Thursday, April 22, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Shutter Island

Finally saw Shutter Island starring Leonardo Dicaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese a few weeks ago at our favorite local movie theaters in Alhambra.

Amazingly, this is the first (and only) 2010-released movie I have seen this year. A little bird has told me that the Pacific Paseo movie theaters in Pasadena are being taken over by Arclight Cinemas by summer so they may become our new favorite places to see movies soon.

Anyway, back to Shutter Island. The movie also stars Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley.

The film is clearly an homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. It has an old-school look and feel, with a classic art direction and cinematography.

The plot is based on Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel of the same name. The basic story is about U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels played by Dicaprio who is investigating the disappearance of a mental hospital patient from a locked room on Shutter Island. He is accompanied by his partner Chuck Aule played by Ruffalo and the head psychiatrist of the mental hospital is played chillingly by Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley.

Of course soon after the federal marshals arrive on the island a huge storm strikes it which prevents communication from the mainland and complicates the investigation. The story is like an onion, with layers being revealed piece by piece until a surprising plot twist at the end shocks the audience and gives the film its overall emotional impact.

Dicaprio gives a compelling portrayal of a conflicted man who has a past that intersects his ability to complete his mission and Kingsley is strong as his main adversary.

Overalll, it's a film that I'm glad that I saw in the theaters, since I am generally a fan of Scorsese's work but it's unlikely to be remembered when the memorable films of 2010 are noted at the end of the year and during award season.

Running Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes.
MPAA Rating:Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.



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