The movie does have a payoff, though. And it works, shiveringly well.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Scorsese's camera sense effectively fills every scene with creepiness, but sustained, gripping suspense seems beyond his grasp.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Despite its flaws, Shutter Island is worth seeing for the palpably nightmarish and gothic world conceived by Scorsese.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
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.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
This is a long, heavy film, in which Scorsese's aerobic moviemaking turns mannered and uncharacteristically passive.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
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.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
For all the trickiness and bluster, Shutter Island is dead inside.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Not since Raging Bull has Mr. Scorsese so brazenly married brutality to beauty. Not since Kundun has one of his films felt so aspirational.
John Anderson - Wall Street Journal
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.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
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.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
"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.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
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.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
The film's primary effect is on the senses. Everything is brought together into a disturbing foreshadow of dreadful secrets.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Shutter Island is hysterical, in the clinical and cinematic senses, followed by plodding, just when a potboiling contraption cannot afford to be.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
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.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
An unapologetically derivative film full of visual nods that appeal mostly to movie geeks.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A movie that keeps you guessing to the end and then -- miraculously -- makes the guessing pay off.
Tom Long - Detroit News
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.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
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?
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Expert, screw-turning narrative filmmaking put at the service of old-dark-madhouse claptrap.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
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.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Martin Scorsese's elephantine exercise in B-movie badness.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A brilliantly constructed mystery.
C. Robert Cargill - Film.com
Sorry, but the late reward hardly justifies all that punishment.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
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.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
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.
Dana Stevens - Slate
The strength of the film, like the book, is that it never allows the viewer to feel comfortable with what he is watching.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A remarkable high-wire act, performed without a net and exploiting all the accumulated skills of a consummate artist. It dazzles and provokes. But since when did Scorsese become a circus performer?
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
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.
David Germain - Associated Press
Martin Scorsese makes movies as if his life depends on it, never skimping on ferocity and feeling.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
One of DiCaprio's best performances in an unforgettable psychological jigsaw puzzle.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
In Shutter Island, director Martin Scorsese has created a divinely dark and devious brain tease of a movie in the best noir tradition.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Scorsese keeps the tension at a pitch of near-constant hysteria. Yet when the solution to the mystery is finally revealed, you're left with a sense of disappointment
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
Story quibbling aside, Shutter Island is high on atmosphere, in large part due to the visuals, and the collaboration between Scorsese and (Cinematographer) Robert Richardson actually feels like the two men having a blast with their craft.
John Gholson - Cinematical
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
... Shutter Island, the fourth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio, is the best work they have done together.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
It's a strong and at times gripping offering from Hollywood's cosiest A-list filmmaker/star pairing.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Every detail of the production design is on point for maximum dread and psychic confusion.
Dave White - Movies.com
Scorsese and DiCaprio, in their fourth film together, again create an intense, provocative film-going experience, where the ride, accommodations, and destination are all first class.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Not the masterpiece I was hoping for...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Fortunately, the music chosen to underscore the ever-increasing sense of unease and mystery (artfully selected by Robbie Robertson) is a constant pleasure.
S. James Wegg - JWR
Shutter Island, is even less 'important' than The Departed. But Scorsese is clearly enjoying himself with this old-school throwback to thrillers past. And it's hard not to revel in it with him.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
When the big reveal hits, it's the first big yawn of the film, and the tension dies a sudden death as we wait impatiently for the film to tie up all of its loose ends.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
Shutter Island, after an involving and entertaining beginning, settles for a victory by judges' decision rather than a final knockout.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Multiplex entertainment this distinctive and provocative doesn't come along every day: it's a head trip well worth taking. [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
...a creepy psychological thriller...short on psychology, characterization, suspense, tension, or thrills.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
A basically just kidding Boston offshore yarn featuring fleeing assorted lost and found psychos, born again Nazis, and Red Scare gulag rehab for unrepentant communists on the loose that, well, doesn't amount to a hill of baked beans.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Ilha do Medo e O Iluminado de Martin Scorsese.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Por momentos excesiva y algo decepcionante, resulta de todos modos un inquietante ejercicio sobre la locura servido con gran habilidad por Martin Scorsese.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
As psychological horror thrillers go, it might be flawed, but it's a technically masterful piece of work.
Shutter Island is second-tier Scorsese, but not one of his misfires. It does the gothic horror genre proud, but fails to transcend it.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Scorsesejeva stilska vje%u017Eba koja zaslu%u017Euje daleko vi%u0161e preporuke nego mnogi razvikani naslovi na na%u0161em kino-repertoaru
Dragan Antulov - Draxblog Movie Reviews
An enticing, engaging piece of work, worthy of a second viewing, which is never a bad thing.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
click to read full review
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Much will be made of the movie's Sixth Sense-like twist ending, but a second viewing will reveal carefully constructed plot, characterization and performances.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
They don't call him Martin Scorsese for nothing you know!
James O'Ehley - fantastiqueZINE
The problem, then, arrives in the film's hurried final act, where a hitherto steady narrative gives way to an engorged twist that, whilst believable, insults the audience's comprehension of everything that has come before.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
Scorsese packs the film with so many thrilling details, surreal asides and masterful set-ups ... that we can't help but enjoy the ride.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Neither Scorsese nor Di Caprio is at the top of their game in Shutter Island, but like all successful teams they know how to win when they're playing badly. Good not great.
Tom Howard - FHM [UK]
Some may find it emotionally distant and cold to the touch, yet that's no slight on its superb construction and fine ensemble cast.
Neil Smith - Total Film
So jump on that ferry and prepare for a stomach-churning crossing. Just don't blame me if you end up marooned.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Ruffalo is underused, some interior scenes resemble a bad sci-fi thriller and with little emotional engagement on offer, Shutter Island just doesn't have the legs to sustain its running time.
- Birmingham Post
Shutter Island is too long and its increasingly surreal tone provides an ending that's a bit of a cheat. But, since it is a Scorsese picture, there's a lot to intrigue on the way.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It is not Scorsese's finest offering by a long way, leaving us disoriented but ultimately unfulfilled as the cops get their answers.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
It's just not exciting.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Since Scorsese is a stylist, the film is enjoyable. It would be more so if you could take out your brain and experience it only with eyes and ears.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Shutter Island could have been an entertainingly hysterical trainwreck, but the train doesn't even leave the station.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
Unsuccessful but fascinating and often entertaining attempt from Martin Scorsese to wrangle with baroque pulp fiction - by turns compelling, hysterical and silly.
Catherine Bray - Times [UK]
At well over two hours, it could have done with some judicious pruning but Scorsese still manages to keep the story rattling along with a wry sleight of hand and a masterful manipulation of the narrative.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
As senseless, perverse and unwieldy as it undoubtedly is, Shutter Island might be Scorsese's most enjoyable film in a decade.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Shutter Island offers sumptuous, enthralling, shivery gothic filmmaking with a hardboiled heart and a sly line in asylum humour.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
This is one the year's must-see movies.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
There's no doubt that Marty's still got it.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Shutter Island is impressively acted, superbly designed by Dante Ferretti, atmospherically lit by Robert Richardson, and has costumes by Sandy Powell (who won her third Oscar last week) that are almost surreally of the 1950s.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
At the end of it, I got a whiff of shaggy dog.
It's a wonderfully inventive, visceral horror film, one of Scorsese's most enjoyable pictures.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
As an exercise in pure style over cliched content Shutter Island weaves an impressive and gripping spell.
Alan Jones - Radio Times
Crucially, what Scorsese understands about horror movies is that the right location is everything.
Michael Bonner - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Scorsese is capable of making a fascinating psychological thriller, but this effort is sub-Tarantino, without the irony.
Kate Muir - Times [UK]
...there inevitably reaches a point wherein Scorsese's expectedly self-indulgent sensibilities hinder one's efforts at wholeheartedly embracing the increasingly convoluted narrative...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Shutter Island is all about the visceral, head-scratching embodiment of questions. Who is crazy? Am I crazy? Or are they crazy?
Brett McCracken - Christianity Today
Great director, lousy material. Scorsese shoots a creepy film, but the twist ending wasn't that big a surprise to me. The story doesn't cut it. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
The film's audio-video barrage ultimately just puffs up corny B-movie material to the point of distension.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
An exercise in style so overheated that the controlled burn reignites the gothic's tropes. Slips out of its genre shackles by suggesting we're eager to drug ourselves on the thriller formula.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Scorsese drops the wiseguys and goodfellas for a creep-filled island.
