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  • Sir Michael Caine seems to be spending most of his time these days on home soil making home-grown movies, some good (little voice), and some appalling (shadow run). Shiner is Caine back to his best, and it's a role in which he didn't have to act as he was virtually playing a character that mirrored his own life, a working class south Londoner, that has moved on to better things. Billy Shiner Simpson, is a streetwise boxing promoter and organizer of un-licensed or illegal bouts. He not only has connections within the criminal underworld but he also has his fingers in many a dodgy pie. He finally has the option of fulfilling his dream of a major Legal bout in the form of a title fight between his son Eddie, the boy from blighty, matched up against Martin Landau's American fighter. Shiner has put all his money on his lad winning the fight and the title, but all is not well, His partner is pocketing money given to hire fighters for the preliminary bouts, his son is loosing his nerve, The old bill want to arrest him for his role in the death of an unlicensed boxer, and the night is about to get a lot more sinister and deadly, as after loosing the fight, his son is shot dead by a faceless assassin. Caine plays his part brilliantly, similar in style to his portrayal of Jack Carter in 1971's Get Carter, Shiners character is not as cool as Carter in his quest for revenge and is a bit more desperate, but every bit as ruthless. Aided by his two bodyguards, Stoney and Mel (played brilliantly by Andy 'Gollum' Serkis) He must now put the pieces of his shattered dream together and punish those responsible for his sons death. a gritty and uncompromising look at London's boxing culture made even more effective that the character of Shiner Simpson, though fictional for this movie, is a composite amalgam of a group people that really exist in today's London. This is one of Caine's best roles of his long career and certainly his best since the turn of the Milena.
  • Great film! I can't believe how underrated SHINER is. I fell in love with this movie. Michael Caine's performance is Oscar-caliber. Caine plays a sleazy, selfish, money-loving boxing promoter who gets caught in a twisted game of revenge which ultimately leads to a tragic, unforgettable ending. All the actors were superb in their rolls and the fast paced plot keeps you constantly at the edge of your seat. SHINER has great acting, good directing, and wonderful dialogue. The film is full of suspense, action, strong emotion, and even humorous wit at certain parts. I've seen SHINER three times and I haven't tired of it yet. I've shown it to two of my friends, each of whom agrees completely on what a truly amazing movie this is. You don't have to be a Michael Caine fan to enjoy SHINER. *****/*****!

    Also features some great cockney accents.
  • Not much of a boxing movie, so if your interest is in the sport you are sure to be disappointed. Character development is spotty, especially with Michael Caine's children. Caine's two henchmen come across well, and Michael Caine gives an impressive and believable performance. Martin Landau is mostly wasted in the background. What is intriguing is Caine's rapidly escalating paranoia regarding his ill advised decision to risk everything on his son's big fight. When things derail, Caine blames everyone but himself for the disaster. Unpleasant consequences follow for anyone he suspects of sabotaging his dream. Eventually the wheels come off and we learn if Caine's suspicions were imagined or correct. - MERK
  • Billy "Shiner" Simpson (Michael Caine) is building up to his big boxing promoting night, the headline of which is his own son, Eddie "Golden Boy" Simpson (Matthew Marsden). But family troubles begin to weigh heavy, a police investigation closes in on him and a rival American promoter is breathing down his neck. It's going to get messy.

    Surprisingly for a Michael Caine British gangster movie, Shiner is a little under known. A shame because it's really rather good. Caine himself felt that by 2000 the cinema loving public had had enough of British films of this type, hence why it did poorly at the box office and quickly disappeared into the retail chain of things.

    It's basically a reworking of King Lear, in London and with Caine on super form. Billy Simpson is a grade "A" noir protagonist, the world he inhabits is ultimately too much for him, there's treachery and dishonesty – violence and disappointments, all around him, but still he ploughs on as if he will eventually become the king of the castle. Yet this is the noirville area of London, of grubby bars and grey landscapes, the hall playing host to Billy's big night is a place of stale cheese sandwiches and blocked toilets.

