Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Shutter Island Is Solid But Minor Scorsese

Plus, critics have plenty of love for Lourdes and Ghost Writer.

by | February 18, 2010 | Comments

This week at the movies brings just one new wide release: Martin Scorsese‘s Shutter Island, a psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley. What do the critics have to say?


Shutter Island

It’s inevitable that a new Martin Scorsese movie will be greeted rapturously by film buffs — and will be compared, fairly or not, to his past triumphs. Critics say Shutter Island is unquestionably the work of a cinematic maestro, but it’s also a second-tier effort in the man’s career. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a U.S. marshal investigating a patient’s disappearance from a remote hospital for the criminally insane; however, it quickly becomes clear that things aren’t quite as they seem. Most pundits say Shutter Island is masterfully crafted and atmospherically creepy; however, others find it somewhat bloodless, a solid B-movie that lacks the master’s touch. (Check out our feature, Great Directors: Martin Scorsese, on the director’s brilliant body of work, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down DiCaprio’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Lourdes, a drama about a physically disabled woman who seeks a miracle in the titular city, is at 91 percent.

  • Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan in a thriller about an author who discovers his subject may have engaged in some ominous deeds, is at 80 percent.

  • Phyllis and Harold, a documentary about 59-year marriage with a dark secret, is at 71 percent.
  • Blood Done Sign My Name, a drama based upon a real-life murder that sparked social change in 1970s North Carolina, is at 44 percent.
  • The Good Guy, starring Alexis Bledel and Andrew McCarthy in a dramedy about a young idealist and her romantic pratfalls with Wall Street types, is at 38 percent.
  • Happy Tears, starring Demi Moore and Parker Posey in an indie comedy about a pair of squabbling sisters and their irascible father, is at 37 percent.