Shutter Island 2010

Critics score:
68 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: 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. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: "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. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Mr. Scorsese's camera sense effectively fills every scene with creepiness, but sustained, gripping suspense seems beyond his grasp. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Shutter Island is a long slog. The sad thing is that Scorsese could have connected emotionally with Lehane's narrative. Read more

John Anderson, Wall Street Journal: Not since Raging Bull has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since Kundun has one of his films felt so aspirational. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: 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. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: 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. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This is a long, heavy film, in which Scorsese's aerobic moviemaking turns mannered and uncharacteristically passive. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

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

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: 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. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: 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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A movie that keeps you guessing to the end and then -- miraculously -- makes the guessing pay off. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The movie does have a payoff, though. And it works, shiveringly well. Read more

C. Robert Cargill, A brilliantly constructed mystery. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: 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. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Martin Scorsese's latest is a puff of smoke, the type of classic Hollywood mystery hailed as art when done by auteurs and dismissed as ham when done by anyone less esteemed. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: In Shutter Island, director Martin Scorsese has created a divinely dark and devious brain tease of a movie in the best noir tradition. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: 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. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Umberto Eco wrote, "Two cliches make us laugh but a hundred cliches move us, because we sense dimly that the cliches are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." Shutter Island is that reunion, and that shrine. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's as startling a change of pace for this director as The Shining was for Stanley Kubrick, and often just as unnerving. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: For all the trickiness and bluster, Shutter Island is dead inside. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: 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. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: 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? Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: An unapologetically derivative film full of visual nods that appeal mostly to movie geeks. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The strength of the film, like the book, is that it never allows the viewer to feel comfortable with what he is watching. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard One of DiCaprio's best performances in an unforgettable psychological jigsaw puzzle. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The film's primary effect is on the senses. Everything is brought together into a disturbing foreshadow of dreadful secrets. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, 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. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: If Martin Scorsese weren't aware of himself as a great filmmaker, he could never have made a movie as bad as Shutter Island. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: 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. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: 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. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 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. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Sorry, but the late reward hardly justifies all that punishment. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Martin Scorsese's elephantine exercise in B-movie badness. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: As senseless, perverse and unwieldy as it undoubtedly is, Shutter Island might be Scorsese's most enjoyable film in a decade. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Despite its flaws, Shutter Island is worth seeing for the palpably nightmarish and gothic world conceived by Scorsese. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Expert, screw-turning narrative filmmaking put at the service of old-dark-madhouse claptrap. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: 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. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: 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. Read more