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Shutter Island
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on June 12, 2015
The film begins as a detective story: U.S. marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, respectively) travel to Shutter Island in Boston Harbor to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from a psychiatric hospital/prison on the island. After some less than satisfying interviews with the heads of the facility (Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow), DiCaprio's suspicions are aroused. Interviews with some of the patients provide Daniels with puzzling information, and he decides to 'nose around' with his partner. At the same time, he suffers from headaches and fitful sleep punctuated by nightmarish visions of his past and. increasingly, struggles with a seemingly hallucinogenic reality.
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.
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on July 29, 2017
Martin Scorsese's film, "Shutter Island" (après Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel), was premiered in 2010, and is a brooding, menacing masterwork. It traces the mental degeneration of an unfortunate man, and gives Scorsese an opportunity for many startling images and useless profanity.

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.
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on January 10, 2017
This was a phenomenal movie. DiCaprio's acting is as impeccable as ever, as well as Ben Kingsley's and Mark Ruffalo's. The plot twist made the movie well worth the watch, even though you still had to put in some effort to clearly distinguish between reality and fiction of the main character's background and past.
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on November 21, 2015
This is my favorite movie, I've watched it over a dozen times and always it gets deeper. It gets bad reviews because one viewing isn't enough to resolve the story. That makes it a liability to get into... it sortof takes over the other movies for a while. Well, its that good. DiCaprio KILLS it scene after scene... the skill and craft of all the creative dimensions are unfolding at a master level. Rewatching it helps to understand a lot of the subtle clues throughout the film... theres a lot more than it seems at first. This film was made at a high pace with lots of daily rewrites. Actors had input on the script. Master level film making.
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One of my favorite Leo movies. You truly don't know what's going on until the end. It's loosely a thriller but has a lot of drama as well. It's a good story too.Leo does an amazing job with his character. Movie had quite a few "flashback" scenes. It's one you'll want to watch twice, I think you almost get more the second time around because things make more sense now that you know the story. But, it's just as good to watch once.
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on May 21, 2012
I avoided this movie because I rarely enjoy horror and I heard it wasn't much for a Scorsese film. But I had access to it one day and played it out of boredom. It's not horror by a long shot. Some definite disturbing images, but from the trailer I thought it would be much more graphic.

Instead, it's a mystery thriller with a noir flavor. The plot is telegraphed from the beginning, but lucky for me I'm not really a plot guy. Atmosphere, acting, and ethos are what draw me in, and this movie is soaked in those.

This is the rare movie where I didn't mind style over substance. I was never invested enough in the lead character to be deeply sadenned by his plight. For this reason, I was safely detatched and could just enjoy the show: a winking you-already-know-who-dunnit spectacle of men in hats smoking cigarettes.

I took a class on Film Noir and, while it didn't become a favorite genre of mine, I learned to like haunted, life-weary men walking around in shadows and delivering bittersweet lines with panache. When movies like this one (and like The Man Who Wasn't There) cash in on that atmosphere smartly I usually have a good time with it.

I'd be surprised if Scorsese took this movie as seriously as some of the folks who hate it. I don't think he's a plot guy, either.
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I saw this movie on TV, after it had already been playing for almost a half-hour. I was so confused about the movie after not seeing the beginning that I HAD to buy it, so I could watch it from the start. The movie was very intriguing and interesting AND confusing, so having it as a DVD is invaluable for watching it over and over again (at least, certain parts). I read many plot summaries and reviews about Shutter Island, and I don't want to give away its plot, but I assure you that if you TRULY WANT TO UNDERSTAND this movie, you WILL need to see it more than once; and, you may need to see a few scenes many more times. As you can tell, it really hooked my interest. If it doesn't hook yours, seeing it once will be enough. This movie is one kind of on the level of "The 6th Sense".
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on July 28, 2010
While I need to watch this movie a second time before I can say if I buy into it completely, I can say it is effective. Scorsese does a wonderful job of getting you wrapped up in the world of Shutter Island, an asylum/prison where the criminally insane are treated. The music, set design, and cinematography do an excellent job of providing a creepy, discomforting atmosphere.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal called to Shutter Island with his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) to investigate the disappearance of Rachel, a patient there because she drowned her 3 children. Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), one of those in charge on the island, treats the people there as patients who could be rehabilitated if treated with respect; in contrast, Teddy sees them more like criminals, the same way the prison guards and Warden on the Island view them. Likewise, other doctors believe the patients must be controlled either via lobotomies or drugs.

