User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 751 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 751
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  1. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    Scorsese evokes black magic in the mind-rattling and unforgettable Shutter Island, a film filled to the brim with dark wonder and secrets buried many layers deep. You will want to see it again immediately after your first viewing.
  2. Apr 8, 2013
    10
    It's a nice change but also a concerning knock on the head when a film comes along and truly makes you question your entire beliefs and capabilities of an aspiring filmmaker, whether it be storytelling, editing or simply character development, all these factors are of upmost importance.
    But when Martin Scorsese comes along and absolutely turns everything on its head with Shutter Island,
    It's a nice change but also a concerning knock on the head when a film comes along and truly makes you question your entire beliefs and capabilities of an aspiring filmmaker, whether it be storytelling, editing or simply character development, all these factors are of upmost importance.
    But when Martin Scorsese comes along and absolutely turns everything on its head with Shutter Island, it always makes you question if you are able to tease, surprise and entertain the audience, something this film does over and over again with merit.
    Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a US Marshal who, along with his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) are sent to the island in question, which is the base for a mental institution for the most dangerous criminally insane patients in the US.
    They are sent due to the mysterious disappearance of a patient, but upon their arrival everything is not as it seems, the island is very military looking and the leading psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr Cawley (Ben Kingsley) seems very reluctant and shady when the marshals seek help in their investigation.
    Teddy, meanwhile, is having visions of when he was a soldier during the Dachau liberation.
    But as the film progresses, we realise that Teddy may have other reasons for taking the case, but his mind and his past soon unravel and is noticed by everyone surrounding him, which slowly eats away at his deteriorating confidence within the confines of the island.
    Shutter Island puts the viewer firmly in the drivers seat, it has been perfectly filmed and edited with purposeful continuity errors so as the viewer can determine what exactly is going on, because the ending of this remarkable film will leave you shocked and confused, but will also leave you with having a lengthy debate with your friends as to what exactly was happening.
    Each character is pivotal to the film and they play their part well, we aren't always sure whose side exactly they are on and we are never quite sure what exactly is going on, but this makes for an excellent thriller and one of the most thought provoking films in a while.
    There are plenty of names floating around in this film that may leave you a little seasick, but it is truly magical the work that has been done, and you would be hard-pressed to find a film that truly digs into what you believe to be fact, and who you believe to be truthful.
    Fantastic, thrilling and cleverly constructed work, another bright Scorsese moment.
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  3. Aug 25, 2012
    9
    I rather enjoyed this psychological thriller by none other than Martin Scorsese. Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsly are fantastic throughout and upon repeat viewings, the audience will notice that the perspective of the film changes. It is a highly intelligent, well prepared film that deserves the highest of accolades.
  4. Mar 2, 2015
    10
    Literally, mind blowing masterpiece! Everybody who gave this movie a bad score, should watch it again, because i bet they didn't get it. Incredible story, superb acting and unpredictable ending leads me to the final 10/10 score!
  5. Nov 22, 2010
    9
    Set in the 1950's, two interesting stories that unfold while DiCaprio giving an excellent performance on Shutter Island, which is a mental "institution" that has you questioning from the opening credits. Although the movie can get confusing, even though it's story is told really well. Director Martin Scorsese will take you on an epic mystery that you won't forget for a long, long time.
  6. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    This movie is what made me a moviegoer. I love this movie, beginning to end, brilliant, and that twist, oh my god, did not see that coming. Creepy, intriguing, and Smart. I love it
  7. Dec 23, 2012
    9
    Shutter Island is an emotional juggernaut that is a long, winding and twisted road that leads to the aftertaste that tickles all the areas of your tongue. Martin Scorcese exhibits his directing mastery as he delivers a shockingly powerful film that is so thought-provoking, it will leave you dazed after hearing the last sentence that changes it all. DiCaprio delivers an incredulouslyShutter Island is an emotional juggernaut that is a long, winding and twisted road that leads to the aftertaste that tickles all the areas of your tongue. Martin Scorcese exhibits his directing mastery as he delivers a shockingly powerful film that is so thought-provoking, it will leave you dazed after hearing the last sentence that changes it all. DiCaprio delivers an incredulously electrifying performance - and coupled with the clashing chords of the score and the raw power of the conceptions portrayed, this film is an utter jaw-dropper. Expand
  8. Jun 7, 2012
    9
    If thrillers are your thing ,watching this is logical. Martin Scorsese directed this so this should be on your watch list anyway. DiCaprio plays U.S. Marshal Edward Daniels, and his performance delivers. The supporting cast also does a great job. The script play is amazing.It is a bit boring the first 40 minutes, but it gets really good.
  9. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    I personally thought this movie was great. It had great performances and a very interesting, complex, intense and thought-provoking story. It's good that Martin Scorsese is branching out of his typical crime drama films and tapping more into movies of different genres. 4/4 stars.
  10. Sep 23, 2010
    9
    The movie is amazing. Put together DiCaprio's perfect acting with Scorsese's incredible directing, and then throw in a breathtaking, intelligent, complex story and you have Shutter Island. One of the best movies this year, if not the very best.
  11. Sep 14, 2010
    10
    I'll keep it short. This film is one of the best films I have seen recently. So intense, thrilling and it keeps you to the edge of your seat. From prologue to the epilogue it's so perfect. What can you expect more from a director of his caliber.!!!!!
