Take the Ferry Over to Shutter Island

Shutter IslandI said this before, but this time I mean it.  This may be the hardest movie review I have ever been tasked to write.  That’s not because the movie sucked, quite the contrary, but because I was left with so many questions in regards to what I had just watched.  And that’s a good thing!  As I drove home Tuesday night from the preview screening I was left feeling both speechless and in awe.  When I finally arrived at Casa de la White,  my wife immediately asked me how the movie was and I uttered the following words that I never thought I would ever say in my life, “I’m not sure if I am really talking to you now or if I am still at the movie theater.”  Wow!  Did this movie ever mess with my mind.  And best of all, I want a second injection!

Shutter Island

On paper, Shutter Island is a psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and reunites the dream team of him and Leonardo DiCaprio.  The paring’s success in The Departed was advertisement alone for me to want to check this one out.  The movie is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.  The feature also stars everyone’s favorite Mark Ruffalo (I still can’t get over his hilarious potty mouth performance In The Cut), the sinister Ben Kingsley, easy on the eyes Michelle Williams and even Freddy Krueger himself, Jackie Earle Haley.  The Paramount film was originally scheduled to be released in October 2009, but there are so many rumors speculating as to why that did not happen I have chosen to completely dismiss hearsay and just let the brilliant movie speak for itself.

Shutter Island

Despite the perplex nature of the feature, the setup of the film is really quite simple.  The movie takes place in the 1950’s (with minor flashbacks to World War II) when two U.S. Marshals (DiCaprio and Ruffalo) are called upon to investigate the disappearance of a mental patient from a hospital for the criminally insane.  However, this isn’t just any ordinary mental hospital.  This particular hospital just so happens to be isolated on an island off of Massachusetts.  The two law men immediately run into trouble when they are not only lied to by the hospital’s uncooperative chief medical administrators, but also a freak hurricane strikes the island and strands them there.  Things only get worse as they uncover the horrible experiments being conducted on the unsuspecting patients and the electricity is suddenly lost, allowing the patients to freely roam the hospital grounds.  Danger and panic lurks around every corner.  And that my friends, is all I can tell you about Shutter Island.  To divulge anymore of the plot would be like ruining a surprise birthday party and I refuse to do that to my readers. 

 Shutter Island

Who was that man that started out writing the first paragraph above?  Was that really me?  Did I really say those things about how difficult it would be to write this review?  Well it wasn’t!  Are you confused yet?  Don’t be.  I will, however, go on record saying this.  How can you possibly lose with a Martin Scorsese production?  With such legendary films in his repertoire as The Departed, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York, Casino, Cape Fear and the grand daddy of them all, Goodfellas, the answer is quite simple.  You can’t!  The Scorsese legacy lives on in this visionary thrilling masterpiece of mystery and suspense that will leave you thinking until the very end and hopefully afterwards too.  It took a brief conversation with my co-worker to get all the facts straight, but all the answers are really right there in front of you.  You just have to look for them and most importantly, pay attention.  Scorsese masterfully portrays how the mind can play tricks on us all and how one must be resilient and strong-willed to cognitively be able to separate fact from fiction?  I will leave you with this.  Harry Knowles (Aint it Cool News) once went on record last summer saying that he was mind f#$%ed by his initial screening of District 9.  Although I didn’t quite agree with his use of the term as it pertains to that film, I found a whole new meaning of that word after my viewing of Shutter Island Tuesday night and I now whole-heartedly welcome that phrase, with arms wide open, into my ever expanding vocabulary.  Take the ferry ride over to Shutter Island.  I guarantee by the movie’s conclusion, you will not want to leave.


Shutter Island Theatrical Poster






Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

6 Responses to “Take the Ferry Over to Shutter Island”

  1. Chris Stuckmann

    I’m glad you loved this movie because I was totally blown away by it, definitely my fav of the year so far.

  2. Brian White

    Shutter Island is an easy choice for movie of the year thus far, but there are 10 more months of films that I hope to be pleasantly surprised by. This is definitely a Day 1 viewing for me on the superior Blu-ray format.

  3. Nick

    We’ll probably watch it next week.

  4. Sandy

    Can’t wait to see it!

  5. Brian White

    It’s not for everyone, but this movie is a great conversation piece. I was debating this film with a few lads today. Anyone that wants a smart thought provoking film can’t go wrong here. Sadly, Entertainment Weekly only gave it a B today. What do they know 🙂

  6. blu jay

    Read the book a couple years ago–was ok…didn’t grab and raise me up. might see the movie but later.