While SHUTTER ISLAND may never become one of Martin Scorsese's most iconic films, it is an excellent and challenging suspense film about a Federal agent (the always reliable DeCaprio) investigating a disappearance at am experimental facility for the criminally insane. The film contains twists that you may or may not guess, but Scorsese uses everything in his arsenal to put it over.
There's the cast, which not only includes veterans like Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow but lesser known players like Mark Ruffalo and Emily Mortimer who have proved themselves extremely capable in other films and on television. Then there is the soundtrack featuring some haunting examples of contemporary classical music that create a nervous and unsettling background for all the strange turns of events.
Of course, there is also Scorsese, who carries around in his head the the entire history of film noir and Hitchcock films, and creates a dark, moody look to SHUTTER ISLAND that shows how much he has learned from the masters of the past, and how easily he can conjure up images and scenes that equal or surpass those found in the movies he grew up on.
Not one of Scorsese's most personal films, and the explanation of the final twist goes on for much too long, but as Scorsese's first real excursion into the modern day "Twilight Zone / Film Noir / What the Hell is Going On?" genre, he proves once again, as with ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANY MORE or THE LAST WALTZ, that he is at ease directing almost any time of film. - JB