Mystery | Thriller
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas, Jill Larson, Ken Cheeseman, Ruby Jerins, Robin Bartlett, Christopher Denham, Matthew Cowles
In 1954, Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), travel to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer). As Teddy quizzes Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institution, he begins to suspect that the authorities in charge might not be giving him the whole truth, and that a terrible fate may befall all the patients in the spooky Ward C, a unit devoted to the most heinous of the hospital's inmates.
Based on Dennis Lehane's fantastic novel, Shutter Island is a great psychological thriller - indeed one of the best after "The Silence of Lambs" - that finally manages to scare you, not because it has some sadistic person, but because it really messes with you.
The brilliant story gathers memories, visions, and paranoia, to arrive at the final twist, though not very unpredictable if you have seen films such as "The Sixth Sense" or "The Others".
Director Martin Scorsese perfectly recreates the dark atmosphere of the island, relying also on the stunning, and gloomy cinematography by Robert Richardson, on the high tension that keeps you company throughout the film - clearly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock -, and on the music perfectly chosen to increase the sense of mystery.
Unfortunately, while on one hand, Scorsese puts the audience in the position of accepting reality for what it is, as brutal it may be, on the other hand, among the detailed memories, there are also the corpses in the snow, in the Dachau concentration camp. Now the problem is that somebody may think - some people actually think that already - that the horrors of World War II never happened, and that they are the result of mental insanity.
However, the acting is excellent. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a spectacular performance - once again not recognized in an appropriate way. The supporting cast is also terrific. Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Jackie Earle Haley, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Ted Levine, they all are.
Teddy Daniels: Which would be worse - to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?
Dr. Jeremiah Naehring: Did you know that the word 'trauma' comes from the Greek for 'wound'? Hm? And what is the German word for 'dream'? Traum. Ein Traum. Wounds can create monsters, and you, you are wounded, Marshal.