Shadow Dancer

Subscribe to Andrea Riseborough alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th August 2012

Box Office USA: $99.1k

Box Office Worldwide: $420 thousand

Budget: $6.3M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Unanimous Pictures, BBC Films, Element Pictures, Irish Film Board, Lipsync Productions, UKFS

Reviews 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 71 Rotten: 16

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew


Producer: Chris Coen, , Andrew Lowe

Starring: Andrea Riseborough as Colette McVeigh, Clive Owen as Mac, Gillian Anderson as Kate Fletcher, Aidan Gillen as Gerry, Domhnall Gleeson as Connor, Brid Brennan as Ma, David Wilmot as Kevin Mulville, Stuart Graham as Ian Gilmour, Martin McCann as Brendan, Maria Laird as Young Collette, Barry Barnes as Gerry Senior, Michael McElhatton as Liam Hughes, Gary Lydon as Geoff

Shadow Dancer Movie Review

Like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, this thriller refuses to burst out into action mode, preferring to keep its thrills cerebral as the characters circle around each other like sharks. It's a fiercely complex, intelligent film that's expertly handled by Marsh (Man on Wire) in his narrative directing debut. And while mainstream audiences may long for just one explosive car chase, there are plenty of resonant themes to hold our attention in other ways.

Riseborough gives her best-yet performance as Colette, a young IRA operative who visits London in 1993 and is arrested by MI5 agent Mac (Owen). He offers her a terrible deal she can't refuse: if she wants to avoid prison to raise her son, she'll have to return to Belfast and spy on her mother (Brennan) and activist brothers (Gillen and Gleeson). But when she gets home, she discovers that the IRA boss (Wilmot) knows there's a spy in their midst. Is he talking about her? Or is there another one? And Mac is also a bit nervous when his boss (Anderson) starts acting suspicious.

Marsh's directing style quietly reveals all of the story's secrets as the film steadily goes along. The camerawork and editing are sleek and sophisticated, echoing the slippery danger that surrounds the characters. And the dialog is minimalistic, only hinting at the secrets and revelations and requiring rather a lot of work from the audience. But this is a refreshing change from other thrillers that spell everything out so plainly that we have nothing left to think about.

Riseborough holds our attention all the way through the film as a young woman caught in an impossible situation that keeps twisting and turning around her.

Gillen, Gleeson and Brennan are also terrific in smaller roles that leave us wanting to know a lot more about them. By comparison, Owen is oddly uninteresting, since we see nothing of his character beyond his work. But this adds to the film's enigmatic tone, which rewards patient viewers with a gripping story that forces us to think about what we'd do in a similar situation.

Rich Cline


Subscribe to Andrea Riseborough alerts


Shadow Dancer Rating

" Excellent "


More Andrea Riseborough

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...


HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...