Shutter Island Review: No Spoiler
The psychological thriller currently in theatres starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire movie. "Shutter Island" is set in 1954, and opens with U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Dicaprio) paired with new partner Chuck Aule (Ruffalo), also a Marshal. The Marshals have arrived on the island to conduct an investigation regarding the disappearance of a female patient of Asheville Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the organization that runs Shutter Island. Immediately, the scenery of the island is reminiscent of the San Francisco Bay former Federal prison of Alcatraz, although Shutter Island is appreciably larger.
Adapted from the 2003 novel Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, the movie features some astounding visual effects in the form of war flashbacks. Teddy Daniels was a World War II soldier, and experiences these flashbacks throughout the film, including a great deal of disturbing and moving concept footage of a German concentration camp. The flashbacks come mostly in the form of Dolores (Michelle Williams), who plays the haunting role of Daniels' deceased wife.
The day of arriving on Shutter Island, which is the site of a former Civil War fort, the Marshals attempt to look for the missing patient, but receive only half-hearted cooperation from the staff. After this, they decide they have seen enough to be convinced of possible foul play and conspire to leave the island as soon as possible. This becomes impossible, however, as a hurricane ransacks the island and prevents the ferry from arriving to remove them.
The rest of the movie consists of Teddy's sojourn throughout Shutter Island. The film continues to be interspersed with visions and flashbacks, and these confuse Daniels in his quest to understand what is happening on the island. "Shutter Island" results in a brilliant and breathtakingly convincing performance by Dicaprio, who does well to portray the mystique of the disturbed mind. The rest of the cast also turn in some good supporting acting, including some brief appearances by Max von Sydow, who submits a performance not unlike his role in the 2002 film starring Tom Cruise, "Minority Report."
Imdb.com rates the movie 8.2 stars out of 10, and other critics have ranged from mediocre to positive in their opinions about the film. The character development is a bit abrupt at times, but this does fit in keeping with the exploration into the human mind that the film charts. For a nice return on the price of a movie ticket, and a film that is full of twists, turns, and shocking footage, "Shutter Island" is a good choice.