Shutter Island

A drama set in 1954, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a U.S. marshal named Teddy Daniels who is sent to a mental hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of a patient. He and his partner (played by Mark Ruffalo) stumble upon what they believe is actually a place where experiments are practiced on the patients as part of a government/military experiment. The story unravels from there with much intrigue and an interesting ending.

Something I found intriguing about this movie is not only how the mindfuck aspect of this film is reminiscent of Inception (they don’t play out the same way but both have a similar feeling twist-wise). And, how similar DiCaprio’s characters are in each movie, and in this regard, they’re really damn similar. The parallels in the story line with the wife character are really close in some ways, you could almost exchange characters in each movie and not miss a beat.

Both movies play out just fine in their own ways…

Sitting at the helm is Martin Scorsese, who does a brilliant job as usual and makes a great team with DiCaprio. Scorsese’s vision this time is a bit on the darker/surreal side and is both timed and told very well with a lush, visual texture right on top to bring the uncanny aspects of the storyline front and center. A feast for the eyes and the mind indeed.

The cast is filled with talented actors (some legendary in fact) including: Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow (a personal favorite of mine), Michelle Williams, Elias Koteas, and Jackie Earle Haley who’s been springing up a lot lately. By the way, in case you’re wondering where you may know Jackie Earle Haley, his credits include playing the rebellious kid on the motorcycle in the original Bad News Bears, up to brilliantly portraying Rorschach in Watchmen as well as being the new Freddie Krueger.

This movie is not one you want to miss as it grips you from the get go and doesn’t let up until the very end. I highly recommend Shutter Island.

reviewed by Sean McKnight