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New on DVD: 'Shutter Island,' 'From Paris With Love'

Posted 10:33am on Wednesday, Jun. 09, 2010

Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, a pair of federal marshals who have been dispatched to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), notorious for having drowned her three children. Once on the island, however, they find themselves being stonewalled by the two psychiatrists who run the facility, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Dr. Naehring (Max von Sydow). The doctors refuse to hand over important files and seem to have instructed all the patients to tell the marshals the exact same lies. Might some sort of massive cover-up be afoot? Working from a novel by Dennis Lehane ( Mystic River), director Martin Scorsese displays an overheated, over-the-top abandon that we haven't seen from him since 1991's Cape Fear. The problem is that a little bit of time spent inside of this exceedingly claustrophobic universe starts to go a very long way; at 138 minutes, the film is way too long. As stunts go, though, you could do a lot worse. DiCaprio handles an extremely tricky role with grace, charting the breakdown of his character without ever telegraphing to us what's really going on. And this being a Scorsese picture, when all else fails, you get to luxuriate in dazzling technique.

From Paris With Love stars John Travolta as spy Charlie Wax, a loose cannon shipped to Paris for a mission. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Reece, his in-country American Embassy handler and driver, a functionary who longs to move up the espionage ranks. Director Pierre Morel gives this Paris with pistols a little pace and a smidgen of flair. But there's no escaping the grinding gears of an American buddy picture that loses something in the translation.

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