  12. Jun 5, 2013
    10
    if you dont score this movie more than a 9 either you dont get it or you dont know good movies this movie has the best twist ever and the ending you better 2nd think that when you watch the movie that means to watch the movie right now because you will be like wow i need to watch that again like i was and now i have watched it like 7 times and im still thinking about the ending you get itif you dont score this movie more than a 9 either you dont get it or you dont know good movies this movie has the best twist ever and the ending you better 2nd think that when you watch the movie that means to watch the movie right now because you will be like wow i need to watch that again like i was and now i have watched it like 7 times and im still thinking about the ending you get it when you watch it Expand
  13. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    Scorsese and DiCaprio were born to work together! Shutter Island is brutal and twisted, yet brilliant right down to the core. From the first shot of the film to the closing credits, error was nowhere to be found. The music encompased the element of fear and excitement, perfectly. The beautiful yet gritty cinematography left you on the edge of your seat for the next shot. The script was oneScorsese and DiCaprio were born to work together! Shutter Island is brutal and twisted, yet brilliant right down to the core. From the first shot of the film to the closing credits, error was nowhere to be found. The music encompased the element of fear and excitement, perfectly. The beautiful yet gritty cinematography left you on the edge of your seat for the next shot. The script was one of the best I have ever seen on screen, leaving you repeating the dialogue in your head from the previous conversation. DiCaprio knocked it out of the park with one of his best acting performances, not to mention everyone else in this movie did really good. The story is unpredictable and once the Scorsese credits hit the sliver screen you will still be questioning what you just saw. In my opinion, its one of the best films ever made. A must see! Expand
  14. Aug 13, 2010
    9
    It was great movie, filled with a spectacular cast with spotless perfomances, great production values and a beautiful visual style courtesy of director Martin Scorsese. It has a slow pace, but the mystery of the plot is well worth the wait. Not every will enjoy it, but that's the beauty of it. It's an acquired taste. And thankfully, the taste was delicious. A 9.25/10
  15. Sep 21, 2010
    10
    If you were to say that this movie was a major twist, or it was DiCaprio's most frightening picture, I would say that they are spot on. A perfect, sensible ending that makes everything change completely to the way I thought it would've ended. With a wondrous mystery to solve, answered, ONLY if you pay attention. Now, I only sometimes give spoilers, but I will not, would not, could not,If you were to say that this movie was a major twist, or it was DiCaprio's most frightening picture, I would say that they are spot on. A perfect, sensible ending that makes everything change completely to the way I thought it would've ended. With a wondrous mystery to solve, answered, ONLY if you pay attention. Now, I only sometimes give spoilers, but I will not, would not, could not, should not, give away any important feature to this movie. Yeah, a little long- 2:15 or so, but if you start this early, turn up that volume, and put on the closed captioning, and you're a fan of horror/ suspenseful movies, and Leonardo DiCaprio, I would recommend this movie to you. Expand
  16. Aug 11, 2010
    10
    "The Departed" it is not, but Martin Scorsese's 'Shutter Island' is a complex film that demands the viewer's utmost attention, and is all the more rewarding because of it.
  17. Dec 18, 2014
    10
    What a great and extraordinary and thrilling film from a director at the top of his game. I absolutely was on the edge of my seat with this movie. Captivating performance from Leonardo DiCaprio and also Ben Kingsley. I highly recommend this movie. Watch it!!!!
  18. Oct 14, 2010
    9
    Simply amazing. If you have read the book, you will see that the movie is a near-perfect replication, so fans of Lehane's work will love this. If you don't already know, the story is that of two U.S. Marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, as they head to the Ashecliff Hospital for the Mentally Insane to search for a prisoner who has vanished into thin air. Throughout the story, DanielsSimply amazing. If you have read the book, you will see that the movie is a near-perfect replication, so fans of Lehane's work will love this. If you don't already know, the story is that of two U.S. Marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, as they head to the Ashecliff Hospital for the Mentally Insane to search for a prisoner who has vanished into thin air. Throughout the story, Daniels and Aule are warned and told to leave, and are told of highly-illegal, experimental surgeries that take place at the lighthouse on the island. After a devastating hurricane hits the island, more and more answers come and you'll be able to start piecing together the twisted story. But the twist ending will have you on the edge of your seat, as it will make you re-look at the entire story again to realize the real truth. This is truly one of DiCaprio's best works, as he captures the essence of Teddy Daniels and his rapidly-deteriorating state of mind. If you like mystery movies, are looking for a film with some action, or seek a flick with a good back-story to it, this movie is for you. Expand
  19. Dec 15, 2010
    9
    One of the most beautiful movies that I have seen. Di Caprio is fantastic in his interpretation, and the plot is very interesting, since at the end...
  20. May 15, 2013
    9
    A nearly perfect movie.Everyone who says its bad is not stupid but has possibly not understand it.
    It has a perfect twist at the end.Leonardo DiCaprio is a stunning actor and he plays an amazing part.
    I also like the bad feeling the movie gives you.Scorsese created powerful dialogs which force you to think about them. A 9 from ten only because its sometimes hard to follow and there are
    A nearly perfect movie.Everyone who says its bad is not stupid but has possibly not understand it.
    It has a perfect twist at the end.Leonardo DiCaprio is a stunning actor and he plays an amazing part.
    I also like the bad feeling the movie gives you.Scorsese created powerful dialogs which force you to think about them.
    A 9 from ten only because its sometimes hard to follow and there are smaller logical mistakes.
