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Shutter Island

Updated on April 3, 2013

A Mystery Film Like No Other

Martin Scorsese does it again, as he creates a powerful film noir masterpiece like no other. Out of all the films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, this has to be one of the most unique films ever created. Even after seeing the movie, it'll leave audiences wondering exactly what happened, as the story could be perceived in several different ways. Set in 1954, the film follows a couple of U.S. Federal Marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who arrive at a remote island, where a mental institution for the criminally insane rests. Both of them are assigned to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients, who is believed to be criminally insane and hiding somewhere on the remote Shutter Island. What starts off as a simple routine investigation, quickly turns into a psychological thriller like no other. It leaves the audience constantly at the edge of their seats, having to unravel the clues of this mystery. As even Teddy himself starts to question his own identity and sanity, when the case starts to grow more complex. Even around the ending, it'll still baffle viewers, as the conclusion to our story could be interpreted in several ways. Overall, "Shutter Island" is by far one of the best Martin Scorsese films ever made.

Unlike most of Scorsese's other films where the plot is pretty straight forward while portraying the underlining dark side about society, "Shutter Island" offers a different style. Offering up a film noir mystery story so intriguing and complex that it could easily baffle even the most intelligent viewer, as this film could be perceived in several ways. Indeed, I've never seen a story like this, since Akira Kurasawa's "Rashomon." Where a film takes the concept of having events played out through various points of views so perfectly, it confuses the viewer to wonder what exactly happened. Where one hand, it'll draw the viewer into believing this whole ordeal is nothing more than a set up by the government to lure Teddy, into a trap, as he's been asking a lot of questions lately. Many of which the government may not want him to know. However, on the other hand, one could interpret it as Teddy's sanity and fabric of reality may not be as accurate as he believes. Perhaps everything that he knows and thinks about himself is nothing more than a lie. Whatever the viewer's perception of the events that transpire, in the movie, the one thing that is clear it's that there's plenty of evidence on both sides of the spectrum, to support whatever belief one might have. Never before since Kurasawa's film "Rashomon", have I ever seen a movie masterfully play on the concept of the viewer's perception. Allowing for the audience to make up their own minds on what happened. However, unlike "Rashomon", this film is told entirely through the eyes of one character, Teddy, but it's told in such a unique way; the ending will leave anyone pondering the events over and over again in their minds to figure it out.

Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job playing the main protagonist, in this movie, as he's not only able to convey the emotional level of a man desperately seeking answers, during what was supposed to be a routine investigation. Only to end up questioning even his own sanity as his perception of reality becomes challenged. Suffering from migraine headaches, through out the investigation, Teddy takes some pills that the good doctor, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), gives him. However, these pills cause him hallucinate as he suffers from various images of his past, where his wife dies tragically in a fire hazard, at the whims of a mad man named Andrew Laeddis (Elias Koteas).....or does she? Indeed, nothing is as what it seems on Shutter Island, as Teddy isn't sure who he can trust. As even his own memories tend to betray Teddy's mind, where everyone could be in on this giant conspiracy....including his own partner. With no one else to rely on, Teddy takes it upon himself to expose Shutter Island for what he believes to be wrapped up in a government conspiracy. However, with his own memories haunting and corroding his mind, can he even trust himself?

Plus, the supporting cast was nothing short of brilliant themselves as I thought each actor filled out their roles perfectly.

Martin Scorsese and Laeta Kalogridis do an excellent mixing in just the right amount of drama and suspense in this epic thriller. Allowing for the viewer to constantly be left hanging on the edge of their seats. Never allowing the audience to figure out exactly where the story is heading until the very end of it. Where each bizarre plot twist leads to another, and nothing is ever what it seems. Indeed, "Shutter Island" is one mystery film that will trick the mind of many while leaving a deep imprint on your psyche.

A must see film for any true movie fan to say the least. Leonardo DiCaprio gives the performance of his career, and Scorsese plays on the concept of perception beautifully to invoke the allure of this masterful story. "Shutter Island" is definitely one of the best films I've ever seen.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Binaya. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It was a great film so was your review.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Seanorjohn. I'm glad you liked the movie and the review of this. Yeah, this is definitely a great film in its own right, and definitely should be watched twice, as you tend to notice things that you didn't pick up the first time at least for me anyway. Anyways, thanks again for stopping by, as it was great having you here.

    • seanorjohn profile image


      8 years ago

      Loved this film. I agree with you Steven, this was an outstanding acting performance by De Caprio. I had thought of him as lightweight and overhyped. I had seriously misjudged him. Not sure which actor he reminds me of. Will def watch this film again. Great review and voted up.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, I agree with you. It's always the great movies that leave a lasting imprint on your psyche that you never want to try to ruin them by watching them like over a million times in a row. Otherwise you just cheapen it.

    • JohnTaper profile image


      8 years ago from BizarroLand

      This is definately one of my all time favorite movies now. Which means I have to keep the number of times I watch it to a minimum and really space them apart. One thing I noticed after I watched it again is all the things you miss the first time around.

      I also found myself viewing every scene differently. You see it in a whole other light the second time around. Sucks really. Wish I could wipe my memory and watch it again for the first time over and over.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      I'm glad you liked the review. Yeah, it really is a great mystery movie, as the ending will definitely shock you when you see it. anyway, I hope you enjoy the movie when it comes out in australia.

    • agvulpes profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Well you have certainly piqued my interest. I love these types of movies and will see it when it releases here in Australia :-)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago


      Thanks Friendlyword. I appreciate that. Yeah, when I was writing this review, I was scared that I was going give too much away. That's why it took me so long to get it out after it's been out for a while. However, I'm happy to hear to the end result turned out alright though. Anyway, thanks man for stopping by.

    • Friendlyword profile image


      8 years ago from

      You actually had me on the edge of my seat! I thought you were gonna give too much away. But, that was a perfect review. You take everybody right to the edge and leave them hanging. Now I want to see it again!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Dale. I appreciate that. lol. Yeah, it's very good movie. Although I should warn you it's a bit graphic in certain scenes, but it's definitely worth watching.

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Ah jeez now I have to go see the movie.

      What a great review


    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago


      Your welcome paradise, and thanks again for stopping by. :)


      Thanks, I appreciate the warm compliment. I hope you enjoy the movie as much as i did.


      Yeah, i agree with you. Leo and Martin do make a great team. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised under Martin's guidance, that Leo becomes the next Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro with the way he's going. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by again. :)

    • theherbivorehippi profile image


      8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Oh...I cannot wait to see this movie! I'm glad you gave it a good review because I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

    • Mamelody profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent review there Steven. I have been in love with Leo Dicaprio since like forever but I think he's aging so fast!! nevertheless he's a good actor and Martin Scorsese is a genius. Leo and Martin make a good team as they've done excellent movies together like Gangs of New York and The Departed. Nice one my friend, now I know where to look for honest and reliable movie reviews.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub, great movie review! You did it again, thank you. I saw the trailer for this film while in the movie theater, now I HAVE to see it!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      lol. it's okay ann. it's a very good movie even though I'll admit the film is a tad violent, so I don't know if you'll feel comfortable about that. however, I do appreciate you commenting again, as it's always a pleasure seeing you ann. :)

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      OMG..I changed the channel everytime the previews were shown...But I was able to read your entire hub without flinching, Steven, so at least I know somewhat what I was freaking out about!!!

      Excellent review, Steven and very well put together...just won't be watching it!!! LOL

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      thanks faybe. i'm glad you liked the review.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      It is a masterful hub my friend. I am on the edge of my seat, and no giving it away in the review.


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