July 14th, 2006



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Still of Helen Mirren in ShadowboxerStill of Stephen Dorff in ShadowboxerJoyce DeWitt at event of ShadowboxerStill of Lee Daniels in ShadowboxerStill of Mo'Nique in ShadowboxerStill of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren in Shadowboxer

When Rose, a female assassin, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she decides to carry out one final killing, assisted by lover and also stepson, Mikey.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 5.6/10 (4,400 voted)

Critic's Score: 33/100

Director: Lee Daniels

Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Vanessa Ferlito

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.

Cuba Gooding Jr. - Mikey
Helen Mirren - Rose
Vanessa Ferlito - Vicki
Macy Gray - Neisha
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Dr. Don
Mo'Nique - Precious
Stephen Dorff - Clayton Mayfield
Matt Higgins - Eddie
Tom Pasch - Andrew
Ryan Eric Speise - Anthony - Age 3
Cullen Flynn Clancy - Anthony - age 7 (as Cullen Clancy)
Marilyn Yoblick - Real Estate Agent
Darnell Williams - Mikey's Father
Marvina Vinique - Mikey's Mother (as Marvina Vinque)
John Panzarella - Man in Hotel (as Johnny Panzarella)

Taglines: Feeling Protected Is Very Seductive


Official Website: Visual Entertainment [United States] |

Release Date: 14 July 2006

Filming Locations: Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA

Opening Weekend: $103,238 (USA) (23 July 2006) (22 Screens)

Gross: $370,627 (USA) (20 August 2006)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character has 37 lines in the entire film.

Revealing mistakes: When Dr. Don examines the bodyguard, the bullet hole is straight down through his foot. However, that would be impossible from the distance Clayton shot him.

Rose: [to Vicki] Feeling protected is very seductive.

User Review

Breaking All the Rules

Rating: 10/10

Breaking conventional rules, Shadowboxer is dark, sexy, and very violent. On many levels the movie is uncomfortable to watch. All of the characters are flawed and the brazen sexuality and raw emotional performances, by a superb cast, is hard to watch at times. This is no popcorn movie but a thesis on age, sex, family, and violence. The direction was a little heavy handed, and in some scenes, it overshadowed the actors. Expect to see more in the future from Mo'nique in her break out role; and Macy Gray, as usual, was entertaining to watch. Cuba Gooding Jr, looking not much older than he was in the "Show me the money" days in his Oscar winning performance in Jerry Maguire, is superb. In fact, I think that his is an important role in the history of film. A black man as an object of sexual desire by an older white woman certainly breaks the norms. Their intimate relationship will test your own beliefs on age and race. But by the time you figure out where you stand, another scene will give you reason to pause and think. And I guess that's what I like most about the film--being forced to confront issues I rarely think about and being entertained at the same time.


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