Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shutter Island

Summary: Federal Marshalls Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the mysterious disappearance of a female patient at Shutter Island, a mental asylum in New England. During their stay the Marshalls discover things are not what they seem especially in Daniels opinion. Daniels is hell bent on uncovering the truth about the inner workings of the asylum and its faculty.
Plot (B): When I first saw the preview a few months ago I had no interest in seeing it. However, after walking out of the theater I am happy with what I saw. The plotline is interesting but there are several back stories and names that can confuse viewers- so pay attention. At some point in the middle of the movie I asked myself “Where is this going?” “Is this another fucking dream sequence? I didn’t know I was watching The Soprano’s.” There was a sense of repetitiveness that started to frustrate me; however that changed during the movie’s climax. I have to say I really liked the pay-off and it was worth the wait. Shutter Island is a movie worth seeing, but you may have to see it twice because you’ll probably miss certain things.
Action (N/A): What little action there is doesn’t merit a grade. I’m not trashing this part of the film it’s not that type of movie. This is a film where the action takes place on a mental level rather than the physical.
Acting & Dialogue (B+): As always DiCaprio delivers a stellar performance. His character is serious, highly intelligent, but also troubled, haunted, and short fused making him a person not to fuck with. As the movie progresses DiCaprio’s intensity increases thus adding more suspense. Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, and Mark Ruffalo provide strong supporting roles as well. Seeing four such talented actors work together is definitely a treat. Michelle Williams and Jackie Earle Haley who have small but important roles are also effective assets to the Scorsese arsenal.
Sex Appeal (6-7): For all you Leo fanatics out there don’t get too excited Shutter Island isn’t going to deliver in that department. There are no shirtless scenes or intimate close ups, which would make you all excited. However, his character does deal with so much emotional pain from past events causing viewers to sympathize and pity him thus turning him into the sexy tortured soul.
Director (B+): This is Martin Scorsese’s first major film since 2006’s The Departed and I have to say he did a damn good job. Is it better than The Departed? No fucking way. However, you will leave the theater happy. This is Scorsese’s and DiCaprio’s fourth film together and I’m more than willing to go see another ten films they do together. DiCaprio is Scorsese’s new DeNiro, which isn’t new news. Scorsese brings out the very best in DiCaprio. They are very familiar with each other’s styles and if they continue down this path you can expect great things. What I really liked was the dark Jaws- like theme music that resonated throughout the film. It set the tone and direction of story. Scorsese always does an excellent job pairing the story with music.
Overall: B/B+


  1. ok here is my issue..leo has yet to win an oscar. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY. HE IS AMAZING IN HIS ROLES. i think im just bitter from when he wasnt even nominated for titanic. but what pisses me off is that no one ever gets an award for a scary movie, so WHY waste your time on doing one that you wont get rewarded for? ok not true, his work will be praised for this im sure, as always, and i know him and the director are best buds, but i hate that he got fucked in the past for half of his kick ass roles.

  2. You're totally correct by saying he is an amazing actor. As great as DiCaprio is he has yet to star in the right type of film where he nails it. A lot has to do with story, the competition that year, and the bullshit politics of the Academy. Look, it Scorsese practically 25-30 years to get his first Oscar when in reality he should have 2 or 3 (Raging Bull and/or Goodfellas). As for the Titantic statement I have to disagree. Yes, he was good but it wasn't anything special. Don't worry his time will come and it'll be sweet.

  3. "Nails it"?!?!?!? Are you kidding me, Movie Titan!?!?!? Ummm how 'bout:
    - Basketball Diaries
    - Whats Eating Gilbert Grape?
    - Catch Me If You Can
    - The Departed
    - This Boy's Life

    I could go on and on! Normal I agree with you, man but you are DEAD wrong here. That man has more than earned proper recognition.

  4. I really enjoyed this but for the first time in my life, i figured out the pay-off 10 minutes into the movie.

    And Basketball Diaries is fantastic.

  5. Okay, I should have been more specific. He hasn't really "nailed it" in the eyes of the Academy thats worthy of an Oscar. He wasn't nominated for "The Departed" because he was nominated for "Blood Diamond" that year, which he was very good in. However, the award went to Forrest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland". Every other movie you stated he was exceptional in, but he still hasn't found his "Raging Bull" role. If it were up to me he would have an Oscar by now, but the Academy is a bunch of political bastards that get off on their own power.

    Yes Basketball Diaries is great. DiCaprio is one of the best actors in past 20 years.

  6. I felt it was a bit drawn out at times, but very good nonetheless. I agree that it's one of those movies that need to be seen a second time to catch all the indirect hints that are cleverly dropped throughout.

    Gangs of New York...another solid Scorsese/DiCaprio flick.

  7. Gangs of New York was terrible!

  8. What?!?! Gangs of New York is great. I'll admit that I wasn't crazy about it the first time I saw it. I felt the ending was anti-climatic. However, after watching it more than a few times the movie is so good. Its the acting that really carries the film. Daniel Day Lewis is a beast in this movie.