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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High
Martin Scorsese has given us a film depiction of the inglorious book written by Dennis Lehane. The book was an abrupt turn from the kind of books Lehane had written. The book was a best seller and this film should be right there up with the novel.

Leonardo DiCaprio delivers an exquisite performance as the Federal Marshall who comes to Shutter Island to solve...
Published 14 months ago by prisrob

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars A Film About SHUTTING People Up
(WARNING - THIS REVIEW REVEALS SOME OF THE PLOT)

The whole concept of this film is actually rather nasty. It is based upon the psychiatrists insistence at the end to the mental patient to 'accept reality' - ie 'I need to know you have accepted reality'. For a mental patient, given that it is 'reality' which is their whole problem, and a severe enough problem to...
Published 13 days ago by Arnaud033


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High, 1 Jun 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Martin Scorsese has given us a film depiction of the inglorious book written by Dennis Lehane. The book was an abrupt turn from the kind of books Lehane had written. The book was a best seller and this film should be right there up with the novel.

Leonardo DiCaprio delivers an exquisite performance as the Federal Marshall who comes to Shutter Island to solve the mystery of a lost woman patient. Shutter Island is an Insane Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and quite an island it is. Off the coast of Boston Harbor this island is one of your worst nightmares. Marshall Teddy Daniels and his new partner, played by Mark Ruffalo, team up together to solve the mystery. But, what they find is a series of mysteries upon mysteries, and the more they
look, the more bizarre the situation becomes. Bit by bit Teddy becomes more involved and caught up in the nightmare of the treatments that are occurring on this island. The anxiety that becomes Teddy becomes our anxiety and the old Nazi captains and the stories of children drowning become more real. Take a ride with Teddy in this insane, mad world. What you will discover is so antithetical to anything you ever believed possible. This is a glorious tale, told with the majesty of Martin Scorsese. The soundtrack from Robbie Robertson is ominous and stunning.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 06-01-13
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intense, well-crafted psychological thriller, 26 Oct 2011
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I don't make a habit of watching Leonardo DiCaprio films, but the premise of Shutter Island intrigued me. It looked like a dark and moody thriller, and that's exactly what it turned out to be. Setting the story in the 1950s grants the film a strong film noir quality that works hand in hand with the gritty cinematography to produce an atmosphere that mirrors the psychological darkness hanging over the entire story. This is a place with more than a few similarities to Alcatraz, and much of the story takes place during hurricane-like conditions that only intensify the lonely desperation of a place completely cut off from the normal world.

DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal who goes to Boston Harbor's Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Ashecliffe Hospital. Rachel Solando is no ordinary patient, and Ashecliffe is no ordinary hospital. Shutter Island, you see, is home to the criminally insane, the kind of people that society and the system - but not Drs. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Naehring (Max Von Sydow) - have given up on. They are on the cutting edge of psychiatric medicine and are attempting to rehabilitate the likes of Rachel, who bought her ticket there by drowning her three kids in the lake behind her home. The case is not an easy one for Daniels. He's working with a brand new partner in Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), the docs aren't all that generous in terms of sharing data on the patients and staff members, and it looks very much as if Rachel Solando simply disappeared into thin air. Daniels also harbors some psychological demons inside his own head - his disturbing memories from the liberation of Dachau and the death of his young wife. He also has an ulterior motive for being there, as he has reason to believe the man responsible for his wife's death is there on the island. Additionally, his research into Ashecliffe makes him suspect that the good doctors there are actually up to no good at all, conducting the kinds of research and tests that the Nazis pioneered during the Third Reich.

The plot takes a number of unsettling twists and turns, as Scorsese brilliantly manipulates the audience in a number of mesmerizing ways, constructing a psychological labyrinth of sudden dead ends and hidden chambers. Every time you think you have the story figured out, it twists away from you in a new direction. You're routinely left wondering what is real and what is imagined throughout the film's 138 minute runtime. It takes a great script, a great director, and a great actor to make a film like this work, and Shutter Island is blessed with all of the above. Leo's not one of my favorites, but I do concede the fact that he is a talented actor. Brilliantly conceived and executed, Shutter Island is a thinking man's suspense thriller that leaves certain aspects of the story open to interpretation even after the final truth is revealed. As such, it is one of those rare films that prove just as fascinating the second time through as it was the first.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steller movie - Must Watch, 1 April 2013
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
After putting this film off due to some form of idea I had gained that It might be a psychological horror film, something which I don't usually get on well with, I finally sat down and watched it, and initially all I can say is Wow, what an absolutely incredible film, not at all scary as I initially thought.