    On either side of Billy are his two henchman played by Frank Harper and Andy Serkis, two sides of the same coin they are, though they menace in different ways. Billy's two daughters played by Claire Rushbrook and Frances Barber, also two sides of the same coin, but conversely they have different love for their father. Martin Landau is the smooth American promoter with a dame on his arm and a grudge for Billy, and Gary Lewis and Kenneth Cranham fill out important roles as characters caught in Billy's soon to be maelstrom.

    Caine did say that he considers Shiner to be part of a trilogy that comprises Get Carter and Mona Lisa. Shiner isn't close to being as good as those two movies, especially the sublime Get Carter, but it holds its head up high in such company and fans of those movies should seek it out. 8/10
  • Billy, an ambitious boxing-promoter organizes a world-title bout somewhere in England, and bets everything he has on his son, who he puts up to fight. But exactly on the greatest day of his life, the police start to investigate the death of a fighter who was killed in an unlicensed bout. They suspect Billy may have something to do with it.

    Shiner is all in all a good movie, but not a great one. Michael Caine, as always, is excellent as Billy, a man who is almost destroyed by his ambition. Martin Landau is pretty good as well, playing a rivaling American promoter. Although Landau receives top-billing, he is in the movie for only a handful of scenes. Gary Lewis is very good as well, playing the personal trainer of the young boxer. Director Irvin guides the cast with a strong hand and a sense of style, it's just a shame the script isn't more polished. The story simply has too many loose ends, and drastically breaks style about halfway. The first half of the movie is a detailed and often very funny observation of the boxing world, where the second part is a sort of Get Carter revenge-flick. A bit inconsistent, but a good film nevertheless, with a knock-out performance by Michael Caine.
  • barberoux15 March 2004
    `Shiner' was OK. It was a very uneven movie and suffered from an uninspired script. Michael Caine was good in his role and did the best he could with a weak script. The story was simple enough but was stretched out too thin. The ending with the surprise villain was too deus ex machinaish for me. Frank Harper was good as Stoney and Martin Landau played his part well. Some of the accents were a bit hard to understand but that added to the appeal for me, more of an atmosphere thing. An OK movie if you like Cockney gangster flics. It was violent and had lots of cursing but that's typical for these movies. "The Long Good Friday" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" are two better representations of the genre.
  • Ralvacast21 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    First off, this movie leaves you in a limbo mood wise. You don't know what to feel. So much so that you don't feel bad for Caines character when his son gets murdered (which was actually mostly due to bad editing). The script was too bland. None of the situations matter as you watch them. The soundtrack, or lack there of (if there was it wasn't good enough to even remember) does not help it one bit. Only good surprise to this movie was Andy Serkis' performance. It was on par if not better than Caine's. The story would have probably gone better off if Serkis would have killed him. Because quite frankly you don't feel any kind of redemption in the climax. Just a feeling of lack of feeling, if ya feel me. Basically this movie massively lacks draw. Leaving the audience alienated throughout the entire thing.
  • The words starring Michael Caine is enough to strike the fear of God into any movie fan, considering some of the poor films he has made over the past 10 years.

    In Shiner however he returns to form in one of his best performances of his career.

    Since Lock Stock there has been many poor british gangster flicks but Shiner is up there with The Long Good Friday and Get Carter.

    Its so refreshing to see a grim, dark, gritty and powerful movie, especially with all the Hollywood schmaltz and big budget nonesense thats doing the rounds these days.

    If your favourite movies are Long Good Friday and Get Carter, I strongly urge you to see this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Aaaaargh! Why do scriptwriters continue to believe that they can have characters do ridiculous things without us noticing?

    Why did Simpson not set off for the fight until after the bill had started? He was the promoter, he'd want to be there to meet and greet his guests, and for the publicity, not sitting in a packed stretch limo picking up assorted "Gor Blimey" relatives and singing "My Old Man". Him being there early would have made no difference to the plot other than making it plausible, him arriving late made absolutely no sense at all.

    Why did he take his son to deserted wasteland? Why did his minders wander out of sight? It may have made the plot work, but it made absolutely no sense. He could have had the conversation with his son in one of the many rooms at the venue, with the minders outside. That's what ANY sensible person would have done, even an angry Cockney gangster. After all, he wasn't going to murder his son, so didn't need to be in a deserted goods yard.

