Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo star as federal marshals summoned to an island hospital for the criminally insane; a patient has gone missing, but the more they question the doctors and staff, the more they suspect something fishy is going on. With its period setting (the early 50s) and mystery plot (adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane), this might sound like another genre romp for director Martin Scorsese, along the lines of his Oscar-winning The Departed (2006). But the claustrophobic interiors, the abrasive modern-classical score, and the ugly mental labyrinths of the story combine to make this his grimmest movie since Taxi Driver (1976). It begins as a variation on Samuel Fuller's Shock Corridor (without the laughs) and eventually turns into something more like Hitchcock's Vertigo (without the glamour); what Scorsese brings to the table, having created more than his share of rascally villains, is a renewed sense of horror and despair at the power of evil. With Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley.
By J.R. Jones