Things that go bump in the mind are so much scarier than things that go bump in the night.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It's almost as if the big reveal is actually a foregone conclusion and Scorsese knows it. When it finally comes, it allows you to catch your breath. It feels real. It makes sense because you knew it deep down all along.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Offers very little emotional punch to go along with the visual pizzazz, seeming more a genre exercise than a deeply felt drama. It dazzles the eye but leaves the heart cold.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Behind the feverish mood there's only fumbled surrealism and Psychiatry 101
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
The dazzling camera work by master director Martin Scorsese makes 'Shutter Island' all the more creepy ... not unlike the director's 'Cape Fear' from years back.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
About halfway through writing a review of Shutter Island, I was caught by an undertow. I originally thought that the movie was stylistic nonsense. But then I realized that beneath the nonsense were intriguing swirls and tides.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
For those who like their movies wrapped in a tight bow, you're not going to get it here.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
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.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
An empty-headed, grotesquely dissatisfying cinematic journey.
Brandon Judell - CultureCatch
If Inglourious Basterds is what you get when a moviemaker gets his movie geek on, Shutter Island is what you get when a master filmmaker gets his movie geek on.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
...a dark, moody film that zips through its 138 minute running time but takes us to a place where some viewers, in the end, may not want to go.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
An intense, beautiful looking film from Scorsese and DiCaprio.
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
If Scorsese is working within a prescribed genre, he is also presenting us with something that approaches its Platonic form.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
Stranded on Scorsese's Island.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. But the more I think about it, the more I want to see it again ... if only to dissect it more.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
I tried to get lost on Shutter Island, but am sad to say even with its ominous tone and dreary setting I found myself dreading its predictable tale.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
Scorsese elevates what could have been a rote bit of narrative trickery into something not quite profound, but intensely engaging and quite moving
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
A visually handsome movie that lacks any stakes, emotional or intellectual.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Mr. Scorsese is like Buddy Rich, dynamically gunning out more tonality, depth and rhythm from a four piece kit than James Cameron's ham-fisted, three-hour solo on his latest twenty-piece contraption.
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
DiCaprio and Scorcese are a dynamic movie duo but when you add in the brilliant storytelling of Lehane you get movie magic.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
A bleak and disturbing psychological puzzler that's liberally sprinkled with flashbacks.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Scorsese has more up his sleeve than a dead director's trademarked bag of tricks and with the unique challenges presented by the material he needed them.
Brian Holcomb - Kinetofilm
Narrative rug-pulling has become so commonplace that the revelations of 'Shutter Island' are more old-hat than snap-brim...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Sadly, a horrible case of reverse-proportion mandates that the actors with the largest parts give the weakest performances, including yet another limp outing from DiCaprio.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
A thrilling exercise in Grand Guignol -- so operatic in tone one can almost hear the arias during the flurry of memorable set pieces.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Reveals a man who, at 67, still has film in his blood and bones. Scorsese throws himself a real party here, complete with the hurricane of 1954 as an apocalyptic backdrop.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
For over two hours, Shutter Island coasts by on creepy atmosphere alone.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
Shutter Island is a surface movie without even much surface; it's awash in stale ideas and character actors like Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley who show up every 20 minutes to give us some handy exposition, and then leave.
Adam Lippe - Examiner.com
Director Martin Scorsese channels his inner M. Night Shyamalan.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
'I don't know who #67 is,' said Leo, 'but more than one Sports Illustrated cover model has closed my case-file on #69.'
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Unfortunately, despite clever writing and all of Scorcese's cinematic tricks, this film is not engrossing, compelling or entertaining. It is a slick, but hollow exercise in genre filmmaking.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Scorsese expends some much time and effort creating atmosphere and setting up situations, that when the big revelation finally arrives, expectations are so high that the pay off is a letdown.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
I really need more time to roll it around the brain before I can definitively recommend -- or not. Today, it's a not.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
The cinematic equivalent of a bait and switch scam.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
For his forty-fifth film Martin Scorsese crafts a gorgeously stylized psychological thriller full of darkly lush horror that torments its obsessed protagonist.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Fans of psychological horror may have seen the material before, but rarely so much of it and rarely is the tone so perfectly presented.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
It is great to be in Scorsese's hands after almost two months of average films.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
An overlong, nauseating thriller lacking palpable suspense and clever twists which can't be saved by its exquisite production values and solid performances.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Martin Scorsese's atmospheric thriller deserves high marks for its fine performances and outstanding production values.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Shutter Island is a hypnotic and disturbing thriller. A near-masterpiece.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
This is a soul crushing bore that I desperately wanted to walk out on. Would have been better if it was called Arkham Asylum.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
[I]t's hardly a spoiler to know that this pseudo-reality is really an overblown fantasy, Scotch-taped together into a storyline.
Matthew Sorrento - IdentityTheory
It never shakes the sense that it's tap dancing across quicksand.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
You can almost feel Martin Scorsese straining to create some magic, given the pounding music, ominous cinematography, jaw-clenching close-up performances and overblown gothic flashbacks.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
Haunting and hypnotic, Shutter Island is part fever-dream and surrealist art mixed with an ace potboiler; like a Mickey Spillane novel directed by William Wellman and photographed by Salvador Dali.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
Scorsese is clearly having fun in this one: it's part police procedural, part gothic thriller, part sociological drama...from a director who knows how to get into your head.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
Acting more Kubrickian than ever, Scorsese uses the promise of horror to subvert expectations as thoroughly as did The Shining, which offers nothing terribly supernatural besides the twin horrors of parenthood and writer's block.
Rob Nelson - minnpost.com
Shutter Island pays homage to film noir thrillers without giving us any new thrills.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Disturbingly, deliberately deceptive, it's layered with labyrinthine medical, legal, historical and political issues.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
A mixed bag from Martin Scorsese is still better than most other filmmakers' best efforts.
Jim Vejvoda - IGN Movies
... a big, boiling MacGuffin stew of a movie, a Hitchcockian experiment in audience manipulation that slaps its artificiality in your face like a gold G-man's shield.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Like it or not, director Martin Scorsese uses his Shutter Island to mess with your brain, on all levels, and mostly succeeds in his endeavor.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
More psychological than horrifying, with an intense DiCaprio and Scorsese channeling Hitchcock and Serling.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Scorsese delivers the tension from first frame to last with a deliberately low-key mood that amps up the eeriness. It imbues even the most benign actions with a sinister ambiguity.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
"Shutter Island" starts with a great deal of promise, but doesn't deliver.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The last third...takes too long to wrap things up, making this a good, not great, mystery thriller.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
I really wanted to like this film. It just lacks the suspense it should have provided, given the circumstances in which the protagonist finds himself.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
An adult, insightful, tense, complicated psychological thriller.
Ben Mankiewicz - Turner Classic Movies Online
Amid all the confusion, Shutter Island sort of invites you to see through Teddy's eyes: peering at uncooperative staff members, frustrated by the doctors' obfuscations and delays, his rising anger seems righteous.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Scorsese is known for bouncing between commercial pictures and artistic expression, and Shutter Island falls somewhere in between, for better or for worse.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Scorsese gets stylish, witty performances from his stellar bunch. No one overacts, but they slide as close to it as they can, and the result is vivid, memorable and just plain fun to watch.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
for a Scorsese film, it's missing that touch of greatness that's become synonymous with his name.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
A supremely well-crafted thriller from an elder statesman whose love of cinema still burns through every frame.
Scott Von Doviak - Nerve.com
Pure and palpable evidence of a master filmmaker who's having some real fun with some very old-fashioned genre material.
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
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.
Randy Myers - San Jose Mercury News
Scorsese's in pulp fiction mode here, which essentially means that this is one of those pleasing instances when "B"-movie material is given the "A"-list treatment.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Of course a flat Scorsese film is still deeper and more textured than almost everything else out there, so this still ranks up there among the must sees.
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
One of the better psychological thrillers of its genre.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
To say this is Hitchcock-esque is an understatement. I wish the whole thing had been shot in black and white.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
There're more things Scorsese's dreamt of in his heaven and earth than in Shutter Island's philosophies, I fear.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
A haunted-house spooker mixed with an obsessed-detective noir, "Shutter Island" is not a great film. But that doesn't mean it isn't one of Scorsese's best, and one to be remembered.
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
Martin Scorsese has been making good movies for so long that according to the law of averages he was overdue for a turkey.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Even lesser Scorsese is better than 85% of what you'll find at the multiplex on any given weekend. Still, it's hard not to be disappointed that such promise went unfulfilled.
