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9 of 9 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 24 months ago by prisrob

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Blu-ray film that sadly fails to pack the punch of the novel it's based on
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...
Published on 19 Sept. 2012 by O E J


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9 of 9 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Blu-ray film that sadly fails to pack the punch of the novel it's based on, 19 Sept. 2012
By 
O E J - 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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17 of 20 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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17 of 20 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
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Run......, 19 May 2015
It's 1954, and up-and-coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital.

He's been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister.

Teddy's shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open.

This has to be the most non-Scorcese Scorcese movie ever made, and it shows that he can master any genre he tackles. From the upstart, the film is startlingly grim and has a cold, dirty feel to it, and you immediately know from the mood the film exudes, something isn't right.

Dicaprio proves again he is a magnificent actor, moving further away from his teen heart-throb status he once had, to becoming a convincing leading man. Gone is the boyish charm he had in recent movies.

The sets of the movie are fantastical and do sometimes hint to the shining in places, and the subliminal hallucinations Teddy has, are as unnerving as any conventional horror. The trailer did look like this was going to be some sort of psychological horror, but this could not be further from the truth.

This is a film about wanting to forget past traumas, and putting on a facade when you cannot face reality, and this is intricate to the films plot.

As the film progresses, you get a claustrophobic feel, and begin to empathise with Teddys helplessness, as he and his world begin to spiral out of control.

By the end, you realise that Teddy takes the ultimate sacrifice by wanting to forget something that affected his life so much.

All of the cast are splendid, and although some of the editing is dire, this is still a must see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological drama of the highest order, 10 Mar. 2014
By 
DF McCleland (Johannesburg, South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This movie has all the hallmarks of an excellent psychological drama. Firstly the weather is appalling. After arriving at Shutter Island with a colleague who he has never worked with beforehand to investigate the disappearance of an inmate of the psychiatric hospital, the weather closes in. The role of the police official, a US Marshall Teddy Daniels is played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

As he begins interviewing various persons he gets the impression that he is being treated as a fool with misrepresentations of the facts being the order of the day. When DiCaprio’s colleague – Chick Aule - goes to the loo, an inmate passes a piece of paper with the number 47 on it to DiCaprio. He quickly connects that number to the supposed number of inmates in the prison being 46.

Without a warning, the missing inmate re-appears but Rachel is evasive about her whereabouts for the past few days. Rachel has been incarcerated in this hospital as it caters for the criminally insane having killed her three children.

A Dr. Crawley played by Ben Kingsley is the diligent doctor who assiduously treats these criminally insane inmates as if their condition is treatable.

Teddy Daniels is fighting his own demons having been in Dachau on its liberation.

When DiCaprio decides to investigate a lighthouse, he is confronted by the chief medical officer, Dr Crawley, who alleges that he in fact another person who is guilty of murder of Rachel’s children. DiCaprio is confused but refutes all the allegations.

Ensnared within the net on an isolated island with his colleague, Chick Aule, being revealed as a co-conspirator, DiCaprio is trapped. Instead of assisting DiCaprio, he is in reality in cahoots with Dr Crawley.

Martin Scorsese has produced a movie of the highest order with splendid photography. It has all the hallmarks of a first rate suspense thriller & psychological drama conflated in one movie. This movie deserves to be watched especially on Blu-ray where the excellent photography can be fully appreciated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Than a Twist, 7 May 2013
By 
N. Baseley (Haslemere, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I can't recall if I knew there was a twist in Shutter Island or merely suspected it, so it's hard to know how much enjoyment is spoiled by going in with that presumption versus not. However I would say that I correctly guessed the twist in the first 5 minutes and then spent a good 30 minutes being convinced I was wrong by the narrative. See, the thing with twists is that since films are not real, the clues and misdirection don't need to be plausible anyway. For example - character A did the murder, but the film shows you that character A was (i) nowhere near the crime scene (ii) not motivated to kill (iii) didn't have prints on the murder weapon... and then in the final 5 minutes the director shows why they did it all along.

And so my review of Shutter Island is irrespective of a twist which for me did nothing other than end the film. The real joy was everything else. The film is a cheesy b-movie made by very talented people. It's over the top, almost silly, like an incredible X Files episode. The music is bombastic, the sound effects (particularly the very deliberately deployed thunder storms) are outrageous. It feels old fashioned, yet fresh. And we are taken along a fun journey with our main character.

Inception is an appropriate companion piece, and there, in contrast to it, I find all of the things I love about Shutter Island. It doesn't take itself seriously. It's well edited and to the point. It's highly efficient in its use of set piece and scene. It's unpretentious. It makes sense in its own world. It's not trying to be clever. It's characters are memorable.

Shlocky but great fun. It's 5 stars from me because it's a great way to spend a couple of hours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lays the paranoia on really thick, 6 April 2012
By 
bizmandan (staffordshire, england) - See all my reviews
Martin Scorsese's portrayal of Shutter Island represents a striking examination of guilt and the quest for redemption by the director through the lens of a twisty psychological thriller.

