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FILM REVIEW - Shutter Island

So a few weekends ago my little sister wanted to sit down a watch in her terms, ‘A good movie’. I had many ideas, but then given that she’s started to get into psychological thrillers like I did when I was her age, I thought that Shutter Island would be an apt choice. Luckily she agreed and I sat down to rewatch this film that I hadn’t seen for almost half a decade.

The film tells the story of Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal, who along with his new partner Chuck Aule end up at Ashcliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, on Shutter Island in 1954, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. They’re told upon arrival that she went missing and no-one seems to know how she got out. Teddy and Chuck are immediately suspicious, especially when the lead doctors refuse to give Teddy access to their files on the staff. However, Teddy soon begins to get recurring and horrifying visions of his past and everything seems to blend into one massive mystery.

With films like these, I really can’t give anything away because they require a lot of thinking and also every single person that watches them interprets aspects of the movie in different ways. I thought that as a concept the film was remarkably good. Leonardo Dicaprio was fantastic in the lead role, but the surrounding cast of Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kinglsey and Michelle Williams really bought out the best in the characters.

Much like ‘Knives Out’ the director, in this case, Martin Scorsese has made sure that almost every scene has some sort of relevance to the final conundrum of the film. In many ways, when I was rewatching this film, I felt that it could have easily been a Christoper Nolan film. In terms of cinematography, there are a number of scenes, including one involving a cliff face that I thought was really good.

Another aspect of the film that makes it such a good watch is the careful placement of music. It really adds to the tension and some of the pieces of classical music are perfect for the scenes they are in. Overall, when it comes to psychological thrillers I think ‘Shutter Island’ has cemented its place amongst my top 10 thrillers of all time. If you’ve not seen it, go watch it.


  • Story: ★★★★

  • Acting: ★★★½

  • Cinematography: ★★★★

  • Music: ★★★½

  • Enjoyability: ★★★★

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