Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2010. Paramount Pictures, Phoenix Pictures, Sikelia Productions, Screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Cinematography by Robert Richardson. Produced by Brad Fischer, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Martin Scorsese. Production Design by Dante Ferretti. Costume Design by Sandy Powell. Film Editing by Thelma Schoonmaker. National Board of Review Awards 2010. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2010.
A terrific display of art direction surrounding a pretty empty experience of a movie, one that further aggravates the senses by taking up almost two and a half hours of your time. Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are New York City detectives who are brought to a spooky island asylum to investigate the disappearance of a dangerous criminal, put away after being accused of murdering her children. They run up and down hallways and interview various patients, the story taking them either closer to the truth or deeper towards madness. The twists are not that hard to figure out if you’ve seen Memento, but the familiarity should be more fun. Director Martin Scorsese richly makes it as visually and aurally appealing a movie as ever you’ve seen, but there’s an overarching sense of self-importance to the proceedings that a B-grade genre movie with an A-level budget and crew does not deserve. Ruffalo brings charisma and DiCaprio is solid, but two-plus hours of both of them looking disapproving and concerned is more than most of us need to endure.