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Friday, February 19, 2010

Shutter Island (***1/2)


Academy Award winner (it's great to be able to call him that) Martin Scorsese re-teams with Leonardo DiCaprio, this time on an island off the coast of Boston in 1954. DiCaprio plays a U.S. Marshal investigating the disappearance of an inmate of an isolated and heavily guarded asylum for the criminally insane. Shutter Island is probably the most visually arresting Hollywood thriller of its kind since Silence of the Lambs. Scorsese's direction, the acting, the cinematography, production design, and sound design are of the highest order.  DiCaprio's investigation with his partner Mark Ruffalo leads him throughout the fearsome island, encountering Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, and Patricia Clarkson, all the while haunted by ghosts and memories of his past. At two and a half hours, Shutter Island moves at a stately pace. While I found the ultimate answers to the movie's riddles to be like the air slowly being let out of a balloon until its remnants lay limp, Shutter Island is overall a masterful psychological horror-thriller. I'd rather be trapped on Lost island than Shutter Island any day.