It starts off as being a sort of detective film, as written on the back of the box. Trying to avoid any spoilers, the film takes many unexpected turns with the final outcome being one of the best I've ever seen.

This is an amazing film, with the only complaint being that in my opinion it wasn't dark enough (I know, slightly different to what I went into the film thinking) but It felt like it could be a lot more visually dark, to match the dark undertones which the film follows, earning it a solid 9/10 from me. A must buy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Film About SHUTTING People Up, 18 July 2014
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
(WARNING - THIS REVIEW REVEALS SOME OF THE PLOT)

The whole concept of this film is actually rather nasty. It is based upon the psychiatrists insistence at the end to the mental patient to 'accept reality' - ie 'I need to know you have accepted reality'. For a mental patient, given that it is 'reality' which is their whole problem, and a severe enough problem to put them in hospital in the first place, this is the equivalent of asking them to accept having pins repeatedly stuck into themselves. The 'delusion' complex is the method of psychological survival and is a fascinating imaginative process designed to protect the afflicted individual so they may retain some sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. The correct approach is to allow them to develop their delusion in a healthier way, but to bluntly eliminate it is extremely cruel and greatly harmful. It is a fact that 'delusion' is not classified by whether it is 'true' or not. It is classified by how the person relates to the delusional thought. Eg someone may have a delusional obsession that their partner is cheating on them, but the partner may actually be cheating on them. Delusions may or may not be facts. Another example - someone may be obsessed that the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt and harming human health and be paranoid about their doctors - but the delusion has some basis in fact - as all the $multi-million lawsuits against big pharma tell us.

So this film is pro-psychiatry, and pretty much pro-Pharma-psychiatry also. The emphasis is to shut the person up. Perhaps that's why its called SHUTTER ISLAND.

But Shutting up vulnerable people in great need of help cannot be classed as medicine in any form, other than Nazi medicine perhaps. Telling them to 'accept reality' is grossly wicked and causes them huge harm. They need their own little world in order to survive, it is their only survival mechanism and only hope. It just needs some guidance to help them avoid those self-defeating behaviours, and attempt some form of positive integration into the outside world.

As regards the cinematic quality of this film though De Caprio is as ever excellent, and there is some cinematic quality to this film. But it is ultimately a disappointing film. What is far more interesting is when the 'delusion' has some point of fact, and that is where so many of the advances of the world came from! But this film is extremely claustrophobic and closed down - taking place only inside the head of the mental patient, a person who is portrayed as being beyond hope. I can't see what's enjoyable about that.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't blow me away, 23 Aug 2010
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This film reminds me in a way of the 2003 film with John Cusack , Identity , as what at first seems real & sucks you in, is not what you think it is come the end. I dont want to say anymore than that about the story really, as it may give too much away & spoil it. Anyway, the film was very entertaining overall, although it could had done with being 30 minutes or so shorter imo, it was like 2 1/2 hours long which seemed a bit too much, but these stories tend to be complex & long winded in this case to get across, i guess.

This is very much a slow burning film i would say, where there isnt all that much action going on & a good portion of the film is based around flashbacks. So the ability of the actors, mainly Dicaprio, is what this film rides on, and Dicaprio did a great job in all honesty, carrying the film. Personaly by the end i thought it was a decent film, and it did make you wonder what the real truth was come the end & if indeed it was THE truth. If you want a break from action films, and just want to curl up in the dark with some Chinese take away one evening, you cant go wrong with this really. Worth a watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Blu-ray film but a poor adaptation of the novel, 19 Sep 2012
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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Di Caprio plays a US Marshall in a film set in 1954 on an island near Boston that is home to a hospital for the criminally insane. A patient has escaped and he's there with his partner to investigate.

