SHE’S JUST A SHADOW (2019) Reviews and overview


‘A gangster fairytale’

She’s Just a Shadow is a 2019 American action crime thriller about a Tokyo crime family threatened by a serial killer.

Written and directed by Adam Sherman, the movie stars Tao Okamoto, Haruka Abe, Kihiro, Kentez Asaka, Mercedes Maxwell, Marcus Johnson, Haruna Ayane, Mickey Curtis, Noriko Arai, Rajia Baroudi, Ichi Omiya, Marissa, Nana Niinomiya


A beautiful Japanese madam. A deranged, drug-addled Tokyo gangster and his crew. A sadistic serial killer on the loose. The intersection of these stories and the interior worlds of these characters plays out against a dreamlike backdrop of ultra-violence and drug-fuelled fornication as everyone tries futilely to rewrite their futures and cheat death.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“[Sherman] delivers it all with such excess that the promise seems real again, even when we’re face to face with the brutality of it. Whether or not one is seduced by the sensual appeal of it all, it’s impossible to deny that this is a cinematic masterpiece.” Eye for Film

“The ending, alas, converges inevitably with almost all the bad guys (and girls along with the truly bad serial killer) getting their grim comeuppance. However, before the film goes into its cliché-ridden conclusion, Sherman does a mostly apt job of keeping the frenetic narrative well-paced. He is able to exploit the limited locations and modest budget fairly well.” Flickering Myth

“Among the “woke,” labeling a film misogynistic is a lazy way to demonize films that are not to their aesthetic liking, but in the case of Shadow, it really is true. The violence and belittling of women here are beyond excessive. As an added bonus, Sherman periodically throws in tripped out psychedelic Ozu buffer-transitions from Hell, including utterly baffling shots of smiling blue teeth.” J.B. Spins

She’s Just A Shadow is a bold, bare-chested (literally), in your face movie that will drag you with it whether you want to go along for the ride or not. It’s not the “bullet-ballet” you may expect, rather a drug-fuelled, alcohol dosed, nude look at lives intertwining and revenge with some crazy violence thrown in for good measure.” OC Movie Reviews

“Director Adam Sherman has clearly absorbed a Sion Sono and Takashi Miike flick or two, and while the acting is bland and the dialogue may elicit some chuckles, the wild and colorful visuals are up to his influences, and he goes all out to give the audience what they crave, with little filter on the stylish sleaze and depravity.” 366 Weird Movies

“This is a film that will polarize viewers. Some will find it a refreshingly nasty throwback to the grindhouse. Others will see She’s Just A Shadow as pretentious, misogynistic garbage. Still others will just be terminally offended. While I can see its multiple flaws I still overall liked it.” Voices from the Balcony

She’s Just a Shadow is lurid, overblown and often dreamlike, with its nods to other films (such as Pulp Fiction, at least in terms of some of the shots used) overlaid with high colour and good choices in music. These features do help to raise a conventional gangster yarn to new, improbable heights, even if there are a few hurdles along the way.” Warped Perspective

” …the best part of the movie was, undoubtedly, the cinematography. Beautiful is honestly the only way to describe it. The use of color, as well as editing, among the seedy Tokyo underground is oddly complimentary. […]There’s this subtle artistry to it. Just like the artistry one might stumble upon in a contemporary art museum. The overall message could be subjective depending on who’s watching it and what kind of mood they are in.” Wicked Horror


Breaking Glass Pictures released She’s Just a Shadow theatrically and on VOD  on July 19, 2019.

Technical details:

118 minutes