Scorsese and DiCaprio are together again, and this time they're on an island.

'Shutter Island,' Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's fourth movie together (after 'Gangs of New York,' 'The Aviator' and 'The Departed'), opens this weekend and most critics agree that it's a feature for movie lovers. The noir-ish work, based on a book by Dennis Lehane, is chock full of cinematic references from the '50s and ripe with Scorsese's stylized touches.

DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are two U.S. Marshals who investigate the disappearance of a murderess from a mental hospital for the criminally insane on an island off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1950s. Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson are also along along for the ride.

Here's what the reviewers are saying: Scorsese and DiCaprio are together again, and this time they're on an island.

'Shutter Island,' Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's fourth movie together (after 'Gangs of New York,' 'The Aviator' and 'The Departed'), opens this weekend and most critics agree that it's a feature for movie lovers. The noir-ish work, based on a book by Dennis Lehane, is chock full of cinematic references from the '50s and ripe with Scorsese's stylized touches.

DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are two U.S. Marshals who investigate the disappearance of a murderess from a mental hospital for the criminally insane on an island off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1950s. Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson are also along along for the ride.

Here's what the reviewers are saying:

Variety: "Although 'The Departed' and 'Cape Fear' come close, 'Shutter Island' is the film that most forces the director to walk the straight and narrow in terms of carefully and clearly telling a story; if testing himself within that discipline was his intention, this most devoted of cinema students among major American directors gets an 'A'."

Rolling Stone: "The climactic scene won't be the only thing that leaves you shattered. Scorsese makes dark magic in this mesmerizing mind-bender. No one who lives and breathes movies would dream of missing it."

The Hollywood Reporter: "Scorsese has given himself a film student's puzzle: Try to make a '50s-era thrill ride with today's techniques and technology. One senses his childlike delight behind every camera move and jump cut. As his audience squirms, he's in movie heaven."

Entertainment Weekly: "What we want from this movie, I think, is a tricky and sophisticated mental-ward thriller that seduces us into a pleasurable vertigo of uncertainty. What we get is a tale dotted with vague portents of violence, 'heavy' themes (the ethics of psychotropic drugs, the spectre of nuclear war), and surreal images of Teddy's memories of his wife (Michelle Williams), who died in a fire set by a negligent superintendent."

'Shutter Island' trailer

Chicago Tribune: "'Shutter Island' is hysterical, in the clinical and cinematic senses, followed by plodding, just when a potboiling contraption cannot afford to be."

The Associated Press: "'Shutter Island' is long and wearying -- brilliantly constructed, obsessively detailed, yet dramatically a piece of pulp schlock that's been overdressed and overstuffed to disguise a ponderous and absurd story."

New York Times: "Mr. Scorsese in effect forces you to study the threads on the rug he is preparing, with lugubrious deliberateness, to pull out from under you. As the final revelations approach, the stakes diminish precipitously, and the sense that the whole movie has been a strained and pointless contrivance starts to take hold."

Arizona Republic: "It's not a great movie so much as it is great moviemaking. It's basically a potboiler genre film, a B-movie with big talent attached. But the care, love and astounding skill of director Martin Scorsese, along with the claustrophobic story (based on the novel by Dennis Lehane), combine for a film that stays with you long after you've given up trying to figure out whether everything you've just seen really adds up."

Village Voice: "Without revealing too much of an ending that everyone will soon insist on telling you their opinion of, Shutter Island, deep in its camp gothic trappings, seems to me a flea-pit occult history, with Daniels's (DiCaprio) headspace a confusion of 'Hideous Secrets of the Nazi Horror Cult' schlock, hard-ass Mickey Spillane machismo, Cold War psychic confusion, and the post-traumatic bad dreams of ex-servicemen."

Chicago Sun-Times: "Scorsese the craftsman chips away at reality piece by piece. Flashbacks suggest Teddy's traumas in the decade since World War II. That war, its prologue and aftermath, supplied the dark undercurrent of classic film noir. The term 'post-traumatic shock syndrome' was not then in use, but its symptoms could be seen in men attempting to look confident in their facades of unstyled suits, subdued ties, heavy smoking and fedoras pulled low against the rain. DiCaprio and Ruffalo both affect this look, but DiCaprio makes it seem more like a hopeful disguise."
CATEGORIES Reviews