Review of 'Shutter Island'

shutter_island.jpg US Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) accompanied by fellow Marshall Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo, familiar to Marvel film fans as Bruce Banner) visits “Shutter Island” which houses Ashecliffe Hospital, a facility for the criminally insane, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of their inmates. Met by the somewhat reticent Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) the two receive a somewhat frosty reception as they look into the case. Dr. Cawley believes that even the most seriously ill mental patients can be cured so allows inmates a certain amount of freedom on the island, avoiding drugs and surgical techniques such as lobotomies. Daniels suffers flashbacks from his time in the second world war when he was involved in the liberation of a German prisoner of war camp and memories of his life with his troubled wife. As a storm grows ever more violent around them, preventing their departure from the island, so too do the nightmares and the horrors that are revealed…

An amazing looking film that is well acted and keeps you guessing as to what is really going on up until the closing minutes. There is a fair amount of personal violence but this is more a story of psychological rather than physical violence which makes it all the more troubling. There are a few moments that will no doubt make you jump. The storm in the story grows in intensity echoing the drama that is unfolding, very much to be expected from the masterful filmmaker Scorsese. If anything, the film does tend to go on a bit with it's almost 2.5 hour run time but that can be forgiven for the emotions this evokes in the viewer. Sure, it could be argued this is slightly derivative but it works.

There is some incredible acting talent, least of which is the masterful Ben Kingsley as the psychiatrist and Max von Sydow as his superior, never mind Leonardo DiCaprio as the troubled US Marshall around which the whole picture revolves. He is well up to the task as we see the conflicts and horrors within on his expressive face as he scrambles around the island attempting to uncover the truth (complete with his trademark quiff that gets a bit wet here). Also nice to see is Mark Ruffalo playing his partner with trademark understatement with an element of gravitas that grounds the two.

A troubling but enthralling mystery that looks great and has some incredible talent to boot.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2023-04-07

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2010

Length: 138 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Martin Scorsese: