Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Distributor: Paramount
Release Date: February 19, 2010
Genre: Period Drama
Running Time: 138 minutes
MPAA Rating: R

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Martin Scorsese made an unfathomably good string of films – “Mean Streets” in 1973, “Taxi Driver” in 1976, “New York, New York” in 1977, “Raging Bull” in 1980, and “The King of Comedy” in 1982. These films cemented De Niro as one of the most talented actors of his generation, and helped earn him a spot on the all-time great list as well.

In the early ‘00s, Scorsese found another muse: Leonardo DiCaprio. While “Titanic” made DiCaprio a world-wide star, it did damage his “street cred” in certain circles. With “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” and “The Departed,” DiCaprio regained that “street cred” and established himself as one of the premier actors working today; with three Oscar nominations already under his belt, a win can’t be too far behind.

The latest Scorsese / DiCaprio collaboration is the suspense thriller “Shutter Island,” based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. The film takes place in 1954 on an island used as a prison for the criminally insane. U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) show up to investigate the disappearance of one of the inmates. Despite heavy security and no obvious escape routes, the woman is nowhere to be found. “It’s as if she evaporated right through the walls,” Dr. Cawley (Oscar winner Ben Kingsley) says.

After receiving resistance from the workers on the island, Daniels and Aule try to leave, but find that a storm is keeping them on the island. After the rainstorm other things start keeping them on the island. Strange things start happening. Daniels may or may not be losing his mind.

Some complained that the twists and turns in “Shutter Island” were predictable, and I’m actually not going to argue that. However I am going to argue that it does not detract from the film, which is extremely well made and doesn’t resort to cheap tactics to build its suspense.

DiCaprio is terrific in the lead role, and he gets a lot of help from his supporting cast. Ruffalo, Kingsley, Oscar nominee Max von Sydow, Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, and Elias Koteas are all extremely memorable with very little screen time.

This is the first horror type movie that Scorsese has directed, and he shows that his artistry knows no bounds. He truly is one of the greatest directors of all-time.

Theater: RDM Westroads 14, Omaha, NE
Time: 135 pm
Date: March 31, 2010

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