“Shutter Island” Movie Review

“Would you rather live as a monster or die as a good man?”
This is the phrase that has me stumped even now as I sit in my apartment after watching one of the only films that left me still asking questions as the credits rolled. Leonardo DiCaprio, the man I swooned over in 4th grade when Titanic hit the big screen, definitely beat out co-star Mark Ruffalo in acting for this one. I swear you can make a drinking game out of as many times Ruffalo’s character, Chuck, says the word, “boss.” The movie gets 4 out of 5 stars, DiCaprio gets a 4.5 out of 5 and the rest of the movie gets a 3.5 out of 5 stars from this reviewer.
The CGIs in this film were too easily recognizable, and the second-rate acting by some of DiCaprio’s co-stars was something I was shocked by after seeing the trailer for this film. I know the film is set in the early 1950s, but the film quality can still be up to par with today’s technology, right? Most of Ruffalo’s lines seemed like they were fed to him after he called out “line” to his director, expressing rarely any emotion or making an effort. After figuring out the ending, maybe there’s something to that, but I was still a little disappointed.
Movies where there’s only one main character going through the struggles and moving the plot along often demand an extremely strong lead, and man did Scorsese score big with DiCaprio. He definitely was the perfect actor for the role. I can’t see any of today’s leading men succeeding so well playing detective in a hospital for the criminally insane. Mark Wahlberg comes to mind, but even he couldn’t portray the innocence of Teddy Daniels like Leo does. I really question the casting of Ruffalo in this film. I like his previous films and enjoy him in a nice romantic comedy, but he just didn’t cut it this time for me. He wasn’t very convincing at either of his roles in the film (see it to understand). However, as I’ve said in many other reviews, I like when actors step out of their cookie cutters and take another shape. But if I were Ruffalo, I would be counting my blessings, because I don’t know when he’ll be in another movie alongside acting greats like DiCaprio. I remember when it was dorky to like Leo. I’m glad he stuck around. Maybe when I move to L.A. in September, he and I will have a chance meeting. … Hey… a girl can hope.
Aside from that slight distraction, the film was relatively amazing. It takes a lot to make me walk out of a theater still asking questions, and I think it’s brilliant of a director/writer to leave an audience member doing so. What better way to spread the word than to make people walk out wanting to research, tell their friends and see the movie again to pick up on clues they might have missed the first time around. Brilliant. The reason the movie loses points is that it was portrayed as suspense, almost scary movie, and I didn’t get that at all. Mysterious aspects, yes, hallucinations that were slightly odd, plenty, but nightmare scary, not even a little. This is more of the mess-with-your-mind-so-you-can’t-go-to-sleep movie. Kind of like “The Number 23” with Jim Carrey. This movie will play with your mind and make you repeat the beginning quote until you come up with your own hypothesis that will most likely be very far from what the writer intended.
Regardless, I would see it again. Funny thing is, when I got in the car after seeing the movie tonight, the song “Just don’t tell them I’ve gone crazy” by Jason Aldean was on the radio.
I laughed really hard. 🙂

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One Response to “Shutter Island” Movie Review

  1. Justin says:

    The song is The Truth, btdubs.

    Totally wanna see this movie, though.

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