Martin Scorsese has given us some really terrific films over the years and while I could easily compare many of his classics such as Casino, Good Fellas, Raging Bull and so on, I thought I’d go more recent. One of my favourite films from his recent resume was the 2010 psychological thriller Shutter Island and I also really liked his last outing from 2013, The Wolf of Wall Street. However, I seemed to be one of very few people who prefer Shutter Island to The Wolf of Wall Street and below, I’ll explain why Shutter Island is the better, yet also the least popular of both films.

Why People Prefer The Wolf of Wall Street Over Shutter Island…

The fact is The Wolf of Wall Street was the more successful and more popular film. Holding a 77% critics score and an 82% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Wolf of Wall Street ended up making $392 million on a $100 million budget. Compare that to the more modest success of Shutter Island, which was made for $80 million and took in $294.8 million worldwide. Shutter Island might not have been as critically acclaimed or as successful as The Wolf of Wall Street, and while it currently holds a 68% critics score and a 76% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I consider it the much better film because of its deep, psychological elements, terrific performances and the twist ending no one seemed to like but me.

Why Shutter Island Is The Better Film…

As most of you know, I’m a sucker for a good psychological thriller and Shutter Island is a terrific example of a modern classic of the genre. So yes, I’m bias to Shutter Island because I prefer the story to The Wolf of Wall Street however, The Wolf of Wall Street is an incredible film as well.

Other than being directed by Martin Scorsese, both films happen to star Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead. You were probably wondering when I’d mention that fact, and yes, Leo gives 2 amazing performances in these films. While the physical comedy Leo gives in The Wolf of Wall Street was something out of Jimmy Carey’s book, I still prefer the heavier drama and the psychological intensity he shows in Shutter Island.

My biggest problem with The Wolf of Wall Street, and this of course is purely my opinion, is how cliché, preachy and ignorant the story really is. I’ve said it before when talking about James Cameron but The Wolf of Wall Street is another sad example of how terrible rich people are, and in particular, people who work on Wall Street. Look, are there bad people who work in stocks and finances? Absolutely, but the same goes for every other industry, both public and private. For me, these types of stories that try to tell us how terrible a decade was, and all the people in it, aren’t being honest. Why not? Because no matter what people tell you, the 1980’s was an absolutely amazing time. Lots of people, including Martin Scorsese, were able to make a lot of money. Sure, it wasn’t a perfect time because nothing is but the one thing I hate about The Wolf of Wall Street was the insinuation that the 1980’s was a terrible decade full of greed. In fact, in some ways, although not all, the 80’s were better than it is today especially if you grew up in that decade like I did.

The last paragraph might have been more of a rant on why I don’t like The Wolf of Wall Street, however, I’ve seen Shutter Island about a half dozen times now. Sure, the first time I witnessed the twist ending, I was confused by it. However, after seeing Shutter Island a few more times, I feel that the twist makes sense and fits the story well. It’s also the same ending as in the novel and I’m glad Scorsese didn’t change that.

In my opinion, Shutter Island is the much better film over The Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a better performance in it and the film has a deeper story with some disturbing yet powerful dramatic elements. While I’m much more partial and bias to the psychological thriller, I felt the story in Shutter Island to be more intriguing as opposed to The Wolf of Wall Street. That film, I felt, was far too Hollywood, was full of clichés and had too much nonsense in it about the stock market. The message was a hit me over the head preach-fest and after seeing The Wolf of Wall Street a few more times, I don’t feel that like it holds up well at all.

Although I do have to say that the best scene in either movie is Leo tripping on ludes in the country club. While I might not have liked The Wolf of Wall Street as much as Shutter Island, that scene is absolutely superb.