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Shallow Grave (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

113 customer reviews

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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

This diabolical thriller was the first film from director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, and screenwriter John Hodge (the smashing team behind Trainspotting). In Shallow Grave, three self-involved Edinburgh roommates—played by Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table), Christopher Eccleston (Elizabeth), and Ewan McGregor (Beginners), in his first starring role—take in a brooding boarder. When he dies of an overdose, leaving a suitcase full of money, the trio embark on a series of very bad decisions, with extraordinarily grim consequences for all. Macabre but with a streak of offbeat humor, this stylistically influential tale of guilt and derangement is a full-throttle bit of Hitchcockian nastiness.

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography
  • Two audio commentaries: one by Danny Boyle and the other by John Hodge
  • New interviews with stars Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor
  • Andrew Macdonald and Kevin Macdonald's video diary
  • Digging Your Own Grave, a 1993 documentary by Kevin Macdonald
  • Shallow Grave trailer and Trainspotting teaser trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor
    • Directors: Danny Boyle
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012
    • Run Time: 93 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B007N5YJ0C
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,031 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Costantino on March 23, 2005
    Format: DVD
    Danny Boyle has given us movie fans some amazing films in a variety of genres(Trainspotting, 28 Days Later. His first movie, Shallow Grave, is one of the best directorial debuts ever. A solid, gritty thriller centered around three flatmates and their descent into greed and subsequent savagery.

    Shallow Grave is invariably one of the top 10 mystery/thrillers I recommend to newbies of the genre. The large cult following for this film is most definitely warranted, mainly because it doesn't fall victim to studio executive induced foolishness or its bastard requisite happy ending. This is good film making with taut direction derived from an excellent script.

    The entire crux of the film is the question: "When confronted with a large sum of money can friendship survive?" Obviously the answer is a resounding "no". Boyle drops his audience into a frightening and exhilirating situation, makes us care for his characters, and then ruthlessly pummels them with brutal circumstance. We can see a little bit of ourselves in all three main characters which definitely increases our empathy and revulsion at the betrayal and bloodshed.

    Shallow Grave is a haunting depiction of paranoia, deceit, murder, and madness that gets better with each viewing.

    P.S. Danny Boyle revisits similar ground with his new release "Millions", albeit in a more wholesome, family friendly format.
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    24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gilbert on June 6, 2000
    Format: DVD
    This little Scottish gem is worth watching more than once! I'll not bother recanting what it's about, you can read that above. This is a delightful example of how greed and peer pressure can twist and stain the human soul with ugliness. Most of the movie takes place in the three roommates' flat in Scotland so it has a real claustrophobic feel to it. The plot is simple, watch the three characters crumble as they're affected by their decision to keep the money and dispose of the body. Strongest scene: when David comments about the dinner after having to hack up the dead body "It tastes different." Possibly meaning both the dinner and everything else about his life. This film has a nice ending, not a phoney one just to keep everyone happy. Technically, the digital transfer is mediocre. The sound is quite low. I have to turn my TV up pretty high to hear it, but this could be due to poor production on the set. There are no extras included on this DVD.
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    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Durling Heath on January 16, 2006
    Format: DVD
    Why is it that I watch and enjoy so many films in which Ewan McGregor appears? After finishing the substantive part of my day one evening last week, I flipped over to IFC and found `Shallow Grave' (1994) just starting. I stuck with it, and was not disappointed.

    A movie fan has to love the risks that the independent filmmakers take. Danny Boyle, the same director of `Trainspotting,' did a very nice job with three rather unknown actors at the time - at least in the U.S., Kerry Fox (Juliet), Christopher Eccleston (David), and McGregor (Alex), a quirky and unusual script, a little contemporary film noir, and created an enjoyable little story. Nice work, Danny Boyle.

    In synopsis, Juliet, David, and Alex live in a nice four bedroom flat and are conducting a roommate search to pay a fourth of the rent. During a dinner/interview with a prospective tenant, Hugo, played by Keith Allen, the three are impressed, perhaps excessively so, when the potential flat mate brandishes nice wad of pound notes. Very shortly after Hugo moves in, he is not to be seen. Inquisitive Alex (he's a newspaper reporter) leads the charge to break into his room only to find Hugo naked and dead. Then, Alex continues to snoop and finds a substantial cache of money in a suitcase under the bed.

    In short, after some very shallow soul-searching, the trio decided to keep the money rather than to report Hugo's death to the authorities. As such, Juliet, David, and Alex David must dispose of the body, Hugo's car, and anything else that could possibly associate the deceased flat mate with the three friends. The disposal proves to be quite a grisly affair, but that is not the least of the trio's problems.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EriKa on March 23, 2005
    Format: DVD
    Three sarcastic, greedy roommates (a journalist, an accountant and a doctor) decide to find a fourth roommate for their apartment, but their unorthodox approach of interviewing/screening potential applicants excludes most people. Eventually someone comes along who seems to meet all of their criteria. He moves in, locks himself in his room and is never heard from again. Eventually the three roommates decide to break into the room when their curiosity gets the best of them. They find their new roommate dead along with a monumental sum of cash. Naturally they decide to keep the cash, but they must find a way to dispose of the body (this is gruesome) and what follows is a study in how trust disintegrates between friends and suspicion and paranoia pulls people and alliances apart. Naturally there will be inquiries from police, which the three of them will have to withstand, and there will be problems from the people who actually have claim on the dead roommate's money. Although I fell asleep the first time I saw this, and therefore cannot call the story the most captivating thing I have ever seen, it is actually quite entertaining and suspenseful when you stay awake! Kerry Fox, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston embody their roles perfectly, not making their characters sympathetic but at least believable as the kinds of young, greedy, selfish people you don't want to meet.
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    Shallow Grave (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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