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  21. Jul 21, 2012
    10
    This movie is wonderful and outstanding! The plot is overall great and intresting. I was glued to the screen most of the movie. It was so intense and thrilling... The tension and mystery that I think the movie created made me want to keep on watching. It's one of those mystery stories that you know from the beggining that there's going to be a twist at the end but you don't know what it isThis movie is wonderful and outstanding! The plot is overall great and intresting. I was glued to the screen most of the movie. It was so intense and thrilling... The tension and mystery that I think the movie created made me want to keep on watching. It's one of those mystery stories that you know from the beggining that there's going to be a twist at the end but you don't know what it is yet. I love it because it keeps you on the edge through the movie. As the movie near the end you already have a clue of what is going to happen but it still shocks you when you find out. The amazing performances from Di caprio and Kingsley also made this movie great. I loved how my feelings changed according to the main character feelings. The plot is through his prespective and what he was feeling created what I felt during the movie. When he was close to un cover the truth I was anxious and scared just like him. I highly recommand this movie. Expand
  22. Oct 30, 2012
    9
    This film is awesome! I love Leonardo Di Caprio! and this is deffo his best movie! One of my favorite movies of all time and great twist at the end. !!!
  23. TEM
    May 21, 2014
    10
    A great film. DiCaprio/Scorsese deliver again. Suspenseful and never dull. The ending is powerful. The score is an all time favorite of mine. This movie was so great, I read the book and I don't like reading too much.
  24. May 8, 2011
    10
    This movie is just plain GOOD. Simple. Let me also be the one to say that these other people who are giving bad reviews, well they mostly do not have a good IQ or any knowledge of psychology. These people were probably just hoping for a scary movie. Because after the trailer, I was expecting the same. But I still enjoyed the movie even though I didn't get scared at all (because it's not aThis movie is just plain GOOD. Simple. Let me also be the one to say that these other people who are giving bad reviews, well they mostly do not have a good IQ or any knowledge of psychology. These people were probably just hoping for a scary movie. Because after the trailer, I was expecting the same. But I still enjoyed the movie even though I didn't get scared at all (because it's not a scary movie) is because I am a college student with a good IQ and understand of psychology and how the brain works. I also know what psychologists do and how they used to treat patients in the old days (hence why the setting is 1954 and not now). You don't even need to KNOW anything about psychology to appreciate this movie. Just a simple curiosity of how the brain works is a good start. I love action movies and scary movies but I also like INTELLIGENT movies and that's what this is. Those of you who say you saw the twist coming, I say bullcrap. Maybe some of y'all did but the twist doesn't take place until there is like 20 or less minutes left in the movie and the whole first half doesn't leave any clues as to what is coming. If you are an intelligent person or a curious person to how we humans function and our mind works, this is a GREAT movie. Great acting and great plot. I love psychology or most of it atleast and like I said, I am a college student who enjoys intelligent movies and not just the ones where there is plenty of violence, comedy, and sex. So those of you who gave it bad reviews, I'm sorry I have to say it but y'all are probably just dumb kids or dumb people in general who don't have a clue how you even function as a human being. Watch the movie and tell me if I'm wrong. Expand
  25. Mar 3, 2014
    9
    I Was skeptical going into it, but my skepticism soon fled me as I enjoyed every minute of this movie! It is a thriller for sure. The only thing that keeps it from being a 10/10 from me is that I saw the twist coming. Terrific film. Leonardo deserved an Oscar for this.
  26. Mar 3, 2012
    9
    This film offers suspense, mystery and altogether an exasperating experience. DiCaprio's performance is among his greatest and Scorsese certainly delivers. The plot of this film offers an incredible twist that is comparable to that of Fight Club or Sixth Sense. Definitely worth watching!
  27. May 8, 2014
    10
    This movies is the best Mind Blowing ONE.Love the way of how Leonardo DiCaprio took his acting to another level.Just LOVE IT !!!.Also the rest of them played very well....also the places used for all scenes are SUPERB
  28. JohnnyB
    Apr 5, 2010
    10
    Screw what anybody else says... this movie blew my mind, its totally worth watching for the fantastic ending... i heard there was a good twist and whilst watching the movie I tried to think of every single possible thing that could have been the twist.... my oh my was i wrong and it was the craziest ending ever. I havn't met one person out 40 different people who said it was even Screw what anybody else says... this movie blew my mind, its totally worth watching for the fantastic ending... i heard there was a good twist and whilst watching the movie I tried to think of every single possible thing that could have been the twist.... my oh my was i wrong and it was the craziest ending ever. I havn't met one person out 40 different people who said it was even slightly bad.. so I don't understand what all these stupid critics and people giving it a 0 rating are for. They just obviously can't sit through a movie until the end. As for what somebody said about how it doesnt explain the ending... actually yes it does in extreme detail, you are just too stupid to understand it all. Expand
  29. RadeM
    Apr 6, 2010
    10
    I just think that this movie is beautiful. No slow spots for its entirety. The story itself and the ending are not the main points of the movie. The main point is emotional journey of the main character and his inner change.
  30. Kyle
    Feb 20, 2010
    10
    Incredible movie. Warning: must have a decent IQ to enjoy. I hate to say it, but these negative reviews are all superficial and do not do such a deep movie just.
