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(Review written in 2010)
A genuinely creepy, though not scary, little mind-fuck of a movie. It’s nothing that will truly BLOW your mind, but it does have some interesting little twists and turns. Obviously, the trailer makes it seem much scarier than it really is. All in all, it’s actually a solid little drama with some very solid acting from most of the supportings, and Leo DiCaprio. I’m in love with Mark Ruffalo in this movie who is everything that I’ve ever hoped he will and can be. I also love the way everything ties together but doesn’t explain every little detail of the plot. I want to see it again, now, knowing the ending.
|Leonardo DiCaprio||Teddy Daniels|
|Mark Ruffalo||Chuck Aule|
|Ben Kingsley||Dr. John Cawley|
|Emily Mortimer||Rachel Solando|
|Michelle Williams||Dolores Chanal|
|Max von Sydow||Dr. Jeremiah Naehring|
|Jackie Earle Haley||George Noyce|
|Patricia Clarkson||Rachel Solando|
|John Carroll Lynch||Deputy Warden McPherson|
|Elias Koteas||Andrew Laeddis|
|Robin Bartlett||Bridget Kearns|
|Spencer Treat Clark||Timothy|
|Christopher Denham||Peter Breene|
|Curtiss Cook||Trey Washington|
|Joseph McKenna||Inmate Billings|
|Thomas B. Duffy||Guard|
|Matthew Cowles||Ferry Captain|
|Tom Kemp||Ward C Guard|
|Gary Galone||Gate Guard|
|Aidan Mitchell||Younger Boy|
|John Franchi||Criminally Insane Inmate|
|Dennis Lehane||Story Contributor|
"Someone is missing."
"You'll never leave the island."
In 1954, two U.S. Marshals, Edward "Teddy" Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, travel to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island located in Boston Harbor, as part of an investigation into the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando, incarcerated for drowning her three children. Shortly after arrival, a storm prevents their return to the mainland for several days. Daniels finds the staff confrontational: the lead psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley, refuses to hand over records of the hospital staff; Solando's doctor, Dr. Sheehan, had left on vacation after her disappearance, and they are barred from searching Ward C and told that the lighthouse on the island has already been searched.
Daniels starts having migraine headaches, waking visions of his involvement in the Dachau liberation reprisals, and disturbing dreams of his wife, Dolores Chanal, who was killed in a fire set by arsonist Andrew Laeddis. In one dream, Chanal tells Daniels that Solando is still on the island, as is Laeddis. Daniels later explains to Aule that locating Laeddis was an ulterior motive for taking the case.
As Daniels and Aule continue their investigation, they find that Solando has been found by the staff with no explanation. With neither the staff or patients helping, Daniels decides to break into Ward C, and eventually meets George Noyce, another patient. Noyce warns Daniels that Ashecliffe is performing questionable experiments on its patients, and sends the incurable to the lighthouse to be lobotomized. As Daniels leaves, Noyce asserts that everyone on the island, including Aule, is playing in a game designed for Daniels.
Daniels regroups with Aule and they make their way to the lighthouse, but as they attempt to traverse the cliffs, they become separated. Daniels finds a woman hiding in a cave, claiming to be the real Rachel Solando (Clarkson). The woman asserts she was a former psychiatrist at Ashecliffe until she discovered the experiments with psychotropic medication in an attempt to develop mind control techniques. When she attempted to alert the authorities, she was committed as a patient. Leaving the woman, Daniels finds no sign of Aule, and returns to the hospital. Dr. Cawley claims that Daniels arrived alone, with no evidence of Aule ever being there.
Determined but confused, Daniels returns to the lighthouse and breaks into it. At the top, he finds Dr. Cawley waiting for him. Cawley explains that Andrew Laeddis is actually Daniels himself, "[their] most dangerous patient", incarcerated in Ward C for murdering his manic depressive wife after she drowned their children. According to Dr. Cawley, the events of the past several days have been designed to break Laeddis' conspiracy-laden insanity by allowing him to play out the role of Daniels, an anagram of his name. The hospital staff, including Dr. Sheehan posing as Aule and a nurse posing as Rachel Solando, were part of the test, and the migraines that Laeddis suffered were withdrawal symptoms from his medication. As memories of reality overwhelm Laeddis, he faints.
Laeddis awakes in the hospital, under watch of Dr. Cawley and Sheehan. When questioned, Laeddis tells the truth in a coherent manner, which satisfies the doctors as a sign of progression. Nevertheless, Dr. Cawley notes that they had achieved this state nine months before but Laeddis had quickly regressed, and further warns that this will be Laeddis' last chance. Some time later, Laeddis relaxes on the hospital grounds with Dr. Sheehan, but calls him "Chuck" and says they need to get off the island. Sheehan nods to an observing Cawley, who gestures to the orderlies towards Laeddis. As he is about to be taken away, Laeddis asks Dr. Sheehan, "Which would be worse? To live as a monster, or die as a good man?", and then calmly leaves with the orderlies.
Theatrical : 2010-02-19 : United States of America
Theatrical : 2010-02-13 : Berlin
Theatrical : 2010-02-18 : Argentina
Theatrical : 2010-02-18 : Australia
DVD : 2010-06-08