If you have read the book Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, this film will probably disappoint. I was disappointed, anyway. And if you haven't read it, you should read it first and avoid this film altogether. Personally I could not separate what I was watching from my (very good) memories of the novel, and in a way I was on to a loser because I knew in advance what it was all about. The thing is, Lehane made a much better job of the written story than Scorcese did in making this film.

Whether it's a film or a book, this story's ace card is the twist, but whereas in the book it was - to me, at least - a genuine surprise, in the film there's really hardly any surprise at all, and the warning signals are there from a very early stage. As a result, with almost nothing in the way of surprises, the film depends on other things to entertain. From a technical point of view, it's outstanding in the high-definition screenplay, but I was astonished to learn in the end credits that multiple Oscar-winner Thelma Schoonmaker did the editing, because this was a film that for once I was thinking about the poor editing almost from the outset. When Teddy and Chuck are on the ferry on their way to Shutter Island, the errors are almost comical in the ease with which even the untrained eye can see. Yet the cinematography was of a very high standard. But in the end, the most obvious thing of all (and which shouldn't be obvious in the slightest) is 'what it's all about'. It seems that Scorcese has made a deliberate attempt to erase that element that was such a key strength in the written version. Instead, he plays on the imagination not of us the viewers, but of central character Teddy Daniels - he regularly and from an early stage shows how traumatised Teddy is, by way of PTSD after the Dachau concentration camp in WW2 and more particularly by way of his nightmare visions of his late wife. I can expect that 90% of anyone unfamiliar with this tale seeing the film for the first time will 'get it', but too soon! In the book, the character of Teddy Daniels as a US Marshall is far more convincing, which goes a long way towards creating the shocking revelation that exists in the book but not in the film. Maybe Scorsese couldn't have done it better, I'll never know, but the one thing I am sure of is that I enjoyed Lehane's novel twice as much.

Instead what we do have here is an impressive visual experience with heavy dashings of the surreal, but the best part of the story is somehow lost in the technical cleverness. It's a shame, because the book is so good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't you get it? You're a rat in a maze., 25 Feb 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) travels to an island asylum facility for the criminally insane with his newly assigned partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo). Their reason for being at Ashecliff Hospital is to investigate the mysterious disappearance of murderess Rachel Solando. But Teddy has another issue to deal with at Ashecliff, namely a meeting with Andrew Laeddis (Elias Koteas), the man he believes responsible for the death of his wife (Michelle Williams). Nothing is what it seems at the facility tho, and the further Teddy & Chuck investigate, the murkier the truths of Ashecliff become.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island is adapted from the best selling novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River/Gone Bany Gone). It finds the talented director getting closer to horror than at any point in his career, it also finds him arguably over cooking his grits. Lehane's novel is a page turning lesson in thriller writing, there's no need for deep cranial thinking or fill in the blanks like musings. Scorsese has crafted a movie that, whilst both stylish and moody, is far more intricate than it needed to be. Already we are seeing reams of amateur reviewers dissecting the film and searching for other worldly cinematic meanings. The truth is is that they don't exist, it is just a great story pinging with psychological twisters. Lehane himself said he felt it was a book he kind of knocked out while in his flow. Scorsese, clearly loving the source to be sure, has crammed too much in for the film to be an across the board winner. Technically accomplished? Without doubt. Depth to the story? You bet. But the reality is that the depth isn't enough to sustain all the genre blending atmospherics that is Marty's want. One is inclined to feel that he so aware that he is treading on well worn genre ground {spot the homages to film noir, old time horror and Hitchcockian grandeur}, he's trying to steer the viewers away from the obviousness on offer. The film is further let down by its second half, where it positively crawls along, not helped by the fact that the first hour brims with moody excitement and a promise of clinically executed terror. Anticipation can be a real killer at times.

