Shutter Island (2010) Review

Drama is set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.

I eventually got to the cinema last night to see Shutter Island, a film I saw the trailer for the first time about 9 months ago. Before they pushed back the release date and I have been extremely curious since then to what exactly this film was going to be about. The trailer is one of those that really makes you want to see the film as you want to know what exactly Shutter Island is and what exactly happened.

The film begins with US Marshall Teddy Daniels meeting his new partner Chuck for the first time on a ferry heading into Shutter Island. A bit of a mystery place which is home to the criminally insane, but what exactly goes on in Shutter Island? and how long will it take us to find out?

This is a type of film which is a total nightmare to review as different events which occur are key points in the plot and total spoilers so I cannot really state much of what actually happened in the film. I don’t want to spoil it. But it really does all come together in the end and while you may guess parts of it, I think it would be pretty impossible to guess the whole outcome.

However, when you think back to some of the clues it all makes sense and you really wonder how you miss those clues in relation to the ending. But it gives you so many thinking points it actually confuses you so much. I felt like that all the way through coming up with different theories and possibilities. It’s quite good being able to do that with a film and get totally lost in the plot because your trying to figure it all out.

Performance wise Leonardo DiCaprio continues to show us that he really is a brilliant actor and takes you on a journey with his character really feeling for him throughout. Mark Ruffalo was solid as his partner and they worked well in some rather amusing exchanges. Ben Kingsley was brilliantly creepy and your not sure how his character is going to go, but surely doing what he does best.

I couldn’t help but think of Cape Fear at times with this being a Scorsese film too. The music added into the film really did make it that extra bit creepy and have you on the edge of your seat not sure if something that was about to happen was going to make you jump!

I would recommend this film as it really was a good cinematic experience, plus the more people you know who have seen it the more chance you have to talk about it! As it is difficult to tell people about it if they have not seen it . . . you don’t want to spoil it for them.

22 thoughts on “Shutter Island (2010) Review

  1. It’s been a month or so since I saw this film, and I really can’t get it out of my head. Part of me wonders if we will indeed be talking about it again at the end of the year as we rhyme of the best films of 2010.

    Could happen, right?

    If you’ll excuse me a moment of self-promotion, I have to suggest you listen to the podcast episode I did on SHUTTER ISLAND with Mike Mendez of Big Mike’s Movie Blog. Turned into quite an epic conversation about the movie, and about Scorsese in general (it’s episode 7 if you did indeed want to check it out).


    • It really is a good shout for being on best of 2010 at the end of the year, as I cannot see a film being similar to this one. Plus at the moment this year for film does not really have much jumping out at me if I am completly honest.

      Go for it with the self-promotion. I will be checking out that podcast. 🙂


    • I’m with The Hatter. I think this movie is going to resonate all through the summer and fall releases. It was too powerful, well acted, and insanely well crafted.


  2. It’s a great movie. I was expecting it to be really commercial-ish like the reviews were saying. But Scorsese really kept his imprint on it and made it great.


  3. I think that the movie would have been mediocre if it was made by another director. Scorsese has the ability to trick the audience, titillate and blown their minds.


  4. Definitely my favorite movie of 2010 so far. Masterful direction, excellent performances all around and a nicely dark atmosphere. What is your take on the end? Did he really lose it after his brief moment of lucidity or is he aware of what he is doing?


    • I agree my favorite 2010 film so far, quite a good way to start off the year. I am of the opinion that right at the end he was aware of what he was doing and went out a good man. But i’ve been reading all the different possibilities and think its such a cliffhanger of a film as you can believe different things. Big thought provoker and such a clever film.


  5. I will live and die by Martin Scorsese, that being said – I thought the “prestige” of “Shutter Island” was so outlandish and unbelievable. My biggest problem was it didn’t feel like a Scorsese film, it felt like an obligation to fulfill his contract with Paramount.
    Scorsese has made non personal films before, “Cape Fear”, “After Hours”, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” – but he puts his own label and stamp on the film. If “Shutter Island” were to have been made by another filmmaker, it would get the mediocre reviews it deserves.
    One thing that I would like to point out in the film is the genius of Ted Levine as the Warden, and Max von Sydow.


  6. Finally one of the most awaited film this year was released in the world. Alice In Wonderland, which is the best adventure stories of all time is more attractive and grand format thanks to the cast is fantastic dimension 3.

    Starting from the dreams Kingsley Alice (Mia Wasikowska) at 7-year-old was first brought into Wonderland. At that moment he felt that it was a dream, especially his beloved father Marton Csokas (Charles Kingsley) was also persuasive.


  7. “This is a type of film which is a total nightmare to review” … you said it, sister! I had trouble myself because if you say too much you risk revealing the twist, though anyone who read the book knows it already.

    I had built this one up so much that it wasn’t quite as fabulous as I expected, but Leonardo DiCaprio came through for me again with a stellar, layered performance and the score and cinematography were stunning. My only complaint is that Jackie Earle Haley’s part was too small — same with Patricia Clarkson.


    • Glad you also struggled with the review too, as its so difficult to have a discussion about different things without spoiling it for people who have not yet seen the film.


  8. Totally agree that DiCaprio put in a superb acting performance, think it really made the film. I also loved the atmosphere and the music too. Wasn’t one of the Scorsese greats, think it was a bit of a popcorn movie, compared to others he directed, but like you would still recommend it.


    • Ooo yes the music really did create great tension in some of the scenes, making you unsure to whether you were going to find yourself jumping or not.


  9. I saw this and I knew what to expect going in to the film as I had already read about half of the book but never got the chance to finish it. But I was surprised at how faithful the film was to the original material.The directing was also masterfully done and pretty cool I saw some cool camera tricks I hadn’t seen since Martin Scorsese directed Bringing Out The Dead, Martin Scorsese did one great job and everyone was top notch especially Ben Kingsley and DiCaprio and I never though I would jump out of fright especially in a Scorsese film but I did. All in all a solid thriller with a good story and some great performances and for me it’s the best film I’ve seen in 2010 so far.

    More about the movie you can also find it here


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