    Why did he want to get rid of the limo? The Police knew his son had been shot, and that Simpson had taken him to the hospital in the limo. He was happy to wander round wearing the blood-soaked shirt, but in any event the limo was irrelevant. Why get rid of it? Another pointless piece of "this is what gangsters do and say" stock script recycling.

    Why couldn't Simpson get to the hotel for the confrontation with Spedding before Spedding and his team left? A boxer wouldn't plan on an early morning departure the day after a fight, in case he was injured. Why did Simpson have to walk? The only reason was so that they could have the showdown in the car.

    Why did the woman in the tunnel keep ranting after the men with guns had squared off? Why did she not get straight back into her car when told to by Spedding wielding a gun, as any sensible person would have done? Why did she have to be told twice? Simple - so Spedding would get to shoot his gun into the ceiling to demonstrate his credibility as a hard man, regardless of how ridiculous and contrived the set-up was.

    Why was the house emptied the day after the fight? Who emptied it? Even the most diligent debt collector couldn't get there that quickly - after all, Simpson hadn't even got round to starting to settle his debts, and the fight could have gone the other way, leaving him a wealthy man. He could also have laid side bets to spread his risk, again obviating the need to liquidate his assets.

    And then, why was the final scene, where a deserted goods yard would have been far more appropriate, set on the roof of the venue - a Civic Hall with only two exits? Hardly the sort of place a rational person would choose for a showdown, and not relevant to the plot at all. Perhaps it was just cheap to shoot it in the same place as the earlier rooftop scene, even if it meant sacrificing all logic.

    In the midst of all of this rampant stupidity was a script with no style apart from generic third rate Cockney Gangster, and no discernible characterisation, even at the most trivial level. A pity, because in general the cast are all very good, and capable of far more.

    Not recommended unless you have no other options on a rainy afternoon.
  • The emergence of Quentin Tarantino and his dubious influence on the likes of Guy Ritchie may have triggered the wave of appalling British gangster flicks we've been bequeathed over the past few years, but one of our most famous acting exports only serves to perpetuate the cycle by lending his considerable name to trash like this. I only wish he'd taken a moment to consider before choosing this project for the same reasons of personal gain he admits he often employs. It's not only stifling HIS talent, but possibly the promise of future originality from British films.

