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Shadow Dancer review
Release date: 24th August
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson
Director: James Marsh
What's the story? A young member of the IRA becomes an informant for MI5 but nothing goes quite to plan.
What did we think? A smart, sophisticated thriller with moments of nail-biting suspense, this takes you deep into the world of its characters - even if it leaves you with little to smile about.
Andrea Riseborough puts in another terrific performance in this quietly involving IRA thriller. Living right in the centre of IRA territory in Belfast, softly-spoken Colette mixes with terrorists every day of her life - they're even in her family. They have meals together, barbecues together - and she's lost people very close to her.
So Colette is more than a little conflicted when busted trying to plant a bomb in London and asked to go undercover by an agent known only as Mac (Clive Owen). Persuaded to play ball in the interests of her child, the single mother ends up informing on her colleagues while trying to keep her cover: let's just say they don't look on informants kindly in those parts.
It's a gripping, sometimes shocking watch that feels very authentic, if inevitably grim in places. The understanding that develops between agent and informant isn't overplayed and Clive Owen puts in a very solid performance. Gillian Anderson is great, too, as a superior agent who has little time for Mac's case.
Verdict: The plot thickens aplenty in this enlightening movie that saves its biggest surprises for a killer ending.
- "As beige as an old PC, but beneath the surface the blood pumps bright scarlet. An intelligentand emotionally charged spy drama." Dan Jolin, Empire
- "Beautifully shot, quietly gripping thriller with a strong script, impressive production design and a terrific central performance from Andrew Riseborough." Matthew Turner, Viewlondon
- "Fatigue, all round, with the inherited burden of sectarian grievance, forms the resonant base note of Marsh's film..." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph