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Movie Review - Shutter Island

Updated on February 23, 2010

This is a psychological thriller set in 1954, directed by Martin Scorcese with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. They have already made a few other movies together (including the oscar-winning film ‘The Departed’, and work together well. This script was based on a book by Dennis Lehane that goes by the same name. It is a very interesting movie, with the main character and the viewer getting caught up in confusion and conspiracy theories. Until finally nothing is what it seems and you start to doubt whether you are still sane!

The movie starts with Edward Daniels, a US Marshal, on his way to Shutter Island on the ferry. The island is home to a prison and mental institution, and one of their patients has escaped. Daniels is there to investigate her disappearance and to try and find her. However, when he and his partner Chuck Aule arrive, there is a dangerous storm tormenting the island. Also the staff seems a bit odd, and is not at all helpful. Their behaviour is actually rather suspicious. Daniels was present at the freeing of the concentration camp Dachau at the end of World War II, and he was a witness to the experimenting on people that went on there. He suspects the staff of the institution of these barbaric practices as well. But with all that is going on it doesn’t take long before Daniels does not even trust his own partner anymore, and seems to get caught in the islands web of conspiracy more and more.

The plot is clever and complicated, but never confusing. The way Scorcese captured the unfolding conspiracy is very clear and good. The atmosphere is dark and scary. This partly due to the sinister location and the storm, but also the lighting is dark, and the staff uniforms and their grim faces feed your fear. DiCaprio is great as always. He outgrew his teen idol status and is now appreciated more for the great and serious actor that he is. The dream sequences Daniels experiences are more colourful than the rest of the movie, and Michelle Williams displays good acting skills as Daniels wife Dolores.

Scorcese gets your attention right away, and the movie is never boring. It is quite frightening, and the level of scaredness in its viewers never drops. There are a few of the required jumpy moments, where loud noises and doors suddenly flying open will make jump out f your seat (I did anyway).

If you like Scorcese’s movies, this one will not disappoint you. If you’ve never heard of him, this is your chance to get acquainted. This is a must-see that will leave you rattled and unsure of your own reality.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      oh you can. i do that all the time on my film reviews too, and nobody ever says anything to me. just go to google to find pictures, and use those. that's what always helps me. anyway, welcome to hubpages.

    • Mieka profile image

      Mieka 7 years ago

      Thanks Steven!

      I wasn't sure if I could just take some of the movie pics and put them up. Aren't there any royalties on that? I hadn't thought about youtube trailers. I will get on that!

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      I must admit, that was really great review. Plus, I loved how you were able to describe how the scenery itself played a huge part in what Scorsese was trying to do. Very good job. However, one word of advice though, in your review I tended to notice you don't have many pictures of the movie up. You should definitely add some pictures and maybe a trailer to all your reviews, as that will make your hubs more colorful and enticing for people to want to read more of your stuff. Not saying you need it, as I can tell your a great writer, but just offering some friendly advice. Anyway, you take care.