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Shallow Grave

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Shallow Grave

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox
Director: Danny Boyle
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: February 1995
Genres: Suspense, Drama, Mystery


*Also starring: Christopher Eccleston, Ken Stott, Keith Allen, Colin McCredie, John Hodge



Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Dragan Antulov read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

SHALLOW GRAVE is the movie that asks the question can three bored, young professionals who share a flat find happiness if they find a dead body and a suitcase full of money. According to the press reports, this Scottish movie is one of the most popular movies in Britain in recent times. It tells the story of three yuppies who live together in separate rooms in a flat in Glasgow.

There is a doctor named Juliet (played by Kerry Fox who was wonderful in AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE), an accountant named David (played by Christopher Eccleston who played the killer in GIVE IT TO HIM), and a newspaper report named Alex (Ewan McGregor). The "dead body" is named Hugo (played by Keith Allen who played William Hurt's adopted son's real father in SECOND BEST). I loved the choice of names. Juliet was easy to fall in love with, and Hugo was easy to figure might get into trouble. (To be fair about names, I should point out that there was only one king of England with my name (Steven) and that he was arguably the worse of the lot.)

This movie is fascinating and has a whole series of great plot set ups. The filming is imaginative and takes many risks. The actors and actress are good with the exception of McGregor who does Alex as the standard obnoxious character you have seen done many times before. I thought Fox gave the most intriguing and fully developed performance--I look forward to seeing her in more movies in the future. The small part of Hugo was the briefest but perhaps the best.

There is a lot good about this show and yet it is seriously underdeveloped. The characters start off fine, but then are not given any memorable lines. Many times the writer will create a scene quite well and then do nothing much with it. If they had written a much stronger role for the police it would have added to the tension and the drama greatly, but the police characters were just grafted onto the plot. The movie seemed too concerned with style over character development

The director (Danny Boyle) clearly wants to be the Hitchcock of the 90s, but he gets quickly lost. We end up with a Hitchcock-lite tale that has gratuitous violence a la Steven King or any slasher movie pasted on in place of a viable script. The good news is that the violence is contained to a relatively few number of scenes. The bad news is that one of them seems to go on forever.

The movie runs about 1:37, but for the small amount of material they had, it needed to be 10-15 minutes shorter. It is correctly rated R for scenes of extreme violence that has the audience gasping aloud "Oh my God" and for a little bit of nudity. I found that even I had to look away after a while during the long violent scene. I don't think this show is appropriate for teenagers. I liked many parts of the movie so I gave it **, but I can not bring myself to recommend it.

REVIEWED WRITTEN ON: February 23, 1995

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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