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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Cross That Threshold
What will happen when three affluent and professional friends and flatmates,a journalist,a doctor and a chartered accountant,find a corpse and a suitcase full of money? What choices will confront these educated and intelligent people and what are the consequences of their choice?
This is the story of Shallow Grave, the debut long feature of Brit Danny Boyle, and the...
Published on Dec 6 2003 by mobby_uk

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Passafist Reviews Shallow Grave
SHALLOW GRAVE is the kind of movie you really want to love. I think I would have if I had never seen FARGO. There is this sub-genre called the revenge film, some of them are really good, like the aforementioned FARGO, or bad, like the long an incredibly slow moving A SIMPLE PLAN. SHALLOW GRAVE is right in the middle of those two.
There are three friends. Alex (Ewan...
Published on June 17 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Cross That Threshold, Dec 6 2003
By 
"mobby_uk" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
What will happen when three affluent and professional friends and flatmates,a journalist,a doctor and a chartered accountant,find a corpse and a suitcase full of money? What choices will confront these educated and intelligent people and what are the consequences of their choice?
This is the story of Shallow Grave, the debut long feature of Brit Danny Boyle, and the first of his many collaborations with writer Dr John Hodge (MD not PHD).
More specifically,it is the story of two men,Ewan McGregor and Chris Eccleston and a woman, Kerry Fox who share a flat and a friendship that is obviously harmonious.Deciding to let a fourth room in their large flat,they begin to interview likely candidates with an air of haughty antagonism and playful sarcasm,until Mr Keith Allen himself drops by, mysterious but with ready cash and moves in.
Yet their new roommate's life is quite short, and he is discovered dead, but with a lot of cash. The money of a man who came out of nowhere, had no visitors and apparently will not be missed too soon, is quite tempting to keep. This is the dilemma the three friends faced in a very tense moment that pierced right through their conscience.
In John Boorman's Excalibur, Merlin the magician, granting the wish of a knight to change his appearance into another for carnal reasons,says in a memorable quote ' The future has taken root in the present'.
This is exactly what happened in Shallow Grave the very second our heroes decided to keep the money, depose of the body (in parts, a task that traumatized them), and live happily ever after.So they thought!
How wrong they were, for crossing the threshold of their moral and ethical obligations towards their dead roommate,will forever change their lives and they will pay dearly for it.
Greed will inevitably be the driving force that will govern their lives and relationship from then on,pull them apart,reduce them from highly respectable members of the society to frightened and paranoid ,even pathetic creatures, that live mainly by their instincts.
Of course no one is truly mysterious and although we really do not know who really was the character of Keith Allen and where is the source of that money, we do get an idea that his line of work did not involve paying taxes, and two of his not so nice chums soon enough,looking desperately for him, find their way to the flat, obviously not thinking of tea and scones.But they are murdered and deposed of.
These bodies soon resurface (no crime is perfect as the cliche goes)and this will wet the appetite of the subtley clever police, with the chief inspector and his detective (played by John Hodge himself) who rightly suspect foul play.
All this lead to a tragic end, that was in a way inevitable the moment the lure of cash (even for people who really do not need it) turned into a possessive demon. It is a frightening thought of course, because no matter how much we claim superior moral ground and are indignant, we can never anticipate the choice we will make, facing a similar situation.
This makes Shallow Grave a little gem of a movie, a product of talented group of friends (and not of the studio machine)who contributed their effort to give us a film that is quite original and with a message that is as old but poignant as life itself. It is about the consequence of our choices, and the path it will take us once we cross that threshold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oh I get by with a little help from my friends (THE BEATLES), Nov. 18 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The film starts out with a blatant disregard for capitals (like a unix programmer). Vary noisy back ground music (named Leftfield Right) and a Blair Witch run through the city. We see a building designed by Nash used as the apartment. This presentation is noisy and ridiculous. However if you give it a little time everything begins to gel and you will find yourself kibitzing in the standard mystery with all the twists, bells, and whistles. Be sure to notice the dodgy torch scenes.

Basic story is of three roommates (Kerry Fox. Ewan McGregor, and Christopher Eccleston) coming home to find their newfound fourth roommate (Keith Allen) dead. So they do what any roommates to do and rummage through all his stuff; there they find (you guessed it) a suitcase full of money. Most assuredly somebody out there is missing a suitcase full of money. You seem the story but maybe not quite as well displayed.

The only drawback is that even though it starts out noisy when it gets in the center it's noisy and even the ending credits are noisy. Can't anybody make it quite mystery anymore?

A strange plus is that this is a no guns movie.

Displays paintings by Stephen Conroy was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1964.

Some songs included are:
`Shallow grave'
Performed by left field
Written by Neil Barnes and Paul Daley

`My baby just cares for me'
Performed by Nina Simone
Written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn

`Happy heart'
Performed by Andy Williams
Written by James Last and Jackie Rae

`Release the dub'
Performed by left field
Written by Neil Barnes and Paul Daley

I could've sworn that from the architecture of the buildings this was England however it was filmed on location in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland.

The version I watched was a Blu-ray version of the 1994 movie Criterion version. There are two commentaries the first one by Director Danny Boyle in 2009. The second commentary is by John Hodge and Andrew McDonald.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive first feature from Danny Boyle, Aug. 24 2013
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
At his best, Danny Boyle is one of our finest living filmmakers. And if this 1st feature isn't quite up to the level of the
best of his work, it still shows one heck of a lot of talent.

