Home > Written Reviews, Written Reviews > “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE” Tense and Brutal





Review by John Delia

It may be a story plot that gets a bit familiar, but The Shadow of Violence has a different feel to it. A guy has had a tough life as a child and ends up in the home of a drug lord who wants revenge for a wrong doing. The main character finds that he can’t come to grips with carrying out a hit and everything goes south for him. However, this one has some excellent acting, directing and even the cinematography plays a nice part in the film.

(L-R) Cosmo Jarvis as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong and Barry Keoghan as Dympna Devers and in the thriller film “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE,” a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis) has come to a hitch in his road to being a father, husband and loyal enforcer for the local drug dealer Paudi Devers (Ned Dennehy). The only thing holding him together at this point in his life is his best friend Dympna Devers (Barry Keoghan) who’s Paudi’s nephew. They both work for the family with Dympna being their main drug pusher.

But, everything is about to change for Dympna as his uncle Paudi wants him to take out Fannigan (Liam Carney), a friend of most everyone in town. Fannigan has been accused of molesting Paudi’s teenage daughter Charlie Devers (Hazel Doupe) after taking a lot of drugs at a party. Director Nick Rowland moves his film along showing Arm’s soft side that’s telling him that killing Fannigan is not right. Rowland also shows the pressure of Arm’s loyalty to the Devers and the gravity of the crime he’s about to commit.

Ned Dennehy as Paudi Devers in the thriller film “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE,” a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

Playing Dympna Devers, Barry Keoghan takes on the role of being between the rock and the hard spot. His father wants him to kill Fannigan to get a taste of blood and avenge his sister. But, Dympna doesn’t have the guts so he orders Arm to kill Fannigan and keep it a secret. It’s a selfish decision and puts his best friend and “brother” on a dead end mission. You’ll recognize Keoghan if you saw the films Dunkirk, American Animals and The Killing of the Sacred Deer.

In the starring role the Devers’ enforcer Arm, Cosmo Jarvis gives a stirring performance. Arm’s trying to be a good father to his boy, yet the drug business is all he knows. If he betrays his boss, his whole life will change, but if he has to kill, the pain of knowing will take him on a path that may destroy his family. It’s a good character for Jarvis and he makes the film work.

(L-R) Niamh Algar as Ursula Dory and Cosmo Jarvis as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong in the thriller film “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE,” a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

The Shadow of Violence has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains violence, language, drug use, disturbing scenes, brutality and brief nudity. The movie was filmed in Ireland with some excellent camera work.

FINAL ANALSIS: A brutal film, but one that shows some heart. (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast:  Barry Keoghan, Ned Dennehy, David Wilmot Cosmo Jarvis, Niamh Algar, Simone Kirby, Anthony Welsh
Directed by: Nick Rowland
Genre: Crime, Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, violence, brutality, brief nudity, disturbing scenes, drug use
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
Opening Date: July 31, 2020
Distributed by: Saban Films
Released in: Theaters, VOD, Digital

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