Movie Reviews Shutter Island
Most critics -- but hardly all -- appear to agree that while Shutter Island may not rank with some of the greatest Martin Scorsese masterworks, it belongs well up there. As John Anderson puts it in the Wall Street Journal "It won't be a beloved movie. It will inspire doctoral dissertations. And while this news may not bring unbridled joy to the folks at Paramount Pictures, let them be consoled by the thought that it possesses a kind of obsessive perfection." Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News writes that the movie "rattles your cage and leaves you fumbling for a firm place to stand. It entangles illusion and perception, sanity and madness as only pure cinema can; you leave the theater a bit jittery and unsettled." Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post describes it as "a vastly intelligent movie ... a heady thriller." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post suggests that Scorsese is taking "a breather from prestige pictures" to turn out "an exquisitely crafted potboiler, offering up 2 1/2 hours of thrills." And Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times writes that "Scorsese has given us a new noir classic." But the criticism of the film is equally profuse. "Classy, well-acted junk," is the way Michael Phillips describes it in the Chicago Tribune. A.O. Scott in the New York Times says that it's "illuminated with flashes of virtuosity but with no particular heat, conviction or purpose." Peter Howell begins his review in the Toronto Star by remarking, "'If you're going to fail, fail big,' the old saying goes, and that's just about the only positive thing that can be said about Shutter Island , Martin Scorsese's elephantine exercise in B-movie badness." And Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle figures "If Martin Scorsese weren't aware of himself as a great filmmaker, he could never have made a movie as bad as Shutter Island ."