This is far from the most original plot ever devised, but Scorsese and company so insistently pile on layers of paranoia and dread that you quickly forget the familiarity. Our main character, Teddy, is haunted by nightmares about his late wife, as well as what he saw as an infantryman when he was part of a squad that liberated the Jews imprisoned at a concentration camp. There are ongoing references to the hydrogen bomb, and the patients are spooked by this new-fangled contraption they've heard about called "television", where pictures and voices fly through the sky. The movie makes modern life, or at least modern life in the '50s, feel panic-inducing.

And make no mistake, this is a movie designed to install paranoia within you. The stylized clothing and speech, act to keep us distanced from everything, so that we never can shake the feeling that something just isn't right, and all the mysterious visions and talk of horrific experiments on the patients make the fear unrelenting. Even the sound design adds to the terror in a variety of ways; a subtle echo makes the inside of the buildings feel cavernous, and there are long stretches of silence disconcertingly punctuated by sudden sound effects.

At the centre of it all is Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor who can still surprise me with his talent. His performance is difficult to praise without ruining some of the movie's suspense, but as the final credits roll you can't help but think back on what you've seen and marvel at how complicated his role is; what initially seems like a fairly one-note performance blossoms into a fully realized portrait of a good man beaten down by what he's experienced. But he's far from the only standout in the cast: Mark Ruffalo provides flawless support as his partner and Ben Kingsley savours every morsel of his dialogue. In addition to those fine actors, Scorsese and his casting director have filled out the supporting roles with some slightly sinister actors. Most notable for me was John Carroll Lynch (the main suspect in David Fincher's Zodiac) who portrays a guard. Scorsese plays on our collective suspicion of these shady characters to maintain the sense that the threat to Teddy's safety is omnipresent.

And it's not just the creepy actors that Scorsese exploits, numerous techniques are put within the film just to keep you off balance and constantly on edge. But the style never gets in the way of the substance, Shutter Island could be the first movie you've ever seen and it would still unsettle you.

Even for those who early on feel they've figured out what's going on in the movie, and the clues are right out in the open, Scorsese isn't relying on a shocking revelation to make the film worthwhile. In fact, the story ends on a disturbingly indefinite note.

This is a film that you really have to have a bit of patience with, but by the end you will be so glad that you have watched it. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Myriad madness and mirages, 13 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Shutter Island is very much the modern equivalent of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. The film covers a wide variety of themes. Most prevalent is the question, "How do I know I am not insane?" But there are also plenty of other areas covered including, inter alia, murder, justice, medical ethics, the Holocaust, McCarthy-eque paranoia and responsibility for one's own actions.

The film is relatively complex and certainly requires a second viewing in order to fully grasp the plot's twists and turns. It all begins straightforwardly enough, though there is a slow descent into a place where things just don't quite add up. The mixture of hallucinations and real life action may be off-putting for some viewers, but not for me. The fact that they are confusing scenes only conveys the confusion in the mind of the protagonist, and not any form of fuzzy thinking on the part of the director.

The casting of the film is very good, as is the acting. DiCaprio's performance is very similar to that which he had in Inception, which I understand was filmed around the same time as Shutter Island. But DiCaprio is only one actor, and one good performance doesn't make a great film. Ben Kingsley's portrayal as a psychiatrist trying to be a pioneer in his field is highly noteworthy, though not in the same league as his acting in Gandhi or Schindler's List. The film is given a sombre gravitas from the presence of Max von Sydow and a rare return to limelight from Ted Levine was most welcome.

So why give this 4 stars instead of 5? Well, the stylisation didn't feel right. Set in the 1950s, it just didn't feel authentic. There seemed to be some 60s influences in there (particularly with the scenes set away from the asylum) and the aesthetics and the vernacular in the script just seemed too up-to-date. The end of the film is bleakly fatalistic, but it is also somewhat deterministic. Given that the fundamental question posed regards sanity, I think the film would have benefited more by an open ending, whereby the story which is eventually revealed is made more questionable than it has been.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shutter Island, 26 Sept. 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
`Shutter Island' is a thriller set in the fifties which follows two US Marshals who are investigating an escape at an institute for the criminally insane. The asylum is on an island and they get stranded there after a big storm sweeps in after their arrival. They have to work out how the patient escaped and what other sinister things have been occurring on the island before it is all too late. Di Caprio plays Edward Daniels, one of the Marshals, who is also traumatised by his past during and after the war and he relives some of this history via flashbacks throughout the film.

This had a dark, sinister feel to it from the word go and you are very quickly drawn into the intrigue and mystery on the island. You are unsure whether the head doctor is trustworthy or not and the other patients also add a surreal element to the proceedings. Everyone plays their roles very well and Kingsley is especially noteworthy as the head doctor. This is excellently directed by Scorsese and the soundtrack also adds to the tension, as any good score should.

This has a twist in the end, that although fairly predictable, still ties things up neatly and gives you food for thought long after you've finished watching. More and more scenes become clearer as you think back and characters motivations make more sense. All in all this is a good thriller with solid performances from the whole cast and it keeps you engaged for the two hour duration. Worth a look at some point.

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Shutter Island [DVD] (2010)
Shutter Island [DVD] (2010) by Martin Scorsese (DVD - 2010)
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