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Academy Award® winning director Martin Scorses once again teams up with Leonardo DiCaprio in this spine-chilling thriller that critics say “sizzles with so much suspense that it’s hot to the touch.”** When U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) arrives at the asylum for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, what starts as a routine investigation quickly takes a sinister turn. As the investigation unfolds and Teddy uncovers more shocking and terrifying truths about the island, he learns there are some places that never let you go. **Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Martin Scorsese puts Leonardo DiCaprio through the wringer again in Shutter Island, a gothic adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel. Leo's character, a Federal Marshal named Teddy Daniels, is first seen vomiting and jittery aboard a ferry; he and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) are being taken across the water to investigate an escape from a prison for the criminally insane, located on a forbidding rock called Shutter Island. From the first, Scorsese treats the place as though it were Skull Island in King Kong, worthy of ominous music cues and portentous camera angles. This might not be an easy assignment for the sweaty, anxious Daniels, who is haunted by his memories of German concentration camps and the loss of his wife (Michelle Williams, appearing in ghostly hallucinations). The audience will likely feel just as unnerved as Daniels, given the destabilizing nature of Robert Richardson's swooping cinematography and Thelma Schoonmaker's crazy-making editing scheme (it feels as though fractions of seconds have been removed from the timing of simple conversations, giving the movie a strung-out edginess--it's like watching Ray Liotta's cocaine meltdown sequence from GoodFellas for 138 minutes). Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow are staff psychiatrists, suspiciously eager to talk about lobotomies, and Ted Levine and Patricia Clarkson appear for small but potent turns. Scorsese appears to be "doing a genre picture" here, borrowing happily from influences such as Val Lewton and Samuel Fuller, and the film has a resultingly put-on atmosphere: a great deal of old-dark-house Sturm und Drang whipped up in service of a gimmicky little premise. The fade-out achieves some measure of real eeriness, and the whole shebang is certainly a kicky night out at the movies--if you can shake the sense that a talented filmmaker is working a couple of rungs beneath his level. --Robert Horton
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This production is a head-long trip from film noir into the psychiatric stratosphere. Quirky, spooky, and strange. A marvelous film. Things are never what they seem in the confines of Ashecliffe Hospital.
The plot is ingenious, and one will feel compelled to see the picture twice. The superb cast is led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Sir Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, as well as Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, and Max von Sydow. Especially outstanding are Ruffalo (who looks perfect in the nineteen-fifties fashions) and Miss Clarkson (one of our finest actresses).
The real "star" here is, nevertheless, the sound-track, which was complied by Robbie Robertson from various schools of the contemporary avant-garde. It is tremendously exciting, even thrilling. Composers included are Krzysztof Penderecki, John Cage, György Ligeti ("Lontano"), Morton Feldman, Giacinto Scelsi, Lou Harrison, and Alfred Schnittke.