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Thrills and Kills

One hundred thirty-eight minutes of guaranteed suspense.

Mar 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 25 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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Martin Scorsese has made a melodrama that doesn’t actually pretend to be anything other than it is; indeed, one of the plot tricks is how the movie plays on our expectation that it has grand political and ideological ambitions. The novel has the same reversal, but it doesn’t work nearly as well—maybe because certain types of political clichés are more familiar in Hollywood movies than they are in books and so it comes as a more bracing treat when they are used on screen not to enlighten us but rather to misdirect us. There’s nothing in the least profound or meaningful about Shutter Island, and in the final analysis, that may be the greatest treat of all.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, is The Weekly Standard’s movie critic.

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