I respectfully disagree. Shutter Island is a hard, dark read, without the personal touches of the Kedzie/Gennaro stories, or even Mystic River, but the ending ties things up as well as anything since The Sixth Sense.
I thought Shutter Island was brilliant. The ending was intentionally ambiguous, I think, leaving the reader to wonder if Teddy was insane, or, if he really was a U.S. Marshall and his sense of reality was being manipulated by mind control techniques and drugs. A very complex, thought-provoking novel, IMHO.
Can't wait for Gone, Baby Gone. Lehane is, I think, simply one of the best we have.
Precisely Jude. You could effectively argue either position. Simply brilliant writing, and there was a major arrow pointing in the direction of an unreliable narrator in the prologue. I didn't feel cheated, only that I wanted Teddy to be more than it seemed he was in the end. It's one of those books where I don't give a fig if 99.9% of the world stands up and tells me I'm wrong - I was hooked, couldn't put it down. Since I believe the worst crime a book can commit is being utterly forgettable, I rank Shutter Island as one of my best reads of the year. (I just read it a few months go.)
Gone Baby Gone might be the best of his Kedzie/Gennaro series, though they're all good. Saying anything will be the best whatever of the year/decade/century/millenium seems to be a heavy expectation to place on any movie/book/play/record. Let's just hope it does the book justice; that will be plenty good enough.
One man's meat is another's poison I guess. I thought "The Departed" was terrible. An extremely feeble remake of a truly wonderful Hong Kong trilogy of movies: "Infernal Affairs, parts 1, 2 and 3." It was possibly the only time in history that an American remake of a Hong Kong movie was bloodier than the original, and for no good reason and to ill effect. (I'm all for blood and gore, I just think it ought to have a purpose in the movie.) The original was a taut, extremely complicated suspenseful drama. I thought "The Departed" was schlock.
We just watched The Departed again last night. In the theatre I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't feel my money was wasted, and I thought Leo was great (and I'm not a Leo fan). But on watching it again, it's very easy to poke holes in the plot. I always thought that, as much as I enjoyed it for what it was, a good few hours worth of entertainment and felt most of the main cast gave strong performances, there were hard cuts and transitions throughout that bugged me and the fact that it won the Academy Award made me think it was a weak year for movies.
But as you say Eric, one man's meat is another man's poison.
Not wild about Dennis Lehane, except for Mystic River, his best IMO, watched the movie again last night on AMC. I loved The Departed, but that's because I'm from Boston and into the whole Southie thing, based on Whitey Bulger and his mob and the crooked FBI agent (John Connolly) who just got sent to prison.
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Goodfellas, which I thought was one of Scorsese's best. So I'll just toss that out there for one.
Another more recent movie I loved: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, directed by Sidney Lumet. Masterful performances by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Albert Finney and Marisa Tomey and, damn, I can't remember the actor that plays the younger brother.
I have talked to several folks that have seen the film and all liked. Most loved it, but none had any complaints about it.
Both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter liked it, though Variety was a little less enthusiastic than THR.
The Reuters story is actually just a reprint of the review from The Hollywood Reporter.
David Cronenberg has a claim with both "A History of Violence," and the new one, "Eastern Promises."
But, there is also "The Departed," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Mystic River," "Sexy Beast," and a bunch more that I'm not remembering right now.
The cookie-cutter serial killer and vigilante movies don't hold up against these.
If you want to expand the definition of "crime movie" there's "United 93," but that's a can of worms, isn't it? Might have to include Michael Moore's films as well.
Okay, forget that last part.