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Shade (2003)

Shade is a 2003 neo-noir crime drama starring Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Roger Guenveur Smith, Melanie Griffith and Sylvester Stallone. The film follows a trio of grifters who attempt to set up a legendary card shark nicknamed ‘The Dean’. The film is a complex web of interwoven and branching scenes and flashbacks.

Set in the underground world of Los Angeles card sharks and gamblers, this slick neo-noir is a gripping ensemble drama that pays homage to hard-boiled heist directors like Mamet and Scorsese. Shade, a gambling term for deception and trickery, revolves around a ring of small-time hustlers with dreams of the big payoff.

Tiffany (Thandie Newton) is a beautiful and calculating swindler who works together with her partner Charlie (Gabriel Byrne) in nickel-and-dime schemes. But when one card shark, The Dean (Sylvester Stallone), seems to be unbeatable, they devise a scheme to topple his flawless run.

They recruit Tiffany’s old flame, Vernon (Stuart Townsend) a card mechanic and sleight-of-hand genius and hustler Jennings (Jamie Foxx) to manoeuvre their way on to The Dean’s poker table. But all is not what it seems in this twisting and turning thriller: deception abounds. Secret love affairs and allegiances are kindled, and The Dean, whom everyone is trying to hustle, plays a dirty game with the help of his ex-girlfriend, Eve (Melanie Griffith).

In a game of who’s cheating whom, each player becomes a pawn in another’s swindle. Debut writer-director Damian Nieman films the card tricks with flair, making the poker-faced manipulations visible to the viewer and adding to the high stakes tension of the film.

Summary via Wikipedia.