FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Shutter Island” stars Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant , The Great Gatsby ), Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers , Begin Again ), Ben Kingsley (Stonehearst Asylum, Ender’s Game), Max von Sydow (Minority Report , Flash Gordon), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea, Dawson’s Creek [TV series]), Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl, Transsiberian), Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile, The Station Agent), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen , Little Children), Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs, Wild Wild West), and John Carroll Lynch (Fargo , The Founder). It is directed by Martin Scorsese (Hugo, Taxi Driver), while the screenplay is written by Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander, Terminator Genisys). Based on a novel, Detective Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston’s Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. As they dive further into their investigation, they begin to peel back a dark secret kept by the hospital itself, putting the two detectives in harm’s way.
It’s hard not to enjoy a film set around an insane asylum of some sort; the mystery, thrills, and visuals attached to that type of production makes for an entertaining experience alone. Now you tack on Scorsese and DiCaprio and things get a lot more interesting. I’ve seen my fair share of creepy hospital movies. “A Cure for Wellness” is a visual masterpiece with a screwy story, while “Stonehearst Asylum” is a peculiar flick that looks to entangle the audience in deception. Above all, these features look to throw the viewers off, crafting twist after twist to make things almost as crazy as the patients within the asylum. Pop in “Shutter Island” and you’ll get more or less of the same thing. It goes without saying how great of talent Scorsese and DiCaprio are. When you scroll through a selection of films and see either of their names, you know you’re at least guaranteed a stellar production. I’ve been wanting to see “Shutter Island” for some time, though it was hardly ever something I was clamoring to get my hands on. Having now seen it, I can say I’m glad I did. “Shutter Island” boasts brilliant performances paired with spectacular cinematography and score, weaving its way through a story that looks to deceive and shock the audience. The atmosphere itself is amazing to absorb on its own, being set on an island in the 50s with many buildings to explore. DiCaprio doesn’t disappoint, alongside his co-stars. I enjoyed Ruffalo’s performance as well as Ben Kingsley’s and Michelle Williams’. They were phenomenal in bringing this story to life and Scorsese couldn’t have picked a better cast to play around with. Everything was professional and clean, making for a grand experience in just watching the thing. As for the story, it was solid too. I loved the pacing and intricacy in how everything was weaved in. The flashbacks sprinkled into the chronological sequence made for a visually pleasing ride, and the twist itself was a satisfying one come time of the climax. Scorsese took his time building it up, never cutting things short to keep the audience awake (didn’t have to with the engaging dialogue and performances). Really, the only issue I found was how predictable it is. Within the first ten minutes, I figured out a small detail that was essential to the whole twist at the end. From then on it didn’t take too long to piece together what really was going on. When it comes to insane asylum pictures, the story can either go one of two ways: there’s either something wrong with the place or something wrong with the main character. Once you realize this, it becomes easier to figure out what happens in a broad sense. Albeit, I didn’t predict anything, but I figured out enough to where I wasn’t completely shocked come time the epic twist. It’s hard to make a movie surprise anyone these days, especially with how many films are out there. Because I’ve seen features like “A Cure for Wellness” and “Stonehearst Asylum” (which was honestly a rip-off of this), story elements become clearer to read into and predict faster, which is no blame to Scorsese and his crew. I thoroughly enjoyed “Shutter Island” as it was a spellbinding mystery with enriching visuals and fantastic performances, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something well-made and thought-provoking. FINAL SCORE: 93%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: