Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island (2010)

It's 1954 and Detective Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are sent to investigate the disappearance of a patient from an island prison housing the criminally insane.

As Teddy begins to spot potential leads through the hospital employees, he is introduced to the mysterious Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) who refuses to reveal staff records in order to aid with the investigation, leading Teddy to wonder whether there is something more sinister going on.

Deep down every Martin Scorsese film is practically the same. They are all dark and desperately confusing but somehow leave the audience feeling as though they have watched a masterpiece by the time the credits role. Shutter Island is no different.

The first couple of hours will drag you around so much that you'll even forget what genre of film you're watching. The way to sum up Shutter Island could be as a "whodunnit" - albeit without knowing what "who" did ,so perhaps "whodunwot" would be a far more accurate summation. DiCaprio's acting reflects this confusion as a man who is battling with his inner demons to solve a crime that isn't necessarily even a crime.

This misdirection is made all the more satisfying by the final act of the film, which makes the rest of the film feel like padding to make the final act's self-satisfaction all the more sweet.

Because of this, Shutter Island demands a second viewing almost immediately. This review was written after two viewings of the film and, from experience, the whole story is completely turned on its head the second time around.

According to various other reviews and synopsis' that have compared the film to source material, a 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, DiCaprio's final words are about the only thing that aren't true to the book. Scorsese shows that, with a singular line and some of his famous theatrical touches, he can turn a perfect novel into a perfect film. This is how film adaptations should be done.

5 stars


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