Cawley and others appear less than cooperative with Teddy in his investigation, although he is allowed to interview the staff and patients. Nothing about the disappearance makes sense - Rachel left behind her shoes, nobody saw her leave, and there's been no evidence aside from a strange note Teddy finds in her room. Eventually Teddy confides in Chuck, telling him why he took the case - the man who started the house fire which killed Teddy's wife and kids was a patient there but has since disappeared. Teddy spoke with Noyce, a former patient from the Island, and got the idea that strange experiments might be occurring on the Island. Having served in World War II and helped free a concentration camp, Teddy was aware of the horrors people are capable of and continued to have disturbing visions and dreams. His dreams also feature his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) in various settings such as their burning house. These visions and dreams also seem to provide clues for the investigation. When Rachel suddenly reappears safe and sound, Teddy still continues his investigation into the island and the whereabouts of his wife's killer.

A hurricane crops up while Teddy and Chuck are on the Island, providing for an even moodier atmosphere and more tense moments. The structure of the Island with its isolation and rocky cliffs add to the feeling of being trapped. The acting is great, the dialog fits perfectly, and Scorsese's directing makes you feel like you're there. All of this is important for the twist ending. The movie as a whole left me feeling disturbed and needing to see it again to clarify some things.
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VINE VOICEon February 24, 2010
There are in this world mental institutions that are brightly lit, orderly and clean. These places are filled with disturbed patients, and an overworked, but determined, staff of orderlies, doctors and nurses who all do their best to help the people under their care. They are kind and do everything they can to improve the lives of their patients in the hope that some day these sad people might be released.

You will never see one of these places in a movie.

The asylum in Shutter Island, the latest film from famed director Martin Scorsese, is a dark, sullen place. It is filled with shadows and dripping water and fading light. The staff is occasionally helpful, but mostly obstructionist and occasionally downright dangerous. This is the movie asylum taken to the nth degree.

To this asylum arrives Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), a US Marshall investigating a locked-room mystery where, somehow, a patient, who was in there for killing her three children, has managed to escape. With his newly-assigned partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), he meets the deputy warden (John Carrol Lynch), who, as usual in these pieces, explains the rules of the asylum, takes their guns and shows them inside.

Once inside they meet Dr John Cawley (Ben Kingsley, in his best role in ages), as well as a German, one Dr Naehring (Max von Sydow). Daniels doesn't trust the German, and hasn't exactly had a warm spot in his heart for any Germans since he was part of the squad that liberated Dachau.

From there things get strange. A storm lashes the island. The missing woman turns up. Someone else goes missing. Memories get confused and Teddy's ability to tell reality from fiction starts to fade rapidly, bringing up the question of how contagious insanity might be.

This is a very good film. It's not Scorsese's best, but it's easily up there with The Aviator and is better than Gangs of New York. True, he's not at the top of his form, but his second-best is still better than most director's mangum opuses (opii?).

The acting, especially by DiCaprio and Kingsley, is truly top notch. The cinematography and sets are nicely creepy without being too overwhelming. The ending is perhaps a bit muddled and might take a couple viewings to make sense, but this is a film that's worth seeing again and again. It is easily the best film of 2010, at least so far.

From the trailer you'd think this was a creepy, nearly supernatural thriller, but it's much better than that. It's a voyage into the mind and to a place where you really, really hope that all your dreams don't ever come true.
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on September 7, 2012
I have always wanted to see the film which was based on Dennis Lehane's book. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the movie followed the sequence of events as described in the book. Leonardo Dicaprio gives an outstanding performance of Teddy Daniels. Also Ben Kingsley is great as Dr. Crawley. The atmosphere and scenery are appropriately dark and ominous. Also I enjoyed seeing Mark Ruffalo as Leonard Sheehan -- he was very convincing as Chuck Aule, Teddy's partner in solving the mystery of where and how did Rachel Solando escape from mental institution. This is a roller coaster ride, taking you into dark and frightening realms, getting lost on an island with hurricane winds threatening to wipe out everything. Your nerves will be shattered by the end of the movie. It will boggle your mind as nobody is what he appears to be. I was not surprised by the ending as I had read the book, but if you are not prepared for how it ends, it will leave you reeling and haunt your thoughts long after the end. Martin Scorcesse is a master film maker and as always he delivers a superb film. As a warning to parents, there is a great deal of violence and profanity. Children younger than 18 should probably not see this one.
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