    Not one of this film's characters are likeable or even remotely realistic, and the dialogue consists of the usual empty threats and colourful language. Caine doesn't give the material any more effort than it deserves, either. If this was meant to be in the style of a tragic fall from grace a la "King Lear", it would've helped immensely had I cared about the ultimate fate of the principals, instead of just wishing that they'd get mired in the quicksand of life and dragged under almost immediately.
  • I remember taking my Dad to see this, almost ten years ago now. It only ran for two weeks, and we went two days shy of it's quick departure. As not really knowing anything at all about the movie, except for some info on the leaflet I took, before we made our way into the cinema, I got my money's worth. I love the way this movie unfolded. Caine, this fine actor, just superb here, plays Billy, nickname Shiner Simpson, indeed a really bad guy, who holds underground fights, one of most recent, which has put the loser into a vegetative state, only now he's met a much worse fate. The cops are soon knocking on Billy's door, and it's the worst timing. Billy void of any sympathy, stating the victim was "always in a vegetative state" has bigger things to worry about on this special day. It's the day of his son's fight, where everything's riding on him. The son seems to be the only human, Billy cares about. He treats people like ants, including the thugs, security, who work for him. He's also a manipulator, even with the law, which I liked. The two detectives, a male and female, are persuaded to hold off the Q and A, until after the fight, at Caine's request. Yes, they agree. This has Caine, jumping into the shower, euphoric and all. This deal's made on one condition, at the detective guy's request: Caine gets a signed autograph from his son's competition, Golden Boy. He's got balls, this guy. The female cop is less enthused, and not amused. And we see how vicious Caine can get, when one of his associates finds a whole batch of crap fighters, at Billy's expense, despite the fact the victim is, a small sixty plus guy, who after getting his arm broken in a discreet fashion, by Billy and his thugs, is then brushed by a passing car who hits him where it hurts most. One of his fighters lasts 29 seconds which was such a laugh, the loser decked. There are some funny bits, partly thanks to Andy Serkis's performance as one of Caine's thugs, where everything's a joke to him, that so much resembles me. Billy's day is about to get a whole lot worse. His son, who really didn't have a fighting son when racked up against this other bloke, decamps and is later shot. Here, the movie becomes a surprisingly good thriller, where Caine is pointing his finger left, right, centre, at a sea of suspects, where's he overtaken by rage and revenge. His warring adversary, Martin Landau, a representative of the other fighter, is one such suspect, who Caine hijacks, which eventuates in a small chain cat collision in a tunnel, Landau getting the upper hand on Caine. The two detectives monitoring Caine's moves, have lost him too, so they're not happy chappies, where now, their investigation takes a backseat to this tragedy. There's one thing Caine is great at, and that's playing the villain, as seen in Mona Lisa, even in On Deadly Ground. Here, he reprises that badness, where almost at the same time, he was doing The Quiet American that earned him another Oscar nomination. His bedside manner at the start, when going the wrong way down a one way street, and asking the oncoming motorist to ever so politely (sarcasm reference) move over was a great and comic start to this underrated movie, that becomes increasingly violent towards the end, specially in it's great shoot out climax, as bullets fly, after the killer and his motives catch us by complete surprise, as though we been led on a different track. This is a great vehicle for Caine, one of those fine actors, that's a dying breed, who'll hopefully be around for many more years.
  • michael caine is well known for accepting every sh**job that comes along. he´s in it for the money and he freely admits that. his recent films include plenty of stinkers (e.g. SHADOW RUN) so it´s quite refreshing to see him in a decent crime flick which allows him once more to show the wide span of his talents. SHINER is not a masterpiece, it´s a typical revenge story a la GET CARTER. this is a michael caine solo. all the other actors hardly have a space to breathe, caine just pushes them aside like the giant steamtrain he is. only the great martin landau can somehow compete with him, the others, frank harper (LOCK STOCK...) and andy serkis ( gollum from LORD OF THE RINGS, hihihi) do a good job but can´t keep up. all in all a very nice way to spend some time but I´d rather watch SEXY BEAST.
  • No, this by no means is the most dreadful movie I have ever seen, not even by a mile but it also is however a movie that made a totally pointless and not lasting impression on me.

    Perhaps the biggest problem of this movie is that it can't decide what it wants to be. Its story and somewhat its storytelling is obviously inspired by the first 'new age' British gangster flick "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" but yet the movie also has the rawness and more seriousness of the '70's British gangster flicks, such as for instance "Get Carter", which not entirely coincidently so also stars Michael Caine. The movie just doesn't know to create a well enough balance between its comedy and violence/crime because of this. Therefore the movie simply does not work out.

    The story is all over the place because of it that it tries to be clever, while in fact it really isn't. The plot twists, such as the one at the end, feel more weak and ridicules, rather than surprising. Also most characters really don't work out within the movie, due to its approach. For instance what's the point of having Oscar-winner Martin Landau in this if you don't know to use him properly.

    But I must say that the movie is still made watchable because of one simple reason; Michael Caine. It's a role that is very typical for him and that he suits so very well. He was good in those kind of roles 30 years ago and he's still good at it now. He plays a tough ruthless boxing promoter, with questionable motives and friends, who also happens to have a son who is on his way of becoming the next big man of boxing. An over ambitious proud father, with a shady past and present is a combination that of course calls for trouble. And trouble he gets within this movie. Do we care however? I don't think so. "Shiner" is a very uninvolved movie with a too weak script to let this movie ever rise above the level of average.

    A movie you can really easily do without.

  • 'Shiner' is another addition to the growing number of gangster films released over the past half a dozen years or so but unlike better known crime films, it doesn't take a multi-strand, multiple characters, neo-realistic approach to itself. Instead, it relies on revenge as its main plot drive and, in my opinion, manages to pull it off in some style.

    Although the film is rather flawed in numerous places throughout, it stays clear of horrible stereotypes and clichéd dialogue whilst maintaining a healthy atmosphere, throughout. The film is spilt into two distinguishable halves. The first half consists of the build up around a boxing match, allowing the film to let off some amusing scenes mixed in with some snappy dialogue and impressive acting. The emphasis on the fact our heroes have everything to loose is also mixed in, adding to the tension. The feeling of doubt and nervousness is also built up in an impressive way with certain things in the film lingering in the background, tempting the viewer to ask themselves if it was anything significant. These things include the lingering man with the baseball cap and the inaudible dialogue between the American boxing opponents with other people. All these things are seen from 'Shiner' Simpon's (Caine) point of view, forcing us to relate to him the most; another effective method.

