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February 18, 2010

Shutter Island

Shutter_island_ver2 For his forty-fifth film Martin Scorsese crafts a gorgeously stylized psychological thriller full of darkly lush horror that torments its obsessed protagonist. As former World War II vet turned U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels, Leonardo DiCaprio hits every psychological mark that Scorsese dynamically orchestrates against a vast metaphorical natural and unnatural setting. Peddocks Island in Nahant, Massachusetts stands in for "Shutter Island," a Boston Harbor land mass, circa 1954. The isle contains a private prison hospital for the criminally insane. There, a female inmate named Rachel Solondo has escaped from her unbroken cell. Teddy and his first-time partner U.S. Marshall Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) arrive on the fog-shrouded isle to investigate the patient's disappearance. But they don't get much cooperation from the hospital's governing psychiatric doctors (played by Sir Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow). The manically obsessed Teddy suffers from migraines and has walking nightmares that recall his wife's tragic death and the atrocities he witnessed while helping to liberate Dachau. Teddy has his own private agenda--to investigate the facility on suspicions that the doctors there are performing illegal experiments on patients similar to those conducted at Auschwitz under Josef Mengele. "Shutter Island" is a complex mystery that exponentially folds back on itself during its shocking third act. America's most accomplished and inspired director has made yet another truly engrossing picture.

(Paramount) 138 mins. Rated R. (A-) (Four Stars)

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