Shutter Island

Beware, there are huge spoilers here. Seriously. I give away the whole movie.

I won’t deny that Martin Scorsese has more talent than more directors working today. He’s pretty much a genius. His full skill set is on display in Shutter Island, but that’s really all this movie has going for it.

The premise, based on the book by Dennis Lehane (and adapted for the big screen by Laeta Kalogridis) is completely obvious from the trailer.  Two federal marshals are sent to Shutter Island, where America’s most dangerously insane criminals are held (Alcatraz on meth) to investigate the disappearance of an inmate–er–patient.  But once they get there, things get spooky.

Scorsese’s ability to build tension is immediately evident, and some individual scenes are effective enough to make you squirm in your seat.  But a few good scenes does not make a movie.  I try not to read reviews before going into a movie, but I did catch a blurb by some critic that said, ‘Director Martin Scorsese channels his inner M. Night Shyamalan.’  Immediately, I thought, ‘Well, I guess Leo’s going to turn out to be crazy.  And if that’s the case, I’m going to be really pissed.’  Well, that’s exactly what I got.  Did anyone else think that this was the completely obvious turn of events that was to come?  I’m so tired of these types of ‘gotcha!’ endings I can’t even stand it.  I left the theatre really angry that Mr. Scorsese used his name to entice me to waste two and a half hours on this. Despite the filmmakers’ best efforts, and some really really slick production values, this is bait and switch, B horror movie.


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11 Responses to “Shutter Island”
  1. Branden says:

    I didn’t think that movie was bad. The twist was seen a mile away somewhat. When I heard the latest LAMBcast, there were some inconsistencies that I didn’t pick up on.

    I was a good ride, but a typical story seen five billion times.
    .-= Branden´s last blog ..Shutter Island (2010) =-.

  2. great. way to spoil the entire movie. now i’ll never see it.
    .-= CindyKnowsMovies´s last blog ..Still obsessed =-.

  3. Reel Whore says:

    I got that he was crazy from the trailers. Still, I enjoyed trying to figure out how it all fit. I wondered were they going to make him crazy while he was there or had he been there from the beginning. I took it to be more of an analysis of what drives a man insane more so than a half-assed Shyamalan jump twister.
    .-= Reel Whore´s last blog ..MMM: Ohayou! =-.

  4. reelegirl says:

    There was no gotcha in this film except at the ticket booth. Embarrassing for Martin.

    I told my students that when the movie is out on video I would rent it and play it with a ridiculously upbeat sound track and the film would be hilarious.
    .-= reelegirl´s last blog ..BEST OF 09 =-.

  5. I’m not sure it’s fair to be pissed at the movie because the “twist” is just about that obvious in the book. Lehane wrote it that way, not Scorcese. And I don’t think figuring out the twist ruins the movie because even when the twist is obvious there are still so many unanswered questions.

    Also, I think there’s more to “Shutter Island” that Scorcese’s artful direction. Leonard DiCaprio is quite good at playing tortured characters (even if he’s a shade too handsome), and Max von Sydow and Sir Ben Kingsley are great as well.
    .-= M. Carter @ the Movies´s last blog ..Review: “Set It Off” (1996) =-.

  6. blake says:

    @ Everyone – I hate to admit it, but the more reviews I read, and comments I receive, I think I just approached this movie from the wrong angle. It’s still not my favorite film, but I see what I missed before.
    .-= blake´s last blog ..The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) =-.

  7. Castor says:

    To each his own Blake! Personally, i very much enjoyed it but the film was marketed as an horror-type flick and it really wasn’t so I could see how some people would not enjoy it as much.
    .-= Castor´s last blog ..1001 Movies: Se7en (1995) =-.

  8. Anh Khoi Do says:

    The story in this film is pretty entertaining. However, the clues (scattered throughout the different moments of the film) about the true nature of Edward “Teddy” Daniels were not subtle. Because of that, it was no longer pleasant to try to figure out how the ending will look like. However, if we look on the bright side, the performance by the cast is rock solid.
    .-= Anh Khoi Do´s last blog ..Production Almost Over for ‘2 frogs dans l’Ouest’ (2 Frogs in the West) =-.

  9. Steve says:

    Scorcese doesn’t need anybody to apologize for him, but I’m with the crowd that are. To try to tag him with Shyamalan is not fair, and the fact that the movie had a “twist” whether it was seen coming or not should be seen as a good thing, it’s a plot element, not a gimmick. Besides, isn’t it supposed to give the film rewatch value? (Maybe that’s overstating the matter). That the clues weren’t subtle was no accident – uncovering the twist couldn’t have been what Marty wanted us to bake our noodles for. Atmosphere. Atmosphere was the goal. And he definitely created that – a pulpy classic kind of mood, and all the players in it seemed right at home. I’d say that qualifies the film as a success.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Corey Haim, 1971 – 2010 =-.

  10. Anna says:

    i loved it

  11. StewII says:

    …who was foolin who??? We sometimes become that which we fear most. That is the case here. Gentlemen haunts the criminally insane…and becomes that himself! You have to dig deeper than the top layer. This film was so layered with so many complex emotions. It was obvious he felt he was at fault for his children’s death. However, the fun part was trying to figure out where to draw the line between insanity, reality and the role play which everyone was involved in during that two days. The icing was DiCaprio starting it all over again just before the credits roll. Had he been rebooting this perpetual fantasy all along just to coerce his caregiversn to finally erase his pain thru a lobotomy??? Who knows but it sure was worth the ride!!!

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