Yet as is normally the way with a professionally assembled Scorsese picture, there's still much to enjoy and moments that ensure it will always be a divisive film in the New Yorker's cannon. The cast are mostly great. DiCaprio delivers a stunning performance, one that can only be appreciated once the story has reached its climax. Ruffalo (restrained), Ben Kingsley (shifty) & Max Von Sydow (troubling) all do what is needed and in keeping with the tone of the piece. While the girls, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson & Williams, have small but crucial parts to play. Then there's the supporting characters played by some quality character actors. Koteas is joined by Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levein & John Carroll Lynch. How many of you noticed that we here have a roll call of cinematic serial killers? Edgar Reese, Freddy Krueger, Buffalo Bill and Arthur Lee Allen! (ok, Allen was not proved but Zodiac the movie lends us to believe it was him). The music used is suitably heart pounding and Robert Richardson's photography is on the money, especially within the dimly lit Ashecliff walls. The costumes too have a nice 50s look to them; our first encounter of Teddy & Chuck sees them splendidly adorned in film noir hats and coats. While Thelma Schoonmaker's editing is up to the usual tight standard.

Already we are witnessing a difference of opinion with the critics as to how good Shutter Island is. What most agree on is that the film fluctuates in quality and should have been, given the talent behind and in front of the camera, a much better picture. There's also no getting away from the fact that if you have read the book first the impact of the ending is considerably weakened. Personally I feel Scorsese was the wrong director for the source, but that's me, and be that as it may, he still manages to come out of it in credit with his fans. 6.5/10
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46 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great movie to add to your collection!, 24 Aug 2010
By 
A. Mohamed (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I watched this in the cinema not expecting much, But I was so pleasantly surprised, by the whole film. It sucked me in from the very beginning all the way to the end.

The acting was amazing, as well as the storyline. I cant praise this film enough, In my personal opinion, its one of decaprio's best.

Im not a big fan of twists in films, but this one I liked alot. It doesnt leave you disapointed at all.

You will enjoy Im sure.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and absorbing, 16 Sep 2010
By 
N. Thompson "Beaker" (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
One of the greatest film makers, Martin Scorsese, is back with another thought-provoking and fully atmospheric drama. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow and the other cast members turn in great and believeable performances. The plot is never too predictable and keeps you guessing all the way to the end. This movie is certainly not 'easy-viewing' and at times it may take a little patience to stick with the film to the end. If you do, you should find this film to be intelligent and well thought out.

Decent movie.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The King of Tragedy, 13 Oct 2010
By 
Colin Mccartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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There are very definite, though not immediately obvious, parallels between "Shutter Island" and Martin Scorsese's much earlier work The King Of Comedy [1982] [DVD]. I don't want to go into to much detail on this point - lest I spoil the film for those who haven't seen it - but for now, let's just say that Scorsese is a master of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality in the minds of some of his characters. Disappointingly though, "Shutter Island" lacks the ambiguity of KoC since, by contrast the ending is, pretty much, a full stop.

Not a perfect film (there are a few minor holes in the plot - some of which could have been quite easily plugged) but still, a very well constructed one. The casting of the two main roles could perhaps have been more inventive - instead the supporting actors Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow and Ted Levine (as "The Warden") steal the show.

The cinematography and special effects are, arguably, derivative of Kubrick's The Shining [Blu-ray] [1980] - although personally I would say that Scorsese's technique here pays tribute to, and builds upon, Kubrick's technique as opposed to merely ripping it off. The horror/gothic aspect works perfectly (although only a 15 rating). There is a genuine inescapable queasiness, nightmarish feel to the film, without the director ever having to resort to the gratuitous sensationalism of (far too many) lesser horror films. This is coupled with a pervading sense of sadness and isolation - ultimately the central theme.

Best of all is the soundtrack - which is a 10/10 for me and has probably in itself bumped up my rating by at least half a star. It is easily on a par with Peter Gabriel's score for (yet another Scorsese picture) The Last Temptation of Christ [DVD]. It just fits perfectly without trying to impress (which it does) or intrude (Mr Tarantino?)

The Blu Ray print is excellent too (on my, by modern standards, very modest 26" TV).

Definitely an ideal first Blu Ray purchase (which, for me, this was).
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Shutter Island [DVD] (2010)
Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) by Martin Scorsese (DVD - 2010)
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