card draw instead.

2. throughout the movie when the guy with the bigger chip stack moves all in and says "o im all in now too and you cant cover my bet so i win", NO. in real life poker if the other player cant cover the larger chip stack the pot will only go up as far as what the small chip stack can cover, in this movie Stallone has a more money than the other guy and is like "you need to come up with more money or i win the pot...doesn't happen like this in poker like i said its been a few years since i saw this movie but next time someone decides to make a movie about poker, please read a rule book and try to make the movie follow the rules of the game (like in rounders) because this movie is so full of goofs when it comes to how poker is played

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13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A movie that pulls you in and doesn't let go.....

Author: 300bowling from seattle
30 May 2004

Expectations were low to start(no real theatrical release)but it grabbed me from the opening credits and didn't let go 'til the last credits rolled off the screen..

Tight,full of twists with great casting,and really good energy this movie was a hellova lotta fun to experience. We watch a lot of DVDs off Netflix (5 a week) but this was the best experience on a 45inch home screen I've had from a movie with no marketing and no advance hype since Interstate 60. How sad if true that it only made $50,000 in theatrical release. (previous review)... I'd give it 9 out of 10...And Stallone's performance was the cherry on top.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A great flick

Author: realgroves from California
12 April 2004

Don't expect to see to many believable, realistic or reliable poker moves.... but all and all this was an extremely entertaining movie. If you live in the Los Angeles area it is fun to pick out some local hot spots and catch that 90% of the movie was filmed within a few blocks of Sunset and Ivar. Gabrielle Brynne is amazing as always... and Sly Stone delivers the goods for the first time in a long time. I didn't care for the fact that there weren't more realistic poker terms and logistics used throughout the flick. Definately in a game that size you would see chem-decks, a spotter checking for cheats, a cut card, table stakes opposed to this "money in my back pocket routine", and atleast one Asian or Armenian guy from the LA area looking for a big game. A great time for two hours... but not going to teach beginners anything about a real high-stakes game.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

If James Bond Only Played Poker, You'd Get Shade

Author: zkonedog from United States
12 March 2017

In a number of different James Bond films, the tuxedo-clad hero would be introduced to viewers via a game of poker. Imagine him playing that game 24/7, and what you'd get is very close to what Shade is.

The plot of this film is so fractured, convoluted, and filled with turns that it is difficult to describe, but basically it revolves around the setting up (and eventually playing) of a high-stakes poker game that has enormous repercussions for every player involved.

I can easily see why this film was only released to certain select Los Vegas theaters, as the plot was so meandering and the acting (by and large) so underwhelming. However, it could have been at least a decent film if it would have focused on the two things it did well, those being:

1. The intensity of the poker scenes. Though this movie is billed to be "all about poker", it is really more about con men and hustlers, thus cheapening the raw tension of the card-playing scenes.

2. The acting performances by Sylvester Stallone (The Dean) and Stuart Townsend (The Mechanic). Townsend shines as the up-and-coming hustler trying to knock off the big-gun, played very well by a Stallone trying (at least at the time) to choose some age-appropriate roles. Unfortunately, the ending kind of ruins this relationship (although I can't tell you exactly why).

Overall, Shade is a barely-watchable film due to some flashes of acting drama and some intense poker scenes. Other than that, though, it falls completely flat.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I add the spoiler comment, just to be safe rather than sorry

Author: jay_hovah703 from East Bay, CA
25 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think that's a line from the movie. It doesn't matter if this catchphrase is or isn't, because nothing, not even a line up of sunsetting incredible actors could save this movie.

Man this movie is bad. I originally was going to give this 10 stars and trash Steven Soderbergh for copying the plot line, locations and the idea of twist after twist after twist. I thought this movie preceded Oceans 11, but when I came to IMDb I found this was released AFTER Ocean's 11. AFTER. I have plenty to say about how much I loathe Soderbergh, but one thing you can never take from him is Ocean's 11. It is one of the few perfect films of our generation.

The Ocean's movie (the first, 12 and 13 are horrific) set the bar on grifting movies incredibly high that one shouldn't even consider penning another one until you can match it, top it, or heck, just come close to its genius without copying it.

