70 user 29 critic

Shade (2003)

R | | Crime, Thriller | 9 May 2004 (USA)
A group of hustlers encounter "The Dean" and pull off a successful sting that results in their pursuit by a vengeful gangster.


Damian Nieman


Damian Nieman





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Nicolo ... Ritchie
Carl Mazzocone Sr. ... Older Wiseguy (as Carl M. Mazzocone Sr.)
George Tovar ... Paulie
Frank Medrano ... Sal
Jason Cerbone ... Young Stevens
Mark De Alessandro ... Hitman #1
Doc Duhame ... Hitman #2
Shane T. Anderson Shane T. Anderson ... Hitman #3
Thandiwe Newton ... Tiffany (as Thandie Newton)
Glenn Plummer ... Attendant
Gabriel Byrne ... Miller
Mick Rossi Mick Rossi ... Club Patron #1
Sean Stanek ... Club Patron #2
Holly Cat Holly Cat ... Girl in Hallway (as Holly Catarancuic)
Carl Mazzocone ... Doorman


Shade is set in the world of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles. The tale unfolds as a group of hustlers encounter "The Dean" and pull off a successful sting that results in their pursuit by a vengeful gangster. Written by <rdash@attcanada.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Look Deeper. See more »


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The book shown throughout the movie, "The Expert at the Card Table" by S.W. Erdnase, is known as the "Cardman's Bible". Originally published in 1902 for cheating purposes, it is still considered the best book on the subject. It is a quote of Erdnase which is shown onscreen as the film begins. See more »


The position of Miller's hand alternates between holding the drink and crossed over to his other arm while talking to Marlo. See more »


Stevens: I was mucking cards since before you were born.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits list an "Erdnase Grip" and a "Mechanic's Grip." S.W. Erdnase was the pseudonym of the author of the book "Expert at the Card Table," which was referenced in this movie. A "mechanic's grip" is a special way to hold the cards that facilitates many common sleights (including dealing seconds and dealing from the bottom of the deck). See more »


References House of Games (1987) See more »


Cha Cha Cha 57
Written by Roy Shakked
Performed by The Tao of Groove
Produced by Roy Shakked
Courtesy of Groove Gravy Records
See more »

User Reviews

Shade is great !
19 January 2005 | by tha_fonzSee all my reviews

Shade is a great movie if you like the genre. I can imagine that if you are not acquainted with poker games(or playing cards) you'll not like this movie and think it's bad acting.

This movie is about a mechanic: Vernon.

Other movies like, The Sting, The Cincinnati Kid, Rounders, also have mechanics in it, but not playing the leading role.

The director of this movie is also a magician. So some elements of that will play a part in the movie. Think about The Magic Castle.

The story reads that a young mechanic (Vernon) starts working together(again) with 2 other con men. That goes well in the beginning but later on a little "obstacle" get's in their way.

For me, this is one of the best(maybe the best) movies about hustling. I like the characters, and I like the names.

I like Stallone also in this movie. First I though it would be a bit of a let down. But he acts great in this picture. Stallone plays the part of "Dad(dy) Stevens"(Old Stevens). A real legend, who was maybe the best hustler of all time. You could shuffle a deck, give it to Stevens, and he could shuffle you the three desired cards to the top of the deck in three riffle shuffle actions. I can guess what you're thinking: If he could shuffle three desired cards to the top of the deck, why not four ? "Are you nuts! They kill you by four" Stevens would reply.

To me , a great movie, get's better and better every time I watch it over and over again.

Also the intro is really cool. An old scene of people playing cards with the young Stevens, who get's busted by palming a card while some mugger tells him to put his hands in the air. A gun fight begins, ...and then the demonstration of bottom dealing, push-through shuffling, revelations begins. With a very nice shade sound at the back ground.

Also I read a bit of the other posts.

About the names: The names are just for fun. The characters do no represent the real named magicians. However, I don't think most people will recognize a magician named Andrews. Andrews was also a magician/gambler but he is better know as the author S.W. Erdnase of the book "Expert at the Card Table".

Funny easter eggs are in the movie. Like indeed the names, the room 808 (were the poker games is played with the Dean) 808 is the number of Bicycle playing cards. The poker scene with Dean and Vernon (form the Cincinnati kid)

About the juiced deck. A juiced deck is a marked deck. This is a real deck. But, not like in the movie. Most of the times when you play with a juiced deck, you will not mark the cards like you actually see their indices. (For example, the 8 in the movie). Also that the other 2 could read it that fast is not believable. It's takes hours of practice to accomplish this with your eyes. Juiced is by far, the best marked deck out there. The fluid (the juice ;-) is for purchase. But still, one needs to know how to mark his deck ;-)

Stallone also says at the end that he could buy Vernon out. That is also impossible, regarding the fact that one cannot raise himself.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 70 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

9 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shade See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,696, 11 April 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed