Shutter Island

Wow.  For the first time in a long time, I was completely sucked into a movie and completely drawn to the setting and characters.  This mystery had me from the opening scene and rarely, if ever, let me down.

Shutter Island is about Teddy, a federal marshall played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who along with his partner, go to a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a criminal psychiatric ward patient.  Teddy feels that he is being given the runaround and is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious island. 

Apart from the story and characters, the first credits I need to hand out are to the production designer, music director and cinematographer.  I was so focused on the buildings, sky and landscapes that I had to tell myself to pay attention to the story.  The sounds and music foreshadowed just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.  I don’t think the feeling that this film emits could have been possible without such a great backdrop. 

I’ll be the first one to admit that DiCaprio is a talented actor, but I usually have a hard time rooting for his characters.  I loved him in this role; I think he got better as the movie progressed.  I can honestly say that the end of this movie showcased the greatness that he is capable of.  He played each scene with such emotion and gave of himself completely.

Each member of the supporting cast outshined the ones before them.  Ben Kingsley was just mysterious enough, to not give anything away.  You didn’t know whether to trust him or hate him.  Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Teddy’s wife, Dolores, was brilliant.  I think her small, but pivotal role in this film put her into an entirely new realm.  She has what it takes to be one of the greatest actresses of this generation.

Jackie Earle Haley gave a chilling performance in his all too brief role.  I also enjoyed the smaller roles played by Patricia Clarkson and Elias Koteas.  The only character, and it saddens me to say this, who I felt may have been miscast was Mark Ruffalo.  I think he is a wonderful actor, but I just didn’t like him in this film.

DiCaprio and director, Martin Scorsese, have made a hit with this film, their fourth together.  I highly recommend checking this movie out.  You won’t be disappointed.

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