Shutter Island (2010)

shutter island poster 2010 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Strong acting and visuals

The story was a bit obvious in the way it was going to twist, too long

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Shutter Island

Studio:  Appian Way Productions

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Drama

Release Date(s):  February 19, 2010

MPAA Rating:  R


It will be a nice trip to the island…

Edward “Teddy” Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a federal marshall sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando.  Coping with the death of his wife Delores (Michelle Williams), the horrors of World War II, and a new partner named Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), Edward finds that Shutter Island and its doctors John Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Jeremiah Naehring (Max von Sydow) might have more secrets than it appears.  Fearing that Cawley and Naehring are performing inhuman operations on the patients of Shutter Island, Edward wonders if he cannot trust anyone…even himself.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island was based on the 2003 novel by Dennis Lehane.  The film became a big box office success and received strong reviews for the story, visuals, and directing.


You’re like 90, but I’m not afraid to stick you!

Shutter Island is an interesting film.  It blends a lot of different aspects of horror, mystery, suspense, and crime.  *****Spoiler Alert***** Due to the film’s storyline, it will be pretty hard to discuss this movie without spoilers so be warned from here on out.

The problem with Shutter Island’s plot is that too many movies have done this type of storyline.  It was obvious that things were going on in this movie when it kicks off.  Edward is too unbalanced as the main character and there are only one or two options in the movie.  One, he could be right and there could be a massive conspiracy or two, he’s crazy.  Even from the previews of this film, I found my self believing the second option from the start due to all the red flags…so it was a bit of a disappointment when it was true (plus, it was way too long).  I also know that despite being a revolutionary approach to patient treatment, I don’t see them allowing DiCaprio to essentially run free just to treat him.


Look…I’m even maniacal using the phone!

Thee movie has a great cast.  DiCaprio continues to grow as an actor, though I still have a hard time seeing him as an adult with his baby face.  His teaming with Scorsese continues to wield great things however and could end up being one of those great director-actor pairings which are remembered for years to come.  Ben Kingsley is good as the possibly maniacal doctor though you aren’t sure if it is him or Doctor Naehring the always good Max von Sydow who is pulling the strings.  Williams is underplayed as DiCaprio’s deceased wife, but Ruffalo is strong as his partner and as it turns out doctor (in almost a There Might Be Giants type of sidekick role).  There are also nice appearances by Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley as DiCaprio’s delusions and Ted Levine as a potentially maniacal warden who isn’t entirely into playing up to the patient.


What does “the kids are swimming in Dawson’s Creek” mean?

Shutter Island looks great.  The movie blends tons of gothic horror into the film but also contains a hint of noir as well.  The movie reminds me of other contemporary movies like The Ring as well as horror games (the game Alan Wake which was released after the movie also looks a lot like this film).  I love some of the sets of the film and despite being a dark film in general, the movie makes good use of light and sun when it occurs in the story.

Shutter Island is a pretty strong movie with a few plot problems.  The movie tries a bit too hard to be a mystery when the mystery doesn’t seem so mysterious.  I had the same problem (and feel) from Lehane’s other movie adaptations Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River which both had solutions which seemed like the most obvious answers.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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