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Shadowboxer (2005)

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When an assassin is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she decides to carry out one final killing, assisted by her lover and stepson, Mikey.



1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clayton Mayfield
Tom Pasch ...
Ryan Eric Speise ...
Anthony - Age 3
Cullen Flynn Clancy ...
Anthony - age 7 (as Cullen Clancy)
Real Estate Agent
Darnell Williams ...
Mikey's Father
Marvina Vinique ...
Mikey's Mother (as Marvina Vinque)
John Panzarella ...
Man in Hotel (as Johnny Panzarella)


Mikey and Rose are professional assassins. They are also lovers, and once upon a time Rose also knew Mikey's father. During an elaborate hit job for a malicious gangster, Rose fails to kill the main target, the gangster's pregnant girlfriend. Instead, she delivers her baby and convinces Mikey to help her protect them both. As Rose weakens from cancer, Mikey becomes breadwinner for this unusual family. But tranquility will not last. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Feeling Protected Is Very Seductive

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 July 2006 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Contract  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$103,238 (USA) (21 July 2006)


$370,627 (USA) (18 August 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ryan Phillippe was originally cast in the role of Mickey, but had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. See more »


Just after Macy Gray's character talks to Dorff's character outside his mansion, she gets in the car and shuts the door. In the next shot, she shuts the car door again, despite it already being closed. See more »


[after shooting two people]
Clayton: Eddie, what'd I tell you about talking when I'm fucking, huh?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memory of My Uncle Reggie (1942-2005) See more »


Referenced in Howard Stern on Demand: Cuba Gooding Jr. (2006) See more »


I Don't Care Who Knows
Performed by KoKo Taylor (as Koko Taylor)
Written by Willie Dixon
Published by Hoochie Coochie Music (BMI)
Administered by Bug
Courtesy of Chess Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Black's Grade: B
5 October 2005 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Shadowboxer Mr. Black's Grade: B Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren.

First-time director Lee Daniels, producer of two challenging projects, Monster's Ball and The Woodsman tries his hand behind the lens. Mirren plays a female assassin who is diagnosed with cancer, and decides to carry out a final killing assisted by Gooding.

Shadowboxer certainly is a dark film - think Prizzi's Honor but with a very different tone - but Helen Mirren handles this 'unique' relationship with tenderness and dignity. I thought the ending wasn't terribly suspenseful, and it should have been. I kept trying picture how a different, and more experienced director would handle it. A number of crew members were there for the Q/A, including the director. Heck, even a PA came in from Philly (you keener!) Wes Bentley was scheduled to co-star but dropped out.

His role was filled by Cuba Gooding Jr., who succeeded in erasing Snow Dogs from my memory. He is very good here, playing it straight and very cold. In the Q/A afterwards he talked about the differences between doing comedy and drama. He said that he is pursuing roles that allow humor to come from the actions of the character - like in this film - and not obvious comedy. He enjoyed the laughter that his character got from the crowd at the screening, when his character was reacting to situations within the plot and not 'trying' to be funny.

29 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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