Box art for The Shadow

The Shadow

action & adventure

Alec Baldwin stars as the crime-fighting superhero who battles his most dangerous nemesis yet in this thriller with incredible special effects, humor and a dose of the macabre!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 14
    see all The Shadow reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: 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.

- Brian Lowry, Variety, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fresh: It offers a diverting, nostalgic retreat to the innocent days when crime fighting was a pleasant, rich man's hobby.

- Caryn James, New York Times, Monday, August 30, 2004

Rotten: 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.

- Derek Adams, Time Out, Saturday, June 24, 2006

Audience Reviews

4 stars

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

- bbcfloridabound, Friday, September 2, 2011

3 stars

In true 30's period style and setting this comicbook/pulp adaptation visually looks awesome and captures the atmosphere of the era perfectly. If you think along the lines of 'Dick Tracy' and 'The Rocketeer' then you will get an idea of the vibe going on here. Even though the budget for 'The Phantom' was actually bigger than this film, director Mulcahy's film certainly looks the slicker and more realistic. The character of The Shadow isn't anything really special to be honest, its just a guy in a cloak with a fedora type hat on and he carries two guns. He always did seem like a poor man's Batman in all honesty, not too distant from the Phantom or Darkman actually. The main difference with this guy is the fact he does actually have some special super powers. He can cloud men's minds (what about women?) with a kind of spiritual hypnosis that blinds people to his presence...accept for his shadow oddly enough, hence his name. Oh and he's pretty snazzy with the two guns also. This character fits his dark little world perfectly in both his crime fighting form and his alias as a rich good looking 'Bruce Wayne' type. His lair has a neat little secret entrance just like Wayne Manor to the Batcave and he lurks around in the shadows quite nicely. The plot is an odd one, Baldwin starts off as a bad guy in Tibet after succumbing to his darker side not long after WWI (dunno why). He is then kidnapped by some wise holy man who for some reason will train Baldwin to be a good guy, unsure why really, but in the end he goes back to New York and begins his Batman-esque lifestyle. Then some other magical fellow turns up to challenge Baldwin or try and get him to join with him so he can gain world domination. This bad guy happens to be a distant relation of Genghis Khan, for some reason we have another crime fighter who must face off against a Khan. 'Hellboy' had to face off against the actual Genghis Khan, weird how Khan seems to pop up in these fantasy films. As you can guess from this story idea there is a lot of mystical hocus pocus going on throughout and the plot is slightly convoluted to be frank. Really the film excels with its visuals, a lovely looking old fashioned 30's New York complete with dated cars, store fronts and atmospheric swirling mist, the invisibility effects, shadow effects, hands on makeup and a surprisingly cool looking outfit for the Shadow (did someone pinch ideas for 'Dark City' here?). The sets are really well designed throughout too and look stunning I must say, beautifully presented and created, the sets are obvious but that adds to the charm and realism plus it works much better than CGI. Not too sure about the far East look for Baldwin's character though, wig was a bit crappy. There is of course some CGI present throughout which tends to swing from being reasonable (looking back now), to a bit hokey in places, bit plastic looking. Of course back in the day the effects were relatively special to a degree. The movie is great fun and looks slick with a good casting choice in Baldwin for the main heroic/bad guy lead. He looks perfect for the part of 'Cranston' the playboy and actually could well have been a good 'Bruce Wayne' too I'm sure, a bit gruff maybe. This is really how 'The Green Hornet' should of been approached instead of the geeky spoof-like farce it was. Shame 'The Shadow' failed at the box office as this is another decent period superhero flick adaptation which is uniquely fresh plot wise but visuals wise was maybe more familiar. You just gotta look past the solid but cliched appearance. Gotta love that classic film poster though huh, just like 'The Rocketeer' they really capture the essence of the old style crime caper and dare devil hero aspect. Lovely combination of colours and art work, very striking.

- phubbs1, Thursday, May 8, 2014

1 star

This was one of the weakest exploits to monopolize on the superhero franchise that I have ever seen. Making no attempt to make this film cohesive with the serialized comics or the radio program, The Shadow didn't need to be made. It would have been cool back in the 30's and 40's when the program was popular, but even big budget studios knew there was very little one could achieve with a vigilante that was invisible. Besides the cast being out of place and apparently out of mind in order to make this garbage, the plot was as invisible as its hero. Half the time I think they just made up stuff as they went along. The villain was cheesy, the effects made Evil Dead look like CGI, and there was nothing very amazing about any of this. At least Michael Bay peppers his suck fests with a few mushroom clouds. The only redeeming quality was a young Alec Baldwin, always fun to watch.

- FrizzDrop, Wednesday, June 1, 2011