Sonny Bunch - Washington Times
it doesn't seem destined to earn a place among top-tier Scorsese movies, but it does qualify as an essential work, because it demonstrates how craftsmanship can create art.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
From every note of music to every frame of film and each performance, this picture brings a terrifying tale to screen that will stick in your mind for days.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
So while Shutter Island may be flawed, when you consider the lobotomized state of most Hollywood thrillers, it's tough to complain too much about the work of a master -- no matter how schizophrenic it is.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Scorsese feverishly works over the script with his typical widescreen gusto, only to end up with a flaccid central mystery barely worth the exertion.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Shutter Island might not be one of Scorsese's great movies, but you can tell he certainly had a lot of fun putting it together.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Scorsese, and Paramount, appear to have simply thrown as much money at each scene as possible, which makes for some fancy sets, but delivers almost no atmosphere of the sort one would hope.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
By the time this twisty mystery unfolds its ideas of how the past haunts people, how guilt consumes and how memories shape our mind's machinery, the result is elegant, creepy, fantastic cinema.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
If you've combined Ambien and a braille Choose Your Own Adventure book, toked to Teletubbies in HD, or taken psychotropic drugs after hot-gluing kaleidoscopes to your eyes, then you've experienced something similar to Shutter Island.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
Individual moments and the performances of an excellent cast can take your breath away, regardless of the whole.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
Scorsese's technical proficiency and overall mastery of the cinematic language are virtually unrivaled, even when the project is 'only' a goose-bumpy B-movie.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
A dizzying trip through a cinematic funhouse managed by one of the best filmmakers of all time fully employing his most talented collaborators.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
Every detail points to a master filmmaker working at maximum overdrive.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
...this is the first great movie of 2010, a pristine example of cinema at its most sly and seductive.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
"Shutter Island" isn't a perfect piece of work, but there are sequences in it that soar and burn.
Kurt Loder - MTV
The script is only barely held together by a combination of Scorsese's formidable command and the sheer, clothespin force of that magnificent furrow in DiCaprio's brow.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
[Scorsese] finds smart, lucid ways to preserve Lehane's intricate foreshadowing, the story's layered narrative and visuals (take note of fire, water, bandages).
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A film that brilliantly balances artistic and commercial considerations in ways that are sure to impress both cineastes and people simply looking for something entertaining to see at the local multiplex on a Saturday night.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Despite its pacing problems and 'I see dead people' denouement, Scorsese's latest is a brain-scrambling good time
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Scorsese ... is very much a director who understands how to use the medium to first and foremost tell a story, examine character, and very precisely create a world in which both live.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
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.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Frantic psychological thriller is beautifully crafted but suffers from a surfeit of plot ingredients.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
Plenty of chills and jumps and goosebumps but finally it is the questions it raises about our ability to trust the characters and our own conclusions that will haunt us.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Not top-tier Scorsese, but still a nicely atmospheric thriller.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Could very well be the weakest motion picture of Martin Scorsese's career. Just because it looks and sounds good doesn't make it any less junky.
Having Martin Scorsese direct a silly psychological thriller like this is like inviting a famous chef over to boil some hot dogs and open a can of baked beans.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Shutter Island is, infantile as it sounds, akin to the sensation of settling onto a toilet seat that is shockingly, unexpectedly and uncomfortably frigid.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
Scorsese pays stylish homage to classic noir and psycho-dramas, but Shutter Island is a mostly sluggish endeavor, even after the dark secrets are exposed.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
If it only tangentially seems like a Scorsese film, that's because we've incorrectly pigeonholed a director who has almost always pursued a career of shifts and gambits and new paths.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
A tense psychological thriller that recalls fare of similar genres from The Snake Pit to The Shining.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
If Martin Scorsese weren't aware of himself as a great filmmaker, he could never have made a movie as bad as Shutter Island.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Too predictable to love, too tragically beautiful not to appreciate.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
...(DiCaprio) gives the performance of his career, fighting himself and others in an attempt to stay sane in a truly insane world.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
...mostly enjoyable along the way...until the final 15 minutes or so pulls the rug out from under us and retroactively soils much of that enjoyment.
Andy Klein - Brand X
It's only a matter of time before Daniels cracks under the pressure of Shutter Island, a dark and uninviting rock that makes Alcatraz look like Disneyland by comparison.
Scott A. Mantz - Access Hollywood
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.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Apparently not even Scorsese's artistry can reanimate a thing that is dead on arrival.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
...Scorcese's "Spellbound" by way of classic locked door murder mysteries and every Gothic mansion lashed by rain and shadowy tree branches.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
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.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Overall, it's mostly effective version of a work that almost seemed unadaptable on the surface.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
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.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
It's as startling a change of pace for this director as The Shining was for Stanley Kubrick, and often just as unnerving.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Believe it or not, toward the end of the film, Leo gets down on his knees, looks up at the heavens and a craning camera and shouts "Nooooooooooo!" Just like Principal Skinner.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
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.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Thought-provoking and surprising at every turn, Shutter Island isn't to be missed.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Shutter Island is a bear hug to cinema while it's also an occasionally tart valentine to genre. Its affections aren't ironic but isn't there something ironic about a love letter to film that takes place in an asylum?