    The second half of the film consists solely of a revenge/detective strand. Without giving anything away, Simpson must track down a killer on a personal vendetta. How the film goes from build up around a boxing match to out and out revenge film is actually rather impressive and seemingly seamless. The familiarity of the two supporting characters in Stoney (Harper) and Mel (Serkis; who is both 'Gollum' and 'King Kong') make everything feel like it really is the world vs. one man and his crew. Throughout this second half, it's difficult to take your eyes away from the screen as any minute detail may actually turn out to be the turning point in the quest. Everything from tiny suspicions to intense scenes where you think Simpson has found his man and is about to do something terrible to them in an act of revenge; some of which include pinning a defenceless lawyer against the wall and pointing a gun at a pregnant woman's belly.

    Even if the character of Mel is a little over the top at times and does veer a little too close to the stereotype line in terms of actions and dialogue and the fact the second half of the film does rely heavily on cause and effect in finding out clues as to where to go next, Shiner relies on unpredictability, a nice twist and good acting to see it through, despite the disappointing ending and leaving some questions left unanswered. Overall, it's a healthy addition to the British crime genre and makes for fun viewing.
  • Michael Caine, plays an East End boxing promoter, on the verge of winning a World Title with his son. A brutal look and the beautiful art and plays out like the 'Long Good Friday', This was made at a time when the 'Brit Gangster' genre was at the height of fashion. This is indeed a true insight to the world of British Boxing and it's not a pretty sight.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've been drawn back to re-watch this several times. I don't know if it's 'great'...maybe not....but I'm not great either and it works for me. Caine is great....the supporting cast all do their jobs perfectly. One criticism I read here seems true...the movie makes a real shift half way through....and a lot of the charm of the first half degrades in the second into a kind of revenge bang bang sort of thing...when guns enter a movie that usually ends all wit and intelligence.

    But, it's still worth it all. For me it's one of those movies I just really like. It has a 'vibe' to it...a lot of small incidental moments keep it constantly Landaus's girlfriend...speaks just a couple words...but her looks keep you watching at any moment she might comee up with something...maybe that's it...the movie has a continuiing sense of iminence...and the least interesting bits are when it actually delivers on its inferences. .... I don't know...I don't think the script calls for or was mean't for a deeper is exactly what it is....a highly watchable very interesting semi-crime character drama. Derfinately worth seeing.
  • HotToastyRag1 December 2017
    If you look up the film Shiner on IMDb, you'll see a one-sentence plot description: "The past catches up to a ruthlessly ambitious boxing promoter." Whoever wrote that was very careful to not give away any surprises in the plot, but also didn't really tell potential audiences what the film was truly about. Michael Caine does play a ruthless boxing promoter, in full Cockney splendor, but there's a lot more to the film.

    Michael Caine is preparing for a boxing fight at the start of the movie. He's particularly tense, and is even making grand preparations for a victory party afterwards. His son, Matthew Marsden, is his fighter, so everything has to be perfect. Scott Cherry's script and John Irvin's direction provide a very ominous environment; it's pretty obvious to the audience that Matthew is going to lose the fight. The hype is too great, and Michael is counting too much on it. The intense foreshadowing doesn't go unrealized.

    Michael Caine's acting makes the film work. He's shown as a brutal gangster in the first part of the film, but as soon as he's in the same frame as his son, he turns into a completely different person. He's emotional and tender, so the audience can see he where his passion truly lies. Without spoiling plot points, there are a couple of scenes when events take very wrong turns, and Michael's acting is truly heartbreaking. In those scenes, audiences forget the scary, gangster side of him and see him as an ordinary, bereft man. I won't tell you what happens, but I must caution you before you watch this movie. It's not a boxing movie. It's a pretty upsetting film that parents will find extremely difficult to get through. If you're not used to gritty violence, you might want to try something else.