  31. OsasO.
    Mar 14, 2010
    9
    To all those people giving this movie a 5 or below, stick with movies like the Green Zone or the 300. This movie was smart beyond belief. Scorsese creates a world that borders on the blurry lines of reality. Those who predicted the ending probably also knew Bruce Willis was a ghost within the first 9 minutes of The 6th Sense...BS. See this movie if you are willing to think. Leo is worth To all those people giving this movie a 5 or below, stick with movies like the Green Zone or the 300. This movie was smart beyond belief. Scorsese creates a world that borders on the blurry lines of reality. Those who predicted the ending probably also knew Bruce Willis was a ghost within the first 9 minutes of The 6th Sense...BS. See this movie if you are willing to think. Leo is worth the ticket alone. Expand
  32. Mikyla
    Apr 2, 2010
    10
    I would not change anything. Even the music that did not match up, it was deliberate to match with the misguided perspective of Leo. With that being said, I'm surprised some people did not entirely understand the ending. As a person who has seen the village and deemed it to be the worst movie I have ever seen, this movie went a little bit deeper vs the superficial uselessness that I I would not change anything. Even the music that did not match up, it was deliberate to match with the misguided perspective of Leo. With that being said, I'm surprised some people did not entirely understand the ending. As a person who has seen the village and deemed it to be the worst movie I have ever seen, this movie went a little bit deeper vs the superficial uselessness that I thought the village had.. -HUGE SPOILER TO THOSE WHO DID NOT GET IT.- It was heart wrenching to see Leo surrender himself, although 'cured' of his delusions to the lobotomy because he was so haunted by the horror of what he had done and what his wife had done. In the end, he chose to die a hero. To me, this made the movie an utter tragedy. You must understand that the confusion, and plot lines that -didn't quite add up- were deliberate, as Leo was the entire time, quite mad and this was played through his perspective. I also wanted to give credit like another reviewer had about the ability of this movie to get into your head, disturb you so deeply and make you feel insane alongside Leo. With that being said, I will not see this movie again by choice. Expand
  33. JoeM
    Apr 2, 2010
    10
    If avatar is the best action movie, this one is the best thriller movie !!! Leo is awesome in this movie!
  34. EdwardD
    Feb 19, 2010
    9
    Wicked good movie, with an amazing twist. This is one of the many movies you cannot trust the critics with. A must see for any thrill fan.
  35. JohnM
    Feb 19, 2010
    9
    Excellent movie. Not for everybody.
  36. JaredC.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    Most people will not be satisfied with the result of this picture, but the ending will make you think. Movies that make you think, are good ones. Movies that are good stick with you. Shutter Island is one of them.
  37. AlexN.
    Feb 20, 2010
    9
    Although I simply guessed what the twist was going to be at the end, it was a very well-made movie in my eyes. I love movies where you are stuck in the mind and perspective of the character instead of knowing that they are on the wrong track. Some complain that some of the scenes felt "useless", but I think of those as how you would actually see them as the main character: you have no Although I simply guessed what the twist was going to be at the end, it was a very well-made movie in my eyes. I love movies where you are stuck in the mind and perspective of the character instead of knowing that they are on the wrong track. Some complain that some of the scenes felt "useless", but I think of those as how you would actually see them as the main character: you have no idea what is going on, so you are trying to piece together a puzzle with all of the information that you have at your disposal. It's very, very reminiscent of The Shining to me, and also has hints of a modern classic spread throughout. I'll be buying this one. Expand
  38. AlejandroC.
    Feb 20, 2010
    9
    If you don't like it......you're probably over-critical or squeamish....this was great, creepy fun from one of the masters of film.
  39. Cindyc.
    Feb 20, 2010
    9
    Terrific acting and a great plot that keeps you guessing until the very end. Ignore the naysayers and see this film!
  40. Kay
    Feb 20, 2010
    10
    Loved the acting and the script. Great movie, makes you think and walk away talking about it.
  41. NickP.
    Feb 22, 2010
    9
    Fantastic movie with interesting characters, locations, and dialog. If you like Hitchcock, you'll enjoy this thriller.
  42. KyleP.
    Mar 5, 2010
    9
    It was a great ride - if you let yourself go along for the ride. I guess I can see what people are saying when they claim they "saw the twist", but frankly there are many pieces that you don't get till the very end. Overall, with its 50's feel and intense music, this was a very good film.
  43. NicoleC
    Mar 7, 2010
    9
    This movie broke my heart. It was a true piece of cinematic art. It was visually beautiful and intellectually stimulating but sad, sad, sad. I still loved it though. Bravo Leo and Scorsese. You are genuine masters of your craft.
  44. LoraineH
    Jun 9, 2010
    9
    A beautiful projected film with inspiring characters and a plot worth sticking to your mind for the next couple weeks! Great acting by Leonardo DcaPrio, made my night for sure sent chills down my spine and loved it for it!
  45. BenD
    Jun 9, 2010
    10
    Classic mystery flick! 2 thumbs up sweet performances, vicious storytelling! loved it Recommended!! Go see Shutter Island!!
  46. LaurieC
    Feb 19, 2010
    10
    Did not find morbid or bloody...disturbing? yes. A thriller? yes. Good movie very well made.
  47. GuramG.
    Feb 19, 2010
    10
    Great thirller. Great cast. Great script.
  48. AdamD.
    Feb 19, 2010
    9
    I feel it was a masterpiece. The way they filmed it was in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock. It was as much a masterpiece as Inglourious Basterds to be honest. The way it was filmed was done to only to demonstrate that nothing was supposed to seem real. Remember, he was halucinating? Scorcese meant for the audience to be confused until the last moment of the film. The last line. I feel it was a masterpiece. The way they filmed it was in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock. It was as much a masterpiece as Inglourious Basterds to be honest. The way it was filmed was done to only to demonstrate that nothing was supposed to seem real. Remember, he was halucinating? Scorcese meant for the audience to be confused until the last moment of the film. The last line. That's what I saw, but I will say that this film is the story of a tragedy and it is certainly an acquired taste, but then again so are all of scorcese's movies. Shutter Island is a great movie. If you like Donnie Darko, you'll love Shutter Island, it is a mind bending thriller not a horror. This is the movie to see at this time. Surely a new cult classic. Expand
  49. GusM.
    Feb 19, 2010
    10
    Great thriller. Unexpected ending. Some people leaving the theater said the movie sucked, but the majority of the people left asking questions. What I took from people asking so many questions, was a great movie. When you leave a movie and can't stop thinking about what just happened. You must have liked the film. Leo gives another solid performance and the rest of the cast was good Great thriller. Unexpected ending. Some people leaving the theater said the movie sucked, but the majority of the people left asking questions. What I took from people asking so many questions, was a great movie. When you leave a movie and can't stop thinking about what just happened. You must have liked the film. Leo gives another solid performance and the rest of the cast was good acting. Sir Kingsley made you want him to fail so badly, being the bad guy. Expand
  50. BrentP
    Feb 21, 2010
    10
    Hands down one of the most amazing films I've ever seen. The story is profound and the ending is tragic. The film is beautiful. Do yourself a favor and go see it before it leaves theaters. Definitely on my top ten.