That said, while enjoyable and full of energy and solid performances, this didn’t hold up as well on 2nd viewing as
I’d hoped. This caper drama about 3 self obsessed, comically awful 20 somethings who fall into a bag of money
and slowly turn on each other has a lot of dark cynical fun in it, but there are just too many logic holes and too
many character leaps to be fully satisfying.

A lot of the twists are clever (although some are predictable) but rather than characters evolving, they seem to lurch
suddenly on their way down the rat hole to beyond forgivable. You accept the sudden transformations because they’re
there, but it did leave me wondering ‘when did THAT suddenly happen to the character’. In turn, that underlines the
film’s somewhat cartoony nature, which makes sure it's never too disturbing to enjoy no matter how awfully everyone
behaves, but that also robs it of the chance of being a deeper film than just a fun, smart genre exercise.

With "Trainspotting" Boyle went on to find that perfect balance of surface fun, and deeper dramatic meanings, but this is a
good first step.
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5.0 out of 5 stars been looking for movie, April 16 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Shallow Grave [Import] (DVD)
I was looking in every local video store for that movie for a while and then I thought of you
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5.0 out of 5 stars do the wrong thing, Oct. 27 2003
By 
momazon "cjd" (Astoria, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Three obnoxious flatmates put scores of potential tenants through their paces before selecting a fourth resident for their humble hipster abode. Soon he is dead from a (self-inflicted) drug overdose but he left behind wads of cash that they want. Now to dispose of him and carry on!!!
They draw straws of who will actually dismember and bury him. It is gross!!! This division plus the knowledge of their horrifying secret slowly tears the flatmates apart. It is an interesting process to watch -- particularly when one moves into the attic and drills holes into the ceiling to spy on the two he left downstairs (shudder!!!!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars what can I say, just a great movie, Oct. 12 2003
By 
Michael Bolts (superior, wiusa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shallow Grave (VHS Tape)
its British and its awesome. Ewen McGregor is the best in this and he offers a character that is fun to watch. Christopher Eccelston's nose is the gem also, and he has a slight resemblense to my friend Marcus, sorry MArcus but its true and Kerry Fox is hot, hot, hot.a great paranoia film with a lot of body cutting up and Danny Boyle( A Life Less Ordinary, 28 Days Later, The Beach adn Trainspotting) is a great director. the end where Eccelston gets the nife in the neck and McGRegor tricks Fox into thinking she has the money, just great
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3.0 out of 5 stars Passafist Reviews Shallow Grave, June 17 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
SHALLOW GRAVE is the kind of movie you really want to love. I think I would have if I had never seen FARGO. There is this sub-genre called the revenge film, some of them are really good, like the aforementioned FARGO, or bad, like the long an incredibly slow moving A SIMPLE PLAN. SHALLOW GRAVE is right in the middle of those two.
There are three friends. Alex (Ewan McGregor, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones) the loud funny one, David (Christopher Eccleston, The Others) the serious one, and Juliet (Kerry Fox, Welcome to Sarajevo) the sexy one. They share a flat, and as the film opens they a looking for a new roommate. Enter Hugo (Keith Allen, 24-Hour Party People) the charming yet rough guy who needs a room. They let him move in.
The movie then asks the question what if your new roommate died? What if you found a suitcase full of money? Would you call the police? Would you keep the money? Would it tear you up inside?
The films early moments are really good. Especially as they interview prospective roommates. But, when the film plunges into the dark stuff, you begin to doubt character motivations. You can suspend disbelief for a few moments, but there is a nagging feeling that something isn't quite working. I couldn't put my finger on why.
Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) paces the film just a little on the long side. I spent 90 minutes with these characters but I felt like I needed to know more about them. I wanted to see there descent into darkness a little clearer, unfortunately I didn't.
But for what it's worth Ewan steals the show. He has such a good time with his part. I felt bad for him especially since he's the only one who's continually being maimed throughout the film. He's smarter than the other characters, but he hides it so well you begin to doubt if he really is that smart.
Kerry Fox's Juliet is too subtle for my taste. You can see what she's doing. The screenplay knows what's she's going to do and I've seen enough movies to know what she's going to happen to her, still her character on a whole is to subdued, and little unbelievable.
Eccleston's character David seemed more flawed than the other two. His paranoia is drawn so big, that it fights with David's soft character from the beginning of the film. The screenplay motivates him to act this way. By not revealing enough of David character in the beginning, his motivations throughout the film feel like contrivances of the screenplay and not like true characterization.
Shallow Grave is not a bad movie. It's not a great movie. It's an okay movie with a nice twist ending. At least this one doesn't come from a mile away. If you have a few hours, you might just want to dig up a copy of A SHALLOW GRAVE.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good movie., May 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Nice film here. Not for the main stream but... A well set up story thats fun to watch,it features great character development combined with a really good ending. Yes Ewan McGregor is quite fun in this part but so is the rest of the cast, Nice sound track as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!, Feb. 26 2003
By 
Charity (Spring City, TN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
This was my third Ewan experience, and I must say, the most satisfying. Watch this with "Trainspotting" and "Moulin Rouge" and discover what all true Ewan Mcgregor fans already know....He is a most wonderfully versatile and brilliant actor(Not to mentioin absolutley adorable).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very clever!, Jan. 2 2003
By 
A. Richards "charlottethespider" (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shallow Grave (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
This was my first Ewan McGregor/Danny Boyle film... and I LOVED every second of it. The story is amusing, gripping, attention-grabbing and more; all of it is very Hitchcock-esque. I don't want to give away the plot, although from the other reviews I'm sure you can figure it out. Shallow Grave is a great thriller. All I can say is SEE THIS MOVIE!
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