Asher’s review published on Letterboxd:
Some directors seem to never fall from grace. No matter what they do, no matter what they direct, they seem to always bring to life yet another masterpiece. Martin Scorsese is one of those directors. And Shutter Island is, yet, another masterpiece from one of the great masters of cinema.
It's a film that captivates you with its rich and haunting atmosphere. It's a film that is so subtle in its execution that some may not realize just how brilliant it is. And it's a film that you can watch over and over again and, each and every time, will be in complete wonderment.
These days you just don't get cinematic experiences like this. It is a rare treat that a film of this depth. This subtly. And this perfectly articulated structure graces our presence.
Very few films that tell this kind of story succeed so well. I can only think of a few others that I would compare it to (Fight Club being one of them).
Not only is the film a nearly flawless masterwork in every regard (no thanks to Scorsese's wonderful direction), it also features outstanding performances by its cast - with Leonardo giving a much deserved Oscar that, sadly, never came to him.
What makes Shutter Island such a rich and highly complex film, in my opinion, is due to how well it tells the tale of a man, haunted by war, who longs to find the answers to, what is essentially, his own sanity. As there is no answer to what he seeks, he is only burying himself further as he descends, what becomes, a rabbit-hole of fear. Chaos. And one deranged enigma after the other.
Now, the execution of it all is quite stunning. But it could have easily all have been a shambles had it fallen in the wrong hands. But thankfully, by the power of the cinema gods, not only did the film have a great director behind it, but also one with a wise-head on his shoulders and a high understanding of what a true cinematic experience is all about.
I could say more, but for worry of possibly revealing too much of the film's plot, or giving too much away, I will simply end my review saying this: If you've seen Shutter Island than, hopefully, you already know how powerful it is. And if you have yet to see it, without setting the bar too high, I feel confident telling you that your'e in for a real treat...
Just watch and see for yourself... It will blow you away.