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®

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    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

3 stars

As a way of introduction, I compared a couple crime fighters who were known to wear black. Batman was first created in 1939 in a comic book and definitely has some characteristics borrowed from The Shadow. The Shadow started off earlier in 1930 as a radio narrator to some mystery stories. Then by 1931, the character became the star of his own radio show, mostly written by pulp writer Walter Gibson, and for a time voiced by Orson Welles. By 1937 The Shadow developed to become what most people recognize today with the phrase, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh! The Shadow knows ... " The radio show continued into the 50's, but the character was developed further primarily through pulp fiction novels. Zorro predates both of these dark cape and cowl crime fighters since he originally appeared in pulp fiction adventures in 1919. While there aren't a lot of similarities, there are enough to consider their common bond. The story in this movie is quite similar to Nolan's Batman Begins, but I think Nolan has a much better handle on the idea of a darkly tortured hero. Baldwin does a good job once he returns to New York and becomes The Shadow. It's pretty embarrassing though that becoming The Shadow supernaturally transforms him. When he puts on his costume, all of a sudden his nose becomes very large and pointed and his eyebrows become very bushy. Technically The Shadow clouds people's minds and does not have the power of invisibility, but the way the effects come off in the visual media it seems like The Shadow is a combination of Batman and the Invisible Man. The movie makes some jokes about radio product placement that I didn't get during the movie. Most of the dialog is pretty silly, but some is enjoyable. It's quaint how all of The Shadow's operations are pre-computer era. There are mail tubes, gears and pulleys, and a small TV type screen. Some of the gadgets like the red signal rings seem like complete fantasy though. Curry is way over the top. He's too hammy for me. Lone shows he can't cover up a strange speech impediment he has, and is overacting most of the time too. Miller is alright, but just when you think her character is going to become stronger she fades into the standard pulp noir female role. Boyle and McKellen give solid supporting performances. Fun adventure, but nothing special.

- hypathio7, Thursday, July 16, 2009

2 stars

"Only the shadow knows...muahahaha" LOL! Wow, I was about 10 when I saw this.

- LitelBluHli, Tuesday, December 23, 2008

3 stars

Tulku: You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, for you have seen that evil in your own heart. Every man pays a price for redemption; this is yours. Lamont Cranston: I'm not lookin' for redemption! Tulku: You have no choice: you *will* be redeemed, because I will teach you to use your black shadow to fight evil. One of the original superhero characters. Particularly important in leading to the creation of Batman. The Shadow is a movie that was unfortunately a big screen debut made after the Batman movie, causing obvious comparison. But its still a good one. Cool effects, great production value, Tim Curry and Gandolf, plus Alec Baldwin in one of his coolest role. The original Shadow existed in the form of radio shows and pulp novels. The character was one who dressed in a hat and cloak, carrying the ability to cloud men's minds (jedi mind tricks essentially). Here the Shadow is Lamont Cranston, played by Baldwin. He is a crime fighter existing in 1930s New York, battling various criminals. Things change when a decedent of Genghis Kahn comes in to town, with the plan for world domination (I hate it when that happens). His plan is simple, use a new type of bomb to destroy the city, and eventually become a new conqueror. Ambitious, but simple. Dr. Roy Tam: I guess you would call it an implosive-explosive sub-molecular device. Lamont Cranston: Or an Atomic Bomb. Dr. Roy Tam: Hey, that's catchy. The Shadow, using his various connections through men whose lives he has saved, figures out Kahn's plan and must hurry to stop him. He also runs into some supporting characters played by Peter Boyle, Ian McKellan, Penelope Ann Miller, and Tim Curry. I enjoy this movie because it is one I grew up watching mainly. It's a lot of fun, has a great look to it. Uses a lot of special effects to make the character work. Has a score by Jerry Goldsmith that works. The dialog is very comic book styled. And it has some humor in what it is doing. This is an entertaining crime fighter flick. Shiwan Khan: In three days, the entire world will hear my roar, and willingly fall subject to the lost empire of Shan Kahn. That is a lovely tie, by the way. May I ask where you acquire it Lamont Cranston: Brooks Brothers. Shiwan Khan: Is that mid-town. Lamont Cranston: 45th and Madison. You are a barbarian. Shiwan Khan: Thank you. We both are.

- DrZeek, Saturday, March 29, 2008