  51. ChaseH.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    Great film, nice ending that doesn't seem like a twist for the sake of having one. Takes queues from early psychological films. Believable acting as always from DiCaprio.
  52. JoelBoozer
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    Great story, entertaining film. Dicaprio is AWESOME, and I'm not usually a Dicaprio fan. This may be his first film I have seen where I see the character Dicaprio is playing, rather than the actor. He is amazing throughout. The film is not without flaws (music is at times over the top, ending/twist is somewhat predictable, although still well-executed IMO). Nevertheless, I really Great story, entertaining film. Dicaprio is AWESOME, and I'm not usually a Dicaprio fan. This may be his first film I have seen where I see the character Dicaprio is playing, rather than the actor. He is amazing throughout. The film is not without flaws (music is at times over the top, ending/twist is somewhat predictable, although still well-executed IMO). Nevertheless, I really can't see how anyone can't at least find this movie entertaining. The performance by Dicaprio alone makes this film worth seeing. Expand
  53. VanshVohra
    Feb 21, 2010
    10
    Amazing! A movie with an amazing storyline. I felt like my was scrambled at the end of movie. They dont make movies like these anymore. Great acting and script.
  54. ChadS.
    Feb 20, 2010
    9
    The last time this legendary filmmaker tried his hand at suspense, it was a cape that the characters feared, in which a defense attorney and his family got wet, thanks to an uninvited guest on their houseboat. This time, it's a bay, and the swimmer, Edward Daniels(Leonardo DiCaprio), is alone(thanks to "Pond Fear"), as he wades his way through the ocean water toward the lighthouse. The last time this legendary filmmaker tried his hand at suspense, it was a cape that the characters feared, in which a defense attorney and his family got wet, thanks to an uninvited guest on their houseboat. This time, it's a bay, and the swimmer, Edward Daniels(Leonardo DiCaprio), is alone(thanks to "Pond Fear"), as he wades his way through the ocean water toward the lighthouse. He's no Max Cady, but the essence of the actor who played that psychopath from the 1991 film, situates himself in the body of saltwater with the federal marshal, albeit engaged in a different sort of fight that he had with Nick Nolte in "Cape Fear"(the remake of the 1962 J. Lee Thompson original), although both altercations are intrinsically based on guilt. Juxtaposed against the realism of Edward's tour of duty in Dachau, where the concentration camp scenes are handled in an adequately sober fashion, is the suggestion of B-movie elements you'd find in a Nazi exploitation film, and as Edward swims closer to the lighthouse, the moviegoer gets to guess as to which WWII filmic tradition will be the winner of this dialectic struggle. It's a headlong rush toward the precipice of genre, as Edward climbs the spiral staircase and busts into the room of discovery and truth. Hitchcockian in its approach to suspense as "Cape Fear" was, in "Shutter Island", Edward is a voyeur to the movie in his head(the audience as voyeur), in which he turns his real-life war experiences into the stuff of Nazi exploitation flicks. Now all he needs to do is find the theater where this movie is playing. Is it in the lighthouse? Expand
  55. NicholasW
    Feb 25, 2010
    9
    While I left this movie completely blown away, I understand why many felt let down. They entire movie is spent like Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. You are going insane alongside the main character. You are as confused as he is, and just as scared for his life as him. By the ending, as any good movie would have it, you want the main character to be so right! I can't say more While I left this movie completely blown away, I understand why many felt let down. They entire movie is spent like Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. You are going insane alongside the main character. You are as confused as he is, and just as scared for his life as him. By the ending, as any good movie would have it, you want the main character to be so right! I can't say more without ruining it. One thing that is great about this movie is that everything done unconventionally is completely on purpose. The shot length, the way supporting characters act, the "sloppy" editing. It all pays out in the end. Yes, at first I was angry at the ending, but the very end makes it that much better. Expand
  56. Simon
    Feb 26, 2010
    9
    Starts off a little slow but really picks up by the end. The story isn't bad and it is worth seeing for Leonardo DiCaprio's performance alone. What an actor!
  57. kyleb.
    Mar 17, 2010
    9
    Everybody who gave this movie a bad rating obviously did not understand it, and the only reason you would not be able to understand it is if they didn't have a brain. i however thought this movie was amazing. Leonardo Dicaprio gives the performance of a lifetime. he is definitely one of the best actors of this generation.
  58. MovieFan
    Mar 21, 2010
    10
    This movie is such a breath of fresh air. A very classy thriller, finally with an ending that delivers! How could you NOT like this movie...?!?!
  59. AdamS
    Mar 20, 2010
    10
    Great film and super ending.
  60. D.S.
    Mar 27, 2010
    10
    If you're looking for a classic anti-hollywood surreal/pshyco/thriller movie, then by all means you must watch this movie. People who dont like this movie were the ones expecting an over-the-top horror-thriller that doesnt require thinking. This movie does, indeed make you think but the script is not by any means confusing, cheating or misleading, and the plethora of people who say If you're looking for a classic anti-hollywood surreal/pshyco/thriller movie, then by all means you must watch this movie. People who dont like this movie were the ones expecting an over-the-top horror-thriller that doesnt require thinking. This movie does, indeed make you think but the script is not by any means confusing, cheating or misleading, and the plethora of people who say it is just didnt want to think. Also, the ending is probably one of the best I have ever witnessed. Who could have thought that any one-liner could have possibly wrapped up a movie so well? Expand
  61. TimL
    Mar 29, 2010
    10
    Great movie with a very smart ending. Warning: You need a high IQ to appreciate and actually understand this movie in its entirety. Hence why there is such extreme variance in user ratings.
