Shutter Island is an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo and directed by Martin Scorsese. Set in 1954, the film tells the tale of two U.S. Marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are sent to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane which is set on a remote island. Somehow a patient has miraculously escaped and Daniels and Aule have been sent to investigate.
Although Teddy was requested to head the investigation of the missing patient, he encounters obstacles at every turn. Those in charge of the island, including head doctor Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Dr. Naehring (Max Von Sydow) who may be a former Nazi scientist, are less than helpful. Each time the investigators think they’ve uncovered a lead, new obstacles arise to hinder any advancement of the case.
Teddy has ulterior motives for wanting to go Shutter Island. As the movie progresses we learn that he is quick with his fists, a hard drinker, and a World War II veteran. Being a veteran hasn’t improved these traits; he also lost his wife (Michelle Williams) to tragic circumstances which are continually haunting him.
The movie is a very enjoyable mystery/thriller which is dark and moody. Martin Scorsese skillfully uses dream sequences and flashbacks to entwine past and present and make the viewer want to find out more and more about Shutter Island and more importantly what the truth about Teddy Daniels is.
Leonardo DiCaprio is great as a man with a haunted past trying to solve a mystery. Mark Ruffalo is believable as Teddy’s new partner who is the opposite of his dark partner, but may not be exactly what he seems. The cast is rounded out by strong performances from Ben Kingsley as a doctor who might be guilty of criminal misconduct with his patients while trying to do his job and Max Von Sydow who plays a creepy doctor with a questionable past quite well.
Sadly there are no extras on the standard DVD. While two featurettes were produced that sound mildly interesting, they are exclusive to the Blu-ray. DVD is such a great medium to include extras and it shouldn’t be limited to one format over the other, but Shutter Island is at least worth a rental. When you do rent the film, make sure you have enough time for multiple viewings as you will definitely need to re-watch it to see how numerous clues were sprinkled throughout.