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
an ominous, claustrophobic and, at times, confusing endurance test that audiences no doubt will want to take.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Shutter Island feels disappointingly like a minor work. But hey, who says every film has to be a masterpiece?
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
One of the best movies of 2009 that was inexplicably orphaned to 2010 no man's land.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
A serviceable mystery/thriller that nevertheless feels emotionally scattered and for some, predictable.
David Foucher - EDGE Boston
There are no loose ends or false notes in any of it.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
An incidental nod of surrender and a devastating final line should haunt you on your way out of the film and as painful as it might be, you will want to go back to Shutter Island as soon as possible just to clear your head.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
The plot doesn't so much thicken as curdle with every heebie-jeebie encounter -- we've taken a U-turn at the terrific Cape Fear and wound up at Cape Folly.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
DiCaprio memorably transcends Scorsese.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
I'm of the opinion that DiCaprio is still far too lightweight a performer to carry the grizzled, haunted character that Scorsese is asking him to portray here.
If what I think is happening here, is happening here, it better not be...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Scorsese still knows how to put on one hell of a show.
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
absolutely fascinating, at times frustrating, too long by half an hour, has pacing issues - and is worth seeing twice.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
...begins as a fun and crazily creepy popcorn thriller, but the movie eventually turns into something far more disturbing.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
A gripping, suspenseful mystery whose plot doesn't so much twist, as writhe as the viewer attempts to grasp it... compelling and captivating, a revitalised gothic mystery that is both terrific and thrilling to the last.
Giles Hardie - smh.com.au
Shutter Island is one of Scorsese's most uneven films to date.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
I read Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, a 336-page throat-grabbing mystery thriller, in two nearly sleepless nights. Martin Scorsese's adaptation barely kept me awake for 138 minutes.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Shutter Island is a perfect example of Hollywood excess: It demonstrates a once significant filmmaker decaying into a big budget, poorly-motivated hack.
Armond White - New York Press
Up for having a master filmmaker mess with your head? Then this is the movie for you.
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island walks a fine line between institutional thriller and what-is-reality? inquest.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
The spirit of Alfred Hitchcock is clearly alive and well, and is currently residing in Martin Scorsese's latest film, Shutter Island.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
Clearly flawed but entirely involving, Shutter Island is a superb genre thriller elevated by director Martin Scorsese's consummate skill.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Like a lunatic's trip to Wonderland, it builds suspense with only brief respites, reaching a climax that is truly shattering. Hang on tight.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Shutter Island is a long slog. The sad thing is that Scorsese could have connected emotionally with Lehane's narrative.
Although bogged down with its denouement, this is still Scorsese, which means genre cinema at its visionary best.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
You'll enjoy it casually -- as a career curio, maybe -- but as it stands, it's a far cry from his best. Put simply, Scorsese missed the mark on this one.
Patrick Kolan - IGN Movies AU
While Scorsese overcooks the final stages of explanation and recollecting critical events, it doesn't alter how grand a job he has done of covering tracks. Excellent.
Ben McEachen - Sunday Mail (Australia)
Shutter Island is the work of a true master who is completely accomplished in the art of filmmaking. An hour later you will be making plans to see it again.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Martin Scorsese's sure hand directs this thriller with the precision of a brain surgeon and the grace of an artist
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The plot is as dizzying and steep as the circular steps that lead us to the top of the island's solitary lighthouse... a breathtaking journey
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Shutter Island sets a tone straight out of the gate with dark, shadowy imagery, a muted color palette, and a splash of noir-esque style peppered across the top.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
Scorsese's Gothic horror noir is B level and sharply uneven, with good set-up and closure but weak, draggy middle. Dense in image and unsettling in tone, the film is nonetheless thematically lugubrious and visually overwrought, even more than Cape Fear!
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Scorsese's in Cape Fear mode here, making his own version of the sort of thing that rocked his world when he was younger... [a] horror film, but with a haunted house that travels on two legs.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
The work of a master at his height. This is Scorsese flexing his muscles and cracking his knuckles and making a movie that's intense and thrilling and engrossing and beautiful and dense.
Devin Faraci - CHUD