  62. Shawn
    Mar 31, 2010
    10
    Martin and Leo best director actor combo in a long time... The only people who didn't like this movie are closed minded people who can't deal with surprises.
  63. BuckmanB.
    Mar 9, 2010
    9
    Great movie! This is one of those movies you need to watch twice to understand it all, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it more the second time. It's very confusing and then it all comes together at the end. GREAT MOVIE.
  64. AmeerM
    May 24, 2010
    10
    Wow, just wow those are the words that come to my mouth after watching this movie. One of the best movies I have ever watched I really cant understnd ratring from sites like salon.com and newyork times or even meta crtic itself, maybe they need some gun shots and big phony fights to rate higher a sure shot oscar award winner
  65. same
    Jun 10, 2010
    10
    Totally agree with Kyle ( who gives it a 10 ), an awsome film. And to anyone who say's they don't get the end....You must be kidding?? A masterpiece.
  66. DebbieW.
    Jun 14, 2010
    10
    Loved this movie!! I love movies that are unpredictable, and this was as good as it gets. Thank you!!!
  67. AdenC
    Jun 9, 2010
    9
    I loved this movie, it was fast paced and intense the whole way through. I did figure out the twist about half-way through the movie but still loved the ending and there is even a second and third twist if you look hard enough! Everything in the movie was intentional when you look at it from an intellectual point of view, if you didn't rate this film highly I suggest you watch it again!
  68. AndrewL
    Jun 9, 2010
    9
    Clever and deep, its dark storyline emits such beauty, "Shutter Island" is a mystery worth remembering for the decade! Grand performances, A-class director aces this one!
  69. AlanS
    Jun 9, 2010
    9
    My sisters loved this movie, I thought it was splendid as well the story behind it is engaging and thrills and chills you to the bone!
  70. HollyC
    Jun 9, 2010
    9
    A Very twisted movie! Love the romantic sickness of it!
  71. jalalA.K
    Jul 26, 2010
    9
    BRILLIANT!
  72. RogerC
    Feb 19, 2010
    10
    Leonardo Dicaprio is the penultimate actor of his generation. Had this movie been released in time for Oscar consideration, Dicaprio would be going home with the Oscar. Leonardo and Martin Scorcese are a dynamic duo and hopefully will continue to entertain us for many years to come. Kudos to the entire cast. A great piece of film making.
  73. BillL
    Feb 19, 2010
    9
    It had a real "Vertigo" feel. DiCaprio & Scorsese did a beautiful job bringing the emotional torment to life. Even knowing there was a twist didn't prepare you for the climax of this psychological thriller.
  74. AtticusM.
    Feb 19, 2010
    9
    Not Scorsese's best work, but still a truly breathtaking, edge of your seat thriller. Leo gives one of the best performances of the year, truly evoking the spirit Dennis Lehane gave to Teddy Daniels in the novel. One of the vest of the year so far for sure.
  75. JeffS.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    DiCaprio and Scorsese do it again, taking an heavily expended movie formula and recreated it with outstanding acting by DiCaprio and a terrific screenplay. The most remarkable aspect of this movie is, in contrary to what critics and others may believe, not its destination, but how it reaches its destination. As previously stated this movie uses an expended movie formula, therefore with DiCaprio and Scorsese do it again, taking an heavily expended movie formula and recreated it with outstanding acting by DiCaprio and a terrific screenplay. The most remarkable aspect of this movie is, in contrary to what critics and others may believe, not its destination, but how it reaches its destination. As previously stated this movie uses an expended movie formula, therefore with little knowledge of the movie one can predict the ending, yet after going through the adventure poised throughout this movie all bets are off. The average viewer feels like he/she belongs in a criminally insane hospital upon viewing this film, which was most likely Scorsese's intent. Expand
  76. dc
    Feb 21, 2010
    10
    Wow, this movie was amazing. My heart was racing during the movie and after it was over.
  77. SeanW.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    I found this a masterly directed film with excellent writing, and I'm very critical of most films. Perhaps the film was long, but it didn't seem so in the theater. I don't get the reviewers who call it fatally flawed and then cite the gloominess of the film as the principle evidence. Perhaps Scorcese will know next time to make a cheery movie set in a sanitorium.
  78. JakeA.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    Loved this movie great acting and direction with a twist that will keep you and your friends talking about the film for days to come.
  79. BrianMonroe
    Feb 22, 2010
    10
    [***SPOILER***] People who don't like this movie don't like it because it requires thinking. It does what every good book does -- demonstrates its value/meaning only by reflecting on it. By identifying with the mysterious dreams and the convincing conspiracy, we easily become imersed in a delusion -- we cheer when cars are blown up -- and then we come to sudden realization (along[***SPOILER***] People who don't like this movie don't like it because it requires thinking. It does what every good book does -- demonstrates its value/meaning only by reflecting on it. By identifying with the mysterious dreams and the convincing conspiracy, we easily become imersed in a delusion -- we cheer when cars are blown up -- and then we come to sudden realization (along with the main character) that forces us to empathize with the condition of psychological paranoia and the trauma(s) which induced it; the underlying argument/theme is a view which sees such psychological neurosis as having psychological (not physiological) roots. Thus, the villain (the psychiatrist) becomes the hero, along with his psychological philosophy that people can be treated through their psyche -- not necessarily drugs/surgery. This commendable effort, though, sadly fails to provide a sustainable result and there is no other choice but to resort to psychological death for the main character. So much can be said about this; it is one the most psychologically insightful movies I've ever seen and anyone who says otherwise simply refuses to genuinely give it much thought. Expand
  80. RayR.
    Feb 22, 2010
    9
    This is a very complex film that keeps the audience trying to figure out what's going on until the end of the movie. It's very Hitchcockian and manipulates the viewer. This film has haunted me for over 2 days now. I hope it's not forgotten when award time comes around at the end of the year.
