The Shallows

The Shallows


What was once in the deep is now in the shallows.

Blake Lively stars as a surfer girl stranded offshore when a great white shark keeps her from returning to land in this thriller, billed as "Jaws for a new generation". Only 200 metres from survival, getting there will be the ultimate contest of wills. From the director of House of Wax.

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Flicks Review

I’m calling it: the most epic showdown this year isn’t between grunting titanic superheroes with petty beefs to work out, but Gossip Girl alum Blake Lively and a great white shark. Not to oversell Jaume Collet-Serra’s more-than-capable abilities, but the robust, engaging B-movie carpentry of The Shallows is one of the most convincing arguments yet to discuss, as many critical circles have, the Spanish director’s body of work in auteurist terms.... More

Svelte in construction, the film equally satisfies by being completely free of oppressive blockbuster bloat and supplying a compact vehicle for the oft-derided Lively to play to her strengths. Front and centre throughout, she’s no slouch, performing a bulk of the stuntwork and skillfully judging the emotional demands of her role as a vacationing surfer trapped in a precarious, single-location scenario that Hitchcock would’ve probably loved.

The shark, a heavily CG creation that’s come a long way since the hokey days of Deep Blue Sea, is wisely unseen in the initial passages à la Jaws, its presence only hinted at via the menacing appearance of fins and silhouettes. Much excitement comes from watching Lively, weakened by nasty leg gashes, trying to outsmart the shark with scrappy schemes, scant resources and the best-trained-seagull-ever by her side.

Admittedly, The Shallows sometimes looks like a shrewd, flashy collaborative branding exercise between GoPro, Sony Xperia and Casio, and the corny tacked-on coda is an unfortunate blemish. But if you’re craving some unfussy, sadistic, expertly timed jolts, this one’s a blast, a marvelous way to spend eighty minutes chewing your nails in the dark.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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BY cinemusefilm superstar

One of the scariest movies ever produced, Jaws (1975) made sharks one of the most feared creatures on earth. Its director Steven Spielberg was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, the master of terror himself, who understood that what is not seen can be far more terrifying than what is obvious. Like many shark thrillers, The Shallows (2016) continues the tradition of demonising sharks and goes one step further by adding a favourite sub-genre for the male gaze: the bikinied woman in danger. Lest anyone... More suggest there is misogyny or voyeurism in keeping a woman exposed to a marauding shark for almost an entire film, the story is marketed as a feminist triumph of survival.

It is a one-woman show with a simple plotline that spans two days. Medical student Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) travels alone to a tranquil but isolated beach looking for solace while she considers giving up medicine. The photography beautifully captures the tranquillity, the rolling waves, the glistening skin, and the menacing shadow of something big just beneath the surface. She catches a few waves, meets a couple of regular board riders who eventually go home, and she is then stalked aggressively by a massive great white shark. Thanks to med school, she is able to use a fish hook and earring wire to surgically stitch up a gaping thigh wound that was the shark's entre, all while bonding with a lonely seagull in her existential struggle for survival. With no help possible, she must out-manoeuvre the beast or be served up for dinner only a hundred metres from the beach.

Digital effects have revolutionised movies and when done well they make the impossible seem real. But when not done well, it is hard to take a movie seriously. This great white shark resembles a blow-up toy and its repeated munching on the steel buoy defies even animal logic. The predictability of the story is forgivable; after all, you do not see a movie like this without sensing how it will end, but the repetitiveness of the attacks is wearying. Back to misogyny and voyeurism: when you take away the thin plotline and mediocre digital effects there is little left other than an attractive woman in a bikini swimming for her life. The real hero of the film, however, is the triumphant designer of Nancy's bikini: no matter how much mauling she endures, the bikini stays in place. The title of the film describes its content perfectly.Hide

BY KennethP91 superstar

The Shallows directed Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Blake Lively as a surfer who ends up battling a Shark in an isolated beach.

Nancy (Blake Lively) has seem to found Paradise when she reached a beach where her mom used to surf. Little does she know that beneath the crystal clear blue waters lies a predator ready to devour anything in it’s path.

This movie was a whole lot of fun, for a movie featuring only one character, Blake Lively did a great job carrying the movie. A lot of it relies on... More her facial expressions and they’re delivered perfectly.

The cinematography was quite impressive as well as the movie was able to create incredibly tense nail biting situations that without a doubt will keep you at the edge of your seat. Another great aspect about the cinematography is how you’re able to clearly see what’s happening whenever an underwater shot comes up.

As great as Blake Lively was in this movie, there were some questionable moments which raised several questions. There were a lot of moments where you can see her, dragged against sharp rocks and corals and what should be lingering painful effects of those hits seem to just fade away as she ends up completely fine afterwards.

Another issue was the shark itself, in this case was able think methodically on it’s attacks. Creating the feeling that this wasn’t a normal shark behavior at all but the movie sells you that the shark was simply disturbed, however it’s incredibly planned attacks says otherwise.

Overall The Shallows is still an enjoyable thriller, Blake Lively manages to give a performance that you can root for and it’s great to see a badass leading female to lead an hour and thirty minute movie. Though very simple when it comes to the story, the battle between Nancy and the Shark was enough to keep you watching till the suspenseful climax.Hide

BY Booper superstar

I love Blake Lively - I am a big time Gossip Girl fan, I loved Savages and The Town is one of my all-time favorite movies so I went in a little bias. But The Shallows was a great thriller which considering it pretty much relies solely on Blake Lively was fantastic. It wasn't totally predictable and had a few unexpected moments.

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The Press Reviews

76% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • You're gonna need a bigger Blake (and you're going to get one) in Lively's enjoyably trashy shark-survival movie, the definition of summer fun. Full Review

  • It's all patently ridiculous. But Blake Lively, director Collet-Serra and a digital shark show no mercy in hooking us with the B-movie tension. And we bite. Full Review

  • [Lively] acquits herself well here, especially in the vulnerable-to-shark-attack department. Full Review

  • If you're looking for a quick and satisfying summer thrill... then the aptly titled Blake Lively-vs.-shark thriller "The Shallows" should serve you nicely. Full Review

  • Lively may have been cast primarily for her physique, but she proves a compelling heroine all the same. Full Review

  • What could have been mere summertime chum is actually one of the more cleverly constructed B-movies in quite some time. Full Review

  • The film, with images both lush and taut, is a visual masterpiece-but the visuals are also part of its problem. Full Review

  • It's smartly done, with just enough twists and turns in the tale to avoid the film ever quite falling into I-know-exactly-how-this'll-turn-out territory. Full Review

  • Director Jaume Collet-Saura had the restraint to tease the monster until it absolutely has to be on screen, a handy choice considering the CGI is often shonky. Full Review

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