Perusing the various reviews and thoughts on Martin Scorsese's latest Shutter Island I found a lot of varying opinions among those I respect in the blogosphere. Based on these polarizing takes on the film I decided to needed to do something I rarely do and head out to the theater to see for myself what to make of Scorsese's film. Usually when something is this polarizing it means it's at least trying to attempt something beyond a mere genre exercise – which came as a surprise to me considering the film was advertised as nothing more than another example of Scorsese dabbling in a genre he was merely interested in only having fun with a la Cape Fear – and this had my interest piqued as I read reviews that claimed the film was an attempt at a horror film by a master, like Kubrick's The Shining; was another in a long line of Scorsese's favorite theme of guilt, a protagonist who is haunted by their memories; or, was nothing more than exploitative attempt by Scorsese who seemed out of his league with a story that contains a reveal not worthy of the importance Scorsese seems to think it deserves. Despite all of these varying thoughts – a lot of which, both negative and positive, I agree with – I really liked this film. I found it absorbing and hypnotic; powerful and affecting, successfully evoking the dread and fear that Scorsese aims for. I didn't think the big reveal ruined the film, I thought it added to it, and the only complaint I can think of is that film feels a bit repetitive towards the end; however, the aesthetics are so strong that they more than carry the viewer through the somewhat monotonous patches of exposition to create a film that has the energy and élan we haven't seen from Scorsese since Bringing out the Dead.