Shadowboxer: David Lee
Owen Gleiberman
July 26, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Shadowboxer

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
93 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/21/06
performer
Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Vanessa Ferlito, Macy Gray
director
Lee Daniels
distributor
Freestyle Releasing
author
William Lipz
genre
Drama

We gave it a F

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Shadowboxer ‘s Helen Mirren, as a cancer-ridden hitwoman, and Cuba Gooding Jr., as her doting stepson, are the most unconvincing team of hired assassins in movie history. Before long, they rescue, rather than kill, the wife and baby of a torture-happy gangster (Stephen Dorff, licking the scenery), but it isn’t until later, when this brutally incoherent thriller descends into porny sex between Mirren and Gooding — that’s right, May-December interracial quasi-incest! — that you realize it’s smashing taboos in a way that just renders them more taboo.

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