Review: Shutter Island

5:44 PM Posted by Jeremy Heath



I didn't know where to begin in the long list of movies i have seen so i decided to just go with the most recent movie that has really caught my eye and so Shutter Island is where we begin!

Based on the Dark Novel by Dennis Lehane, Martin Scorsese takes us to the remote Shutter Island where Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) are called out to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients, a woman who drowned all 3 of her kids. With the help of Dr. Crawly (Ben Kingsley) pushing Daniels toward a more sinister truth about the asylum, Daniels attempts to uncover the truth about the island and live long enough to get off of it!

At the core of this movies success is that it focuses on the introduction and exploration of a single character, Teddy. DiCaprio is in nearly every frame of this movie and each shot tells us more about how Teddy responds to the world around him.

The location of the film is a work of art in and of itself. It shows you how different Teddy is to the audience. He hardly ever flinches at the darkness and makes what he does flinch at that more powerful.

But like any good movie there are weak points. In this movie the story seems to weaken about midway through when the clues seem to run short, and seem to be replaced by several dialogue-sessions. Don't get me wrong these conversational pieces act as platforms for great performances, but they don't really advance the story any further.

Other than that, there is little to complain about. Everything from the scenic design to the music drips with the intensity of cold waves crashing against jagged rocks. The actors all command attention, despite it seeming a bit too easy for them on the script side. Kingsley sort of floats through scenes like a man who knows something about the universe we’ll never be able to comprehend, his Dr. Cawley character a nefarious nurturing figure. Max von Sydow continues his effortless creepiness, Michelle Williams and Emily Mortimer both have their fair share of nervous breakdown-inducing performances, and Mark Ruffalo brings an anchor to the whole affair. Of course, it’s ultimately DiCaprio’s movie, and he delivers a strong (yet not groundbreaking) showing.

The Upside: Strong Directing, Great performances, and a startling mystery that is actually a character study.
The Downside: Weakness in the script and a lagging midsection.
On the Side: Paramount originally went after David Fincher and Brad Pitt to pair up for the project.

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