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Yeah, I’m way behind. It’s probably not in most theaters anymore and if it’s in your theater, then it’s probably not going to be there much longer. I finally got to see it, though, so I’ll tell you what I thought!

It was good! It’s not something I’m probably going to buy when it comes out on Blu-Ray but I will definitely pick it up if I see it on special or something. I thought that it really only fell down in two or three places.

The pacing and editing was a little funky. Certain choices about the dream sequences seemed really silly or unnecessary, for instance. On top of that, it actually seemed like there were some technical problems, like the cast and crew were lazy about some decisions. However, once I’d seen the twist, it became clear why Scorsese set things up in certain ways and made all of those decisions. The best kind of twist-ending movie are the ones that make sense while you’re watching them and make a different sense once you know the ending, in my opinion. Shutter Island sort of missed making complete sense to me on that first pass. That might be intentional- it certainly made things feel surreal at points- but even if it was intentional, I’m not certain it was entirely successful. Also, the ending dragged on a bit long. The reveal was, for the most part, just stated for you and dragged on a bit (but I’ll amend that thought in a couple minutes, stay tuned).

The other major problem was in the music choices! The suspense music they use to introduce the island begins with these fantastic booming strings. Just one note three times and loud enough you can feel it in your chest. The problem was that it was nothing more than that. Three booms. Pause. Five Booms. Pause. Four… The suspense! And in the approach to the facilities, there’s this tense, rising music with the whole orchestra involved. It’s not bad music, but there’s just some driving and a few gates opening. You start leaning forward and waiting for all of the terrifying patients or the disfigured warden to show up, timed with the crescendo!… And nothing. The last gate shuts and the music cuts very suddenly. The marshals get out of the car, take a look around, and generally look like they’re ready for their island vacation.

So now I’ve voice my problems. I’ll tell you what I liked succinctly (it’s much more fun to rant than it is to compliment). Ben Kingsley is the man. He hits the creepy head-doctor right on and I loved him. Leonard DiCaprio has become a much better actor than when I last gave him any of my attention and I believed him entirely. Ted Levine is part of only a few memorable scenes. He does have one fantastic conversation with DiCaprio where he makes his way from straight-laced Stottlemeyer on Monk right back to being just as frightening as he was playing Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. Finally, the slow and simple reveal was made a lot more entertaining by my being unable to tell if it was true or just more head games. I waffled on whether I was believing it or not two or three times as it was going on.

So, all in all, I would recommend going to see it or saving it on your Netflix queue if you had some interest but hadn’t made up your mind. If suspense and twists aren’t your thing, it’s not a bad movie but it’s not going to win you over and make you love the whole genre. And if you’re just looking for a movie to watch, it’s good.

-Matt (Typed, not proofread. I’m in a hurry.)