Shutter Island

Shutter Island review

The reputation of director extraordinaire Martin Scorsese remains unsurprisingly in tact. Some of his films are more special than others but there is almost always at least something to appreciate in them and few that many people would describe as outright bad. Well, there’s Michael Jackson’s Bad, which is kind of ridiculous, but, my lord, that’s scraping the barrel.

So, expectations are high. And Shutter Island doesn’t disappoint. The frustratingly inconsistent Michelle Williams aside, performances are universally strong. The adventurous cinematography is superb and the look of the film is probably its highlight. Combined with some carefully laid foreboding sound effects and less than subtle, pummelling music used as a weapon of mass manipulation, an unnerving atmosphere is successfully conjured.

The story is quite dense, heavy on dialogue and close attention is a requirement but there’s not actually anything too deep; it’s a fun gothic mystery thriller. The ending is slightly unsatisfactory with one particular “are you serious?” eye-rolling moment but it doesn’t kill the movie by any means. It’s not one of Scorsese’s best but it’s closer to his best than it is to pirouetting, rollerskating gangsters.

4 out of 5

21st Mar 2010 | Official site | On IMDb