Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The story in itself is first-rate. However, it's the very measured handling that makes it distinctive.
This low-key and engrossing Belfast-based drama is as much a well-acted character study as it is a thriller about the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Like the political turmoil which inspired it, Shadow Dancer is fueled by the fire to do the right thing and the sacrifice that must follow, and for 100 minutes, it's a crackerjack ordeal to behold.
(Marsh) downplays political questions of ideological rights and wrongs. Rather than making a film about terrorism, or about war, Marsh looks at how they affect the people caught up in their machinery.
James Marsh carries forward the mood and menace of the opening into the balance of the work, perfectly matching his aesthetic strategies to the story's shifting moral terrain.
This is not an in-your-face thriller but rather a measured film ripe with suspense that never lets up.
Owen and Riseborough play their characters awfully close to the vest, not investing in anything that would allow this story to take the romantic or melodramatic turns we expect. But truthfully, that hamstrings the movie.
Still, the proceedings move so quietly and thoughtfully as to be occasionally somnolent, though they're punctuated with spasms of the violence that marked the Troubles.
A decent thriller made better by good performances and an intriguing setting.
Riseborough once again transforms herself dramatically, expanding her role as best she can. But neither the hesitant script - adapted by Tom Bradby from his own novel - nor the sluggish tempo give her enough support.

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