  81. MattF.
    Feb 22, 2010
    9
    Fantastic film. I think the people who didn't like this film went in expecting a typical schlocky, overly gory, horror-flick acted by perfect-looking 20 something's with their abs out. There was nothing predictable about this film, and having not read the book I was entertained and surprised throughout. One thing that isn't being mentioned enough is how emotional this movie Fantastic film. I think the people who didn't like this film went in expecting a typical schlocky, overly gory, horror-flick acted by perfect-looking 20 something's with their abs out. There was nothing predictable about this film, and having not read the book I was entertained and surprised throughout. One thing that isn't being mentioned enough is how emotional this movie is. There are some truly heart-wrenching scenes in this film! This film deals with DEEP psychological traumas, and Scorsese pulls some outstanding performances out of his cast. An absolute gem of a film, do not miss! Expand
  82. Thomas
    Feb 26, 2010
    9
    Great movie! The soundtrack was on the bad side and did not really help with the building of suspense. DiCaprio was outstanding as were the supporting cast.
  83. TimL.
    Mar 12, 2010
    9
    To all you retards claiming that you figured out the "twist" or that it was completely predictable...you have no idea what you're talking about. Focus really hard on the last line of the movie and you'll realize that what you thought was the twist was not it at all. If you think that what the doctor describes at the end is true then you have a very low movie I.Q. and are not To all you retards claiming that you figured out the "twist" or that it was completely predictable...you have no idea what you're talking about. Focus really hard on the last line of the movie and you'll realize that what you thought was the twist was not it at all. If you think that what the doctor describes at the end is true then you have a very low movie I.Q. and are not deserving of the greatness that Scorcese created here. Expand
  84. NickG
    Mar 31, 2010
    10
    Brilliant movie!
  85. DominicD
    Mar 31, 2010
    10
    I enjoyed this film.It was very entertaining, thrilling, captivating.It had flaws but it deserves a 10 from me based in comparison to other users who gave it zero.
  86. DonA
    May 21, 2010
    10
    This has to be one of the greatest films I've ever seen. It's smart, it's perfectly paced, and the twist in end kept me thinking for days. WARNING: you may have to have an IQ over three digits to understand this great film.
  87. TylerD.
    Jun 12, 2010
    10
    Amazing movie. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. Just incredible.
  88. NathanL.
    Jun 12, 2010
    10
    Shutter Island Review My Letter to To Tony Scott and Michael Phillips, My comment here is in response to your review of Shutter Island. I must start by saying that I strongly respect your (A.O. and Michael) opinions. I have respected you as journalists and film critics for a very long time and still hold your opinions in high regard (as I always will). I strongly agreed with your strong Shutter Island Review My Letter to To Tony Scott and Michael Phillips, My comment here is in response to your review of Shutter Island. I must start by saying that I strongly respect your (A.O. and Michael) opinions. I have respected you as journalists and film critics for a very long time and still hold your opinions in high regard (as I always will). I strongly agreed with your strong feelings for Where the Wild Things Are (my 2nd favorite of last year) and will consistently watch your show as I believe there could not be a better team to take up the mantle for the great Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert (who loved Shutter Island). However, I have such an immense respect for Shutter Island that I cannot let this pass. I actually would argue that this is one of Scorsese's Ten Best (more towards the bottom of that ten to be fair). I also think that it holds a better performance by Leonardo DiCaprio than any other performance last year aside from maybe Waltz and Mo'nique (definately better than the five nominated for best picture). A film, as you know, is a some of it's parts. And this film is, in every part, damn near perfect. It looks phenomenal! The color and lighting in this film help differentiate mood and tone with a clear eloquence while evoking some of the great noir films of old. The musical selections here are dark and over the top when needed but, also subtle and quite beautiful when necessary. The slow repetition of the single piano note with the constant knock is more creepy than any foreboding I've heard in other films of this genre. The production design is of the highest order. It is very important that the island become a character in this film. It is important that it create, with it's sheer look, a belief in the creepy possibilities that lay beneath the heart of Teddy's investigation. It does this and then some. Every rock, every cliff, every building, and every wall feels like it is a living, breathing entity. However, it must also remain distant and dream like. An unbelievble location where things exist that only exist in nightmares. The editing in this movie is so perfect that I was actually offended the second time I watched it and the projectionist botched the reel change. This is a very common thing but, given the perfection of that scene it was kind of infuriating to see it ruined. I am an editor and a filmmaker. I watch 100's of movies a year that feel rushed in the editing process. I can almost picture the guy running through his clips by the numbers. Most films, even good ones, feel either rushed or lazy. Thelma Schoonmaker, on the other hand, creates a pace that determines to be viewed. She knows when to let it simmer and when to move. This is why watching a Scorsese film is always a priviledge. Now, I could go deeply into the perfection of the costume design, sound mixing, or the brilliant foley work that goes on here but, you would be reading all day. I come from a line of broadway actors, music producers, and sound engineers so we live and breath the technical side of things. And I must tell you guys that it is seldom ever done as perfectly as it is here (certainly better than The Hurt Locker which every one is head over heels for right now). However, I understand that this does not work unless the plot and the actors work. And this gentlemen is where Shutter Island shines brightest. Only once every couple of years it seems that there is a film that demands to be seen twice. A film that can actually evoke a whole different set of emotions the second time around. A film that rewards its