Reviewed byTony Heck (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vote: 5/10/10
"I just want to help you." Mary Portman (Watts) is a child psychologistthat has lost her husband and is taking care of her invalid son. Shedoes her best to counsel other children while her life is crumblingdown. She becomes concerned with one child in particular and now shehas to decide to do what is best for the child. What she wants, or whatothers think. This is a movie that is worth watching because of NaomiWatts. She does everything she can to hold this movie together but itstill just doesn't work. The movie starts off OK, but by the end it washard to tell what was actually happening and what was real and whatwasn't. I do like movies you have to think about, but this one justdidn't make sense and you are left thinking about what is happening,then something else strange happens and you are trying to figure outhow it fits and then something else happens and you just give up. Thatis not a good thing to happen in a movie. Overall, a movie with reallygood acting but just never really settled into something I could getinvolved in. I give this a C-.
Reviewed byDave McClain (email@example.com)Vote: 4/10/10
It has to be very difficult to care for a shut-in, especially whenyou're doing it by yourself, and even more so when you live in themiddle of nowhere. You have very little support (physically oremotionally), which means you're probably very lonely, overworked,frustrated, you can't easily go out much and you don't have much of alife to call your own. Even if you love the person you're taking careof (as most, if not all caregivers do), it has to be extremely tough.That's the set-up for "Shut In" (PG-13, 1:31).
Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars as Mary Portman, a family psychologistwho's unable to help Stephen (Charlie Heaton), her troubled teenagestepson, get past his (unexplained) inner turmoil. When Stephen getsexpelled from school (for reasons also not explained), Mary and herhusband make the very difficult but necessary decision to send him offto a special boarding school. On the way to that school, a car accidentkills Stephen's father and leaves Stephen in a catatonic state, withMary as his sole caregiver.
Mary loves her stepson and does her best with him, but she also has tokeep working. After feeding, bathing and dressing Stephen each morning,she sets him up in front of the television and walks over to her officein a small building right next to her house in rural Maine. One of herpatients is a young orphan named Tom (Jacob Tremblay), who is nearlydeaf and doesn't speak. When Tom finds out that his caregiver isplanning to send him to Boston, he runs away and shows up back atMary's house.
Before Mary can get Tom's caregiver to come out to her place and pickhim up, Tom disappears. As that cold Maine winter day turns into aneven colder night, Mary and those helping to search for Tom fear theworst. Mary starts "seeing" Tom in her bedroom at night and actuallystarts thinking that he has died and his ghost is haunting her. Maryhas a psychiatrist (Oliver Platt) who tries to reason with her andoffers to prescribe sleep medication, until he learns there's somethingabout Mary that he didn't know.
"Shut In" is an entertaining thriller if you can look past the manyplot holes in Christina Hodson's script and inconsistencies in FarrenBlackburn's directing. There are numerous basic questions leftunanswered (like those examples mentioned above and others like why, inthe midst of a winter storm, there's no ice on Mary's pond) and somecharacters' actions don't make sense in light of their motivations. Thetwists are cool, but the acting is shaky and the plot is simplistic andcontrived. "C+"
Reviewed bybenniewoodellVote: 2/10/10
I hadn't heard of this film until yesterday, and all I saw was theposter. It looked fantastic and film noir'esque with the blinds andshadows, I was sold on that alone. I didn't want to watch a trailer andgo in blindly cause the poster is supposed to represent what the movieis also. I do have the Movie Pass, so though I pay the monthlysubscription fee for the service, I didn't actually have to pay to goin the door to see the movie which has led me to seeing some greatfilms on a whim that I otherwise wouldn't have seen that I loved, Isometimes go twenty times a month to the movies, so going to this on awhim was not a rare occurrence. Plus I love Naomi Watts, ever sinceMulholland Drive I've been a fan of hers.
Within the first ten minutes I realized that the film was going to bevastly different than the poster, which is fine, calling an audible onthe line of scrimmage isn't going to make me hate the film, sometimesthose turn out to be the best movies, but within twenty minutes I satthere and I knew exactly what was going to happen, and it only gotworse from there. They really could have taken what they had and madesomething incredible, it was there, but instead they decided to go andmake a paint-by-the numbers "thriller" that didn't even allow them tocolor outside the lines at all.
At on point in the film I looked at Naomi Watts and knew she must haveneeded a new car or something as this was a phoned in performance,everyone else in the movie did great and really tried, but I feel likethey knew they were in a dud and were trying to pump themselves up andgive the best damned performance of their careers to make the moviebetter than it was turning out to be.
Yes, there was some great cinematography, some that even followed suitwith the noir style poster that drew me in, so that I enjoyed. Theyreally did try to make it look great, so I applaud them on that.
But all in all, this film is what I tend to think of as a disposablecup movie. You're thirsty, so you grab that small plastic cup next tothe water cooler, take your drink and toss the cup in the garbage andforget you even had a drink.
A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.