This movie could only copy the good ideas from Oceans 11 and get wrong everything else. Gabriel Byrne is too old to end every sentence with "baby" when speaking to his nominal love interest. Sylvester Stallone is watchable because he's an oaf. I will never believe him to be of any intelligence level that would allow for him to be the best card shark for say, 30 years. And Stuart Townsends smirk is lovable, but he really can't compete with Brad Pitt's. (For the record I think Brad Pitt is fine to look at and one of the most overrated actors in Hollywood. His acting abilities are such that when he plays a character, you can always tell that its Brad Pitt, thinking he's acting how his character should act. Its quite sad.)

This movie should been titled, Ocean's 14, the drama in real life. This was a made for TV movie version of what really happened to the crew. They all ended up washed up, selling each other out and the two aging but beautiful stars from Oceans 11 (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) end up with collagen implants and wrinkles, ala Sly and Melanie Griffith.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Much better than anticipated, but had it's flaws…

Author: dcobbimdb
15 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I liked shade a quite a bit, enough to where I've seen it quite a few times. There were two aspects about it that bug me (and hence why I didn't give it 7 out of 10), but I'm willing to let those things slide as the rest of the movie made up for it and made for one entertaining experience. The most entertaining aspect for me was the card tricks and gambling scenes. The story itself was nothing original and more or less a basic grifter story. However the pace & tempo kept me interested throughout. The music scores were also nice & catchy and added to the film.

This first time director who basically loves this world of gambling, cart tricks & gifting decided to write and direct a movie about card mechanics. Prior to this movie I had no idea what a card mechanic even was, so one of the reasons I liked this movie so much was because it clued me to a magical, exciting and dangerous world of which I new nothing about. For those who do not like gambling or card tricks, this movie won't appeal to you as that's its focal point. You're either into the material or your not. That being said there are aspects about it that were intentional by the director that did tick me off a bit, but not enough to sway my opinion of the movie as a whole.

The cast is great and I dunno why everyone is so skeptical of Stallone, but he did a great job in this movie as far as I'm concerned. And he didn't play a "tough" guy either per say, even though he was intimidating. The other characters including the lead did a fine job. And you could tell they were intrigued and interested in the story itself and helped bring it to life. The other thing that was nice was the trick moves were all genuine, no camera tricks, doubles, or CGI. Just good old fashion fast moving skillful hands at work. About the only characters I didn't like were Melanie Griffith and Malini. I've never found Griffith to be anything more than a cute face with a nice set of boobs. Well as this movie shows, she's well past her prime wearing a cocktail dress of which the seams are about to bust. And Malini, who's supposed to be this big mob boss but who comes off more like a gentleman than anything else…

What bugged me the most in the movie was this whole concept of buying the pot by betting more than anyone else could afford and thereby winning the hand. Obviously with normal betting rules if someone goes all in and they have more money than you, you can still call and are in, granted if you win you only win what you called with, but it's the "accepted" way of betting. However the director chose to have it be that anyone could simply buy the pot and win the hand simply by betting more than you could afford. This absolutely makes no sense to me and I'm sure it would tick off anyone who knows anything about poker as its just plain stupid. The moment you have more money than anyone else (essentially the winner of the first hand), the game is essentially done unless you brought extra cash with you. Even though they didn't exploit this point more than a couple of times, it's still rather stupid when you think about it. In fact the very last hand of the game, Stallone tries to do this as he has 50K more than Stuart, and this after Stuart has already bet a several hundred thousand on the hand. So you mean to tell me that Stuart is simply going to loose the hand if he can't come up with another 50k. That's literally the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. I can't even imagine underground / illegal gambling doing this as it's just retarded. So basically the person with the most money could simply buy the pot every hand. The one huge mistake on the part of the director. What's even worse is that the director admits to doing this deliberately in the behind the scenes part, but he doesn't say why…

The other part that bugged me as another reviewer already pointed out was in the end when Stallone makes reference to buying the pot for $10 as Stuart and he friends are tapped out. Anyone who had half a brain would realize that Stuart called Stallone's bet, meaning you can't raise again after you've been called. Why the director decided to have Stallone say that line is beyond me as it certainly didn't add much and didn't make any sense whatsoever…

Aside from these two issues the movie was good and I enjoyed it very much, but as I saw reading some other reviewers posts these things killed the movie for them.

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