Review: Martin Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLAND - One of the Best Movies of the Year

 

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Jackie Earle Haley

Synopsis:

It's 1954, and U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. He's been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy's shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals "escape" in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable clues multiply, Teddy begins to doubt everything - his memory, his partner, even his own sanity.

Review:

Shutter Island was one of my most anticipated moves of 2010. My expectations were extremely high for this film. I loved the book that the film is based on, and it had the brilliant Martin Scorsese directing an amazing cast of actors. This movie had everything going for it. The awesome thing is… it delivered everything I hoped it would, giving us one of the best movies of the year.

This is great, solid, old-fashioned filmmaking at its best. This movie has the same kind of story telling and style that you would find in many of the amazing films from the 1970’s. The film relies on its strong story, script and characters to get the audience involved with the story that is being told. I loved the tone and setting of the film. There’s nothing more frightening than being at a maximum security Insane Asylum in the 1950’s. Not that I actually was committed to one, but I have always been interested in the history of these mental hospitals, and I've done my fair share of reading about them. This is one of the reasons why I was looking forward to this film.

Martin Scorsese captured everything that I had built up in my imagination about what this world was like, both from reading the novel, and what I’ve read from other books on the subject matter of insane asylums. I absolutely love his style of filmmaking because it fits perfectly in the world of insanity. This is seriously Scorsese at his best.

The film takes the audience into a incredibly frightening world that not many people know about or have imagined. There are story points in this film that sound fictitious, but they're not. These things actually happened in these kinds of institutions during that period of time, which takes the movie to a whole new level of madness.  

The film is a slow burn that slowly builds the suspense and anticipation all the way through the film. Not once does the film level off, the story and suspense just pushes forward, grows and builds until the story reaches it boiling point. The movie has all the right ingredients to keep the audience on the edge of their seat wanting more. The story takes you through a series of twists and turns where nothing is what it seems, and will have you guessing from beginning to end. 

Everyone that starred in the film gave the best performances they had to offer. Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his career, one that should most definitely earn him an Oscar nomination. I was captivated by his performance in this film. He's a great actor, the guy continues to push himself in his movie roles, and when you think he can’t get any better he goes out and makes a movie like this that proves how great of an actor he really is. He’s definitely become one of the great actors of our generation. Just like Robert Di Niro, Al Pachino, and Dustin Hoffman were the actors of their time, DiCaprio is ours. I don’t care what anyone says -- I know there are DiCaprio haters out there -- but seriously, who else at his age has such an incredible body of work?

I also would like to point out the musical score to the film which was incredibly strong. Robbie Robertson provided the musical accompaniment for the movie and creates a great score that fits in with a 1950s-set film that follows the investigating sinister goings-on at an isolated mental asylum. It definitely delivers a cold creepiness that is very unsettling.

Shutter Island definitely comes out on top as my favorite movie of 2010 so far. I absolutely loved it! In my opinion it was a pitch perfect film. This is a movie that deserves a few award nominations including Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Musical Score, Acting, and Directing. We just don’t see many movies like this anymore with that old school 70’s Hollywood feel. Leave it to Scorsese to remind us of what great solid filmmaking is really like.

I highly recommend you go out and see this movie! I seriously don’t see how anyone will be disappointed. Whether you’re a hardcore movie buff or just an average social movie goer, I think your going to enjoy what this movie has to offer. 

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