    As a side note, Andy Serkis plays one of Michael Caine's underlings, and he's one of the most frightening thugs I've ever seen. If I saw him in a dark alley at night—or even in broad daylight at the mall—I'd be scared out of my mind. Thankfully, I'd previously seen him in 13 Going on 30 so I'm not scarred for life.

    Kiddy Warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, due to gritty violence and nudity, I wouldn't let my kids watch it.

    DLM warning: If you suffer from vertigo or dizzy spells, like my mom does, this movie might not be your friend. The very first and very last scenes have a hand-held and swirling camera, and it will probably make you sick. In other words, "Don't Look, Mom!"
  • Shiner is a watchable movie, and decent enough in places, but this is mainly down to Michael Caine's top notch performance. But the film itself flatters to deceive, and scratch away at the surface, and it certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The problem is a weak script and unrealistic plot that tries to gloss over its vulnerabilities. Caine plays a shady boxing promoter, who after years of trying to make it big, finally has a contender for a title belt - who just happens to be his son. But the problem is the script can't decide if Caine is a boxing promoter or a gangster. And the suspicion is that this is a wannabe gangster movie with the boxing as a distraction. Caine is not nasty or heartless enough to be a convincing gangster - he leaves all the unpleasant stuff to his two henchmen (played excellently by Frank Harper and Andy Serkis). Which makes his latter scenes (with the pregnant wife of Serkis, for example) too superimposed to be effective enough. But this shouldn't detract from Caine's performance which carries the whole movie, and is a must for fans. It's just other elements along the way that fail Shiner. Marsden, for example, is a nightmare piece of casting gone wrong. We are supposed to think he is a big time boxer yet he looks like he's just stepped out of a boy band and is the least convincing 'contender' in boxing cinematic history. The movie won't live long in the memory, but it is a good vehicle for Caine to yet again display his enormous talents, which stops it being as mundane as it should be.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While at the video store today, I took the time to read the back of "Shiner" and was intrigued.

    The front of the DVD box was a picture of Caine, on the ground, gun in hand, with a look of anger and resentment on his face, seemingly getting ready to shoot an unnamed enemy. The back of the box described the movie as an action-thriller, saying "But on the greatest, proudest day of his life, all that Shiner has worked for begins to unravel, sending him running from the police... and seeking revenge!" Needless to say, as an avid Michael Caine fan, I was enthusiastic about watching this movie.

    I was disappointed. For a movie allegedly about boxing and revenge, there was a surprising lack of boxing and revenge. It seemed to be more of a psychological movie, showing the degradation of Michael Caine's character and his willingness to do atrocious things in order to satisfy his own inflated ego (i.e threatening to kill an unborn child). Sure, Caine was certainly angry and looking for revenge, but the box promised action! Unless I'm mistaken, that means more than a 2 minute boxing scene, one minor fender bender and one minute at the END OF THE MOVIE when people actually attack each other.

    Not counting my original bias, I didn't find this movie to be very entertaining, either. While Caine was, of course, masterful in playing this role, the story itself simply was not interesting and had many unnecessary aspects. Just a few examples:

    How come the bad guy was someone who'd only been in the movie for 30 seconds prior to your finding out he's the bad guy?

    What exactly wasthe point of showing that Caine's bodyguard ended up killing Joe Mahoney, other than perhaps character development which was very unnecessary at that point?

    Why did they randomly flash the man with the baseball cap during the final scenes of the movie, when Caine was going to the roof of his building?

    What was the point of introducing the aspect of losing so much money if that had nothing to do with the motive, plot, or ending of the movie?

