**/**** Image A Sound B Extras B-
starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow
screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane
directed by Martin Scorsese
by Walter Chaw The first thirty minutes of Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island left me breathless with delight. The rack-focus through mess-hall implements; swaying along a ceiling as we peer beyond the door to the head, where our hero, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), is losing his lunch; the way a ferry blows through a fog bank like Travis Bickle's cab through the steam escaping a New York sewer cap. When it snows, it snows up like in the dream sequences from Bringing Out the Dead (there's even a moment when the smoke from Teddy's cigarette retreats into the butt)--and when a shadowy figure named Laeddis (Elias Koteas) finally materializes in the midst of Teddy's fugue, he bears a striking resemblance to Travis Bickle. (It's not until later that we understand the full extent of this self-reference.) Shutter Island is among the director's handsomest films, and moments of it suggest there's a masterpiece here--as a WWII Holocaust drama, or a ghost story, or a period Red Menace piece, or a 1960s Manchurian Candidate manqué, or a 1940s Freud clinic, or a G-Man noir, or a straight procedural, or a modernist existential piece--if he wants it. But it's less than the sum of its tantalizing parts, providing instead a hackneyed climax that proves just another votive lit in Dennis Lehane's church of dead children.