James Marsh isn’t exactly known for making the most accessible movies. Just think of Wisconsin Death Trip or Man On Wire. Shadow Dancer however will probably get a little more recognition thanks to the presence of Clive Owen as one of the movie’s leads.
The story starts with Collette, a young Irish mother, who’s nervously wandering through the London subway with a bomb. She gets caught before she can detonate the thing and before you can spell IRA, she finds herself in an interrogation room with British intelligence agent Mac (Clive Owen) who forces her to become an informant. But will she betray her own family?
Rather than relying heavily on suspense and turning things into a straight-forward thriller, Shadow Dancer focuses more on the interhuman relationships. Both Collette (the relatively unknown Andrea Riseborough) and Mac try their hardest not to show any emotion whatsoever and the action sequences are sparse and realistic.
It all makes Shadow Dancer an intense movie but the fact that it feels a bit too detached, prevents the viewer from getting sucked in completely.