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May 23, 2011

Movie Review: Shutter Island (2010)

The trailer for Shutter Island had my interest immediately. It seemed like a crazy thriller full of twists. A few people that I knew saw it, and I heard mixed reactions. Some of them complained about the ending. I didn't care. I still wanted to see it. I never got out to the theater, and somehow I managed to avoid any spoilers. I had even forgotten about it until I saw it streaming on Netflix. Oh, glorious Netflix. I had to watch it right away. I had high hopes for this movie, and I was not let down.

Buy Shutter Island [Blu-ray] or DVD

From the start, Shutter Island is unnerving. Just the look on DiCaprio's face is enough to give you the wiggly shits. The soundtrack is intense, and it ramps up at just the right moments. It's not like Scorcese hasn't done this before, but even the greats can slip. Not here. The cast is great too. Ted Levine and John Carroll Lynch are great as the wardens. Add Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow as the lead psychiatrists. Then there's Mark Ruffalo, who I've never actually seen in anything before. The guy was really good, and it makes me look forward to seeing him in gamma radiation green.

DiCaprio becomes Ted Daniels in this movie. You lose him in the character. The best part about a movie like this is that you feel what the character feels. When Ted is nervous, you're nervous. When Ted is confused, you're confused. I felt like I was the U.S. Marshall investigating this nuthouse. Every time I thought I understood what was happening, something odd flew my way. The movie had a great way of keeping me on my toes. I didn't trust anyone to be the good guy or the bad guy. You really have to let it unfold to get the whole picture.

This was a great thriller, because it actually did thrill. This should have won an Oscar for adapted screenplay. For some reason, it didn't even have a nomination. Any time a story is this solid, it deserves some accolades. Either way, it's still something worth watching, and I may just watch it again.

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