    I was unhappy with this movie, and would like my two hours back.
  • A powerhouse performance from Sir Maurice is ultimatly let down as the film begins to fall apart in the second half. A very promising set up is wasted as the plot gets more convoluted and handicaped by a very weak finish, you will literally cry out "Is that it then" when the reason for the whole catalogue of events becomes clear. It's a shame really as there are some very good performances in this movie. Both Frank Harper and Andy Serkis as Caine's henchmen are excellant and Claire Rushbrook shines (no pun intended) as his daughter. Violence and fights galore, in fact even Caine's daughters, Rushbrook and the very menancing looking Frances Barber have a lively dust up in the Kitchen. it's all to easy to believe Barber as Caine's daughters as she duffs up Rushbrook, grabs her by the hair and menacingly looks down at her screaming abuse, this is not a pleasant family! But at the end they can't save you leaving the film feeling it's a wasted opportunity, still probably worth seeing if you want to see Caine at his most powerful.
  • Michael Caine might have tried to make a larger than life character to a successful degree but the whole storyline and Character's around him where not likable or interesting at all. It was all very Boring and somewhat predictable. Martin Landau , a favorite actor of mine had a nothing role.He was useless. Michael Caine got a bit irritating after a while and the film couldn't decide if it was a comedy or a serious thriller. Caine tries hard and good on him but i felt the direction and storyline let him down. Don't waste your time. It starts off well for the first 10 minutes and then that's about it. A film for Die Hard Caine Fans Only. Stay away from this One...
  • Shiner is a film that effectively blended many genres, but just couldn't pull off a decent ending. The film begins as a character/boxing/gangster film, that holds it's own, until it takes the tone of a mystery thriller, and still keeps interest, largely down to a great performance from Michael Caine.

    At times, Shiner shows some real potential, with some great scenes and dialogue fleshed out by some decent performances, once it settled into itself, it was still engaging and kept my interest until the ending, where a resounding feeling of "that's it?" surfaced.

    Shiner is a good film at times, and could've been great if it had a better ending. It is worth watching though, largely for a blinding performance from Michael Caine.
  • "Shiner" is a gritty character-driven drama all about Caine as the title character; a shady, unsuccessful, aging British boxing promoter whose world begins to implode when he gambles everything on one fight featuring his son in the main event. The story in this B-flick becomes an overwrought mess as Caine's character becomes an overwrought mess, making Caine's performance the only reason for spending time with the film. Okay for Caine fans and passable stuff for all others. (C)
  • SHINER is one of those movies which seems to have been rushed into production in the wake of the success of the Guy Ritchie hits LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS and SNATCH. It stars Michael Caine as a down-on-his-luck boxing promoter desperate for one last win, a man who finds himself on a wrong side of a number of enemies he's ended up crossing during the course of the movie.

    For a British film, the cast is second to none. Caine gives a faultless and sympathetic performance in the leading role, despite the deficits of his character. Kenneth Cranham shows up in a rather shrill role, and there's a meaty party for a youthful, pre-fame Andy Serkis. Martin Landau is the barely-glimpsed American import, Matthew Marsden (RAMBO) plays Caine's son, and the reliable Danny Webb (ALIEN 3) is on hand as a slimy lawyer.

    The narrative is fast-paced, certainly, but also loaded with many, many plot holes. It's one of those films that makes sense on the surface but which makes no sense if you actually stop to think about it. Characters do things just to service the plot and none of it is even remotely realistic. It's a pity, because with better writing and direction, this could and should have been up there with the best this genre has to offer; as it stands, it's a bit of a mess.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    On paper this looks a good film . Michael Caine plays a tough and ruthless boxing promoter who's son is up for a title eliminator . The pity is that when the story is transferred from paper to my television screen it loses a certain everything . I had hoped we'd be seen emulating his definitive role in GET CARTER and as the film progresses it does seem to take on the qualities of a tough gritty revenge thriller but the whole tone of the film jumps around so much you'll be confused as to what genre it's trying to fit in to . For example Caine ( Who you can't believe in as Billy " Shiner " Simpson , he's simply Michael Caine ) has a laugh out line as he refers to someone as " Hattie Jacques " then in a supposedly humorous moment has his henchmen break someone's arm . Oh how I laughed . I mean it's supposed to elicit a laugh the way it plays out on screen isn't it ? But these seems at odds with the way the rest of the film plays out

    Obviously director John Irvin doesn't know what approach to take with Scott Cherry's screenplay . Irvin isn't a bad director and is well regarded for his war films such as THE DOGS OF WAR and HAMBURGER HILL but he's ill suited to this type of violent drama and one can't help but feel he might have been intimidated somewhat by a living legend like Caine . Caine does give the impression he's just doing it for the money and the well known faces in supporting roles like Landua and Cranham are basically just cameos who could be played by anyone
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