A Shock to the System


Comedy / Crime / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 4


Downloaded times
March 30, 2021



Michael Caine as Harris Shaw
Will Patton as Richard Tiller
807.23 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by preppy-3 7 / 10 / 10

Great black comedy

Michael Caine, a mild-mannered successful businessman, is passed over for a big promotion that goes to a younger man (Peter Riegert). While waiting for the subway one night, a bum bothers him for money. Upset over his job he accidentally pushes the guy onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train killing him completely. Nobody sees him do it and he feels a great sense of power and freedom over getting away with it. Now he decides to go after everybody else who wronged him... This little gem came out in 1990. I remember it got great reviews and I saw it with a sold-out audience that applauded at the end. Since then it's just disappeared. Why? Probably because it's an intelligent, scary, very black and very funny movie. My guess is that this movie was too dark for most viewers to handle. That's a shame--it's a real good movie. The direction is great--crooked camera angles are used to convey Caine's state of mind and a great sequence that cross-cuts between a double murder and him with Elizabeth McGovern (an office worker he supposedly falls in love with). The movie is short (about 90 minutes)...just as long as it should be. Caine is superb in his role. You see him slowly turn from a quiet, unassuming man into a ruthless, cunning killer--a really great acting job. McGovern has the unenviable role of "the girl" but pulls it off and her makes her character sympathetic and believable. All the roles are well done by a cast of top character actors. A very good movie. Here's hoping it someday gets the recognition it deserves.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 8 / 10 / 10

Graham has had enough of getting the shaft

A Shock to the System is directed by Jan Egleson and adapted to screenplay by Andrew Klavan from the novel written by Simon Brett. It stars Michael Caine, Elizabeth McGovern, Peter Riegert, Will Patton and Swoosie Kurtz. Music is by Gary Chang and cinematography by Paul Goldsmith. Graham Marshall (Caine) is once again overlooked for promotion and once again his harpy wife (Kurtz) belittles him.Then a heated exchange at the train station results in the accidental death of a beggar, and he gets away with it, something which gives Graham some devilish thoughts, one of Satan's light bulbs ignited above his head. By his own admission Michael Caine has readily done films just to pay the bills or build a new house. His success ratio as per great films and performances to bad films and tired performances probably stacks up as 1 in 10, consider this, in this same year he made Bullseye! What we do know though, is that when he gets it right he knocks it out the park and thus makes all his bad films easy to forgive. A Shock to the System is an under valued film on his CV, a brilliantly constructed black comedy that finds Caine effortlessly shifting through the emotional gears. From beat down Milquetoast to ruthless killer with a glint in his eye, Caine plays it to perfection. There's stabs of humour along the way, Caine a natural at this of course, and he even gets a young love interest in the form of the unbelievably cute Lizzie McGovern. Interesting to note that Graham's sex life improves greatly once the killing begins! Driven by an antagonist who toys with the audiences sympathies and moral repulsions, this is a film that's deserving of greater exposure and is ripe for re-evaluation. Great film, great Caine. 9/10

Reviewed by G-R-Lea 8 / 10 / 10

A Michael Caine Classic

Little-noticed on release and little-seen thereafter, the annoying thing is that this has to rate as one of Caine's better films; yet trying to find a copy of/transmission of it (at least in the UK) can be quite difficult. Caine's portrayal of the central character, Graham Marshall, an advertising executive sidelined and humiliated during a corporate restructuring, is deliciously wicked (even down to his devilish facial expressions), both in its comedy and thriller components. Elizabeth McGovern, playing the role of Stella, Marshall's PA, is sweetly convincing as the innocent dupe in Marshall's subsequent plotting. Part of the (admittedly dark) fun with this film is that, thanks to the monumental unpleasantness of the characters which Marshall comes up against, you really want him to do terrible things and to get away with them. Enjoy!!

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