Shutter Island Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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May 6, 2011
A brilliantly constructed mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
March 15, 2010
As senseless, perverse and unwieldy as it undoubtedly is, Shutter Island might be Scorsese's most enjoyable film in a decade.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 26, 2010
It comes on strong, but in its bloody heart of hearts it's no more resonant than one of those old Vincent Price-Edgar Allan Poe contraptions - and less entertaining, too.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
February 22, 2010
Umberto Eco wrote, "Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." Shutter Island is that reunion, and that shrine.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
February 19, 2010
Sorry, but the late reward hardly justifies all that punishment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 19, 2010
A movie that keeps you guessing to the end and then -- miraculously -- makes the guessing pay off.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 19, 2010
What is real? What is delusion? What is montrous? What is decent? Shutter Island may not shatter the heart but these are gnawing achievements for a movie about madness and paranoia.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 19, 2010
This is among Scorsese's many gifts: Even when he's not crafting a masterpiece, he reminds you that the movies possess visceral and uncanny powers.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
February 19, 2010
Not since Raging Bull has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since Kundun has one of his films felt so aspirational.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 19, 2010
Martin Scorsese's elephantine exercise in B-movie badness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
February 19, 2010
Showing an explosive temper and a wounded psyche, DiCaprio eerily channels the great Richard Widmark, a film noir giant, as Teddy, a shaky World War II veteran still at war with his memories.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 19, 2010
An exquisitely crafted potboiler offering up two and a quarter hours of thrills, chills and Leonardo DiCaprio freaking out in a nuthouse during a hurricane.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 19, 2010
As Shutter Island proceeds -- mostly as a series of speeches and set pieces -- what is meant to be mysterious and unsettling becomes just plain incomprehensible.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 18, 2010
Scorsese is pushing, I guess, for something that combines a '40s horror-thriller with a contemporary psychological tragedy. What he ends up with is more like a Hardy Boys mystery directed by David Lynch.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 18, 2010
The strength of the film, like the book, is that it never allows the viewer to feel comfortable with what he is watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 18, 2010
If Martin Scorsese weren't aware of himself as a great filmmaker, he could never have made a movie as bad as Shutter Island.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 18, 2010
Despite its flaws, Shutter Island is worth seeing for the palpably nightmarish and gothic world conceived by Scorsese.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
February 18, 2010
In Shutter Island, director Martin Scorsese has created a divinely dark and devious brain tease of a movie in the best noir tradition.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 18, 2010
Its overripe atmospherics put it in that rare class of failures that can only be made by talented people falling on their face while reaching for the moon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 18, 2010
A luridly effective thrill ride of a movie that leaves no old-dark-house stone unturned, including a host of rats, a series of flashbacks involving doomed children, and water, water everywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
February 18, 2010
"Shutter Island" is not from the Scorsese who stands astride film like a colossus; instead, it's a giddy, gory gift from the Scorsese who sits beside us in the theater, elbowing us at the good bits and taking in the sinister spectacle up on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
February 18, 2010
The movie is inert, despite the fact that it bombards us with lurid imagery and high-intensity stimuli: frozen Dachau victims, dying Nazis, beautiful child murderesses, abandoned graveyards besieged by hurricanes.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 18, 2010
It's as startling a change of pace for this director as The Shining was for Stanley Kubrick, and often just as unnerving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 18, 2010
This is a long, heavy film, in which Scorsese's aerobic moviemaking turns mannered and uncharacteristically passive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18, 2010
An unapologetically derivative film full of visual nods that appeal mostly to movie geeks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 18, 2010
Using every tool at his disposal, Scorsese honors Lehane's pulp intensity by amplifying the story to the fevered Grand Guignol of a Park Chan-wook movie, or Sam Fuller's asylum classic Shock Corridor.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 18, 2010
Mr. Scorsese's camera sense effectively fills every scene with creepiness, but sustained, gripping suspense seems beyond his grasp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 18, 2010
What Scorsese brings to the table, having created more than his share of rascally villains, is a renewed sense of horror and despair at the power of evil.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 18, 2010
The movie does have a payoff, though. And it works, shiveringly well.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 18, 2010
For all the trickiness and bluster, Shutter Island is dead inside.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 18, 2010
This quasi-horror film has the great director's usual craftsmanship and a stellar cast, but ultimately it's an infuriating trick that makes its most provocative ideas disappear.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 18, 2010
One of DiCaprio's best performances in an unforgettable psychological jigsaw puzzle.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 18, 2010
Shutter Island is hysterical, in the clinical and cinematic senses, followed by plodding, just when a potboiling contraption cannot afford to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 18, 2010
Shutter Island is popcorn entertainment polished to an unusually high sheen. Yes, you could argue the movie is simply a mood piece. But what a mood.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 18, 2010
The film's primary effect is on the senses. Everything is brought together into a disturbing foreshadow of dreadful secrets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 17, 2010
It's not bad, but as Scorsese, America's greatest living filmmaker and film history buff should know, even Hitchcock came up short on occasion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Germain
Associated Press
February 17, 2010
If a film is going to pile on the doom and foreboding this thickly, the payoff better be worth the hard road viewers have to slog.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 17, 2010
It may not have any of the technological bells and whistles of the latest 3-D offerings, but no movie in recent memory immerses the audience so deeply in its look and feel as the old-fashioned, two-dimensional Shutter Island.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 17, 2010
How could this many talented people get so utterly, confoundingly messed up? How could a director considered such an icon make so much money and demonstrate so little control?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
February 16, 2010
Since more attention has gone into filigreeing details into each scene than worrying about the way they'll fit together, the rattletrap engages you moment-to-moment, even as the overall pacing stops and lurches alarmingly.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 16, 2010
Martin Scorsese makes movies as if his life depends on it, never skimping on ferocity and feeling.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
February 16, 2010
A remarkable high-wire act, performed without a net and exploiting all the accumulated skills of a consummate artist. It dazzles and provokes. But since when did Scorsese become a circus performer?
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
February 16, 2010
Expert, screw-turning narrative filmmaking put at the service of old-dark-madhouse claptrap.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 15, 2010
Shutter Island is a long slog. The sad thing is that Scorsese could have connected emotionally with Lehane's narrative.