audience for multiple viewings. This is that film. It plays like a twisting spiral of events where Teddy meets a series of intriguing characters that seem to be pointing him in the direction of a big conspiracy. These scenes are allowed to breath and play out organically through dialogue and then are analyzed by Teddy's nightmares. These scenes are fantastic. They don't feel like never ending expositions. They feel like a game of chess that that in the intial viewing is viewed by the opposing team and the second time around by the home team. And it is a very different feeling each time. The first time I watched this movie, after reading many reviews, I found myself so wrapped up in the investigation that when Teddy discovers the truth I was as unwilling to accept it as he was. I tried to pick apart every piece of logic and throw it to the side. I held this hope all the way to the last frame and I left the theater in love with a film that left me unsatisfied. It made me think about it long after it was over and it haunted my dreams with the thoughts of one of the most horrific events imaginable. What you found to be going a bit to far I found to be exactly what a horror film is meant to do. Now, horror seems to me how violent and disgusting can you be. This movie is neither one of things. It is truly horrific! I am a father (as I know you two are) of two little girls and a boy. So, the events in this film left me very bruised and caused my wife to squirm in her seat for the last half hour. This is what it meant to do. This is what true horror is suppose to do. I applaude its willingness to be horrific without being disgusting. True horror is much harder to find. Anyways, after a day of thinking about this film I had to go back to see it again. And boy am I glad I did. It was like watching a completely different film. I could see how the game was laid out. I understood when little bits of dialogue were used to jar Teddy's memory. I understood what every reference was. Many times in tricky films like this the dialogue appears vague or like they cheated to get you to look the other way. It can sometimes be very insulting to an audience member. This film rewards your attentiveness and your intelligence. When re-viewing it you can feel the punch to the head that various things characters say really are and why he is trying so hard to repress his emotions. And the final revelation on second viewing brought me to tears. That scene by the lake is truly one of the best constructed scenes (in all departments) that I have seen in my life. Also, I realized more clearly that this movie does not answer all of it's secrets until the final words. After DiCaprio calls Ruffalo "Chuck" (revealing to Dr. Sheehan that his patient has regressed and he has failed) he delivers the most important line of the film. He says, "You know. I wonder if it is better to live as a monster or die a good man." In this scene Dr. Sheehan and the audience realize that Teddy is bluffing. He wants to die. His horrors are to much to live with and if he cannot have his alternate reality than he would rather be labotimized. This is pretty powerful stuff for a genre style film noir. Well, that is because this is better than a traditional film noir. It has all of the perfect ingredients to be a classic B "noir" movie but, it's directed by a man who understands how many layers can be put on a cake and still have it taste perfect. I am very impressed with this film. And I am very disappointed in the passive review that it seemed to receive from the two of you. I think that this film deserved a little more respect. So, that is my two cents (for what it's worth) and I hope that I have not offended you at all. I do respect the both of you very much. I just believe that you missed the ball on this "Outstanding" film and I had to call you out. Very Respectfully, Nathan Ligon. Expand
  89. NickG.
    Jun 19, 2010
    9
    One of the best plot twists I've ever seen in a movie, completely caught me off guard. Plus it has a great story. However, the movie does have a few slow moments that prevent me from giving it a 10.
  90. Jan 28, 2011
    10
    There's no accounting for taste, of course, but, in my book Shutter Island is one of the best movies of the last decade. DiCaprio is sensational; deserved an Oscar nomination. The rest of the cast, especially Kingsley, Ruffalo and Sydow, are magnificent. Affects moviegoers, I'd think, in much the same way a Lynch or a **** or a Bunuel movie might. Haunting, shattering, unique. ThisThere's no accounting for taste, of course, but, in my book Shutter Island is one of the best movies of the last decade. DiCaprio is sensational; deserved an Oscar nomination. The rest of the cast, especially Kingsley, Ruffalo and Sydow, are magnificent. Affects moviegoers, I'd think, in much the same way a Lynch or a **** or a Bunuel movie might. Haunting, shattering, unique. This is bravura moviemaking. Don't believe the H8. Expand
  91. Apr 9, 2011
    10
    When all is said and done in M.S. career I believe this will go down as one of his more daring ventures. And isn't that what art is about? New expression to ones self? I'm not saying this is a ground breaking film, just that it pushes the style of a vision. It just so happens that this vision is through the eyes of m.s.. The story is strong enough to compel you to the end of the journey.When all is said and done in M.S. career I believe this will go down as one of his more daring ventures. And isn't that what art is about? New expression to ones self? I'm not saying this is a ground breaking film, just that it pushes the style of a vision. It just so happens that this vision is through the eyes of m.s.. The story is strong enough to compel you to the end of the journey. And the acting is more than satisfactory in all cases. The weakest portion of the entry is probably the dialogue. Some of the lesser characters just seem to deliver the line and exit stage left. Which don't help the film but don't necessarily hurt it either. In the end though it is the direction and attention to detail of not just the setting, pacing, acting, or genre but style brought to all of the above. Watch it again and again then tell me I'm wrong. Expand
  92. Jul 20, 2011
    10
    this movie is a masterpiece, is one of the few movies after "fight club" that made me thing afterwards. its not a movie for everyone, a lot of people search for something Entertaining and simple that they could watch with they`re family and sleep after that. this is a movie for people that like intense thrilling movies. if you just want to see a funny entertaining movie stay far away from this.
  93. Dec 12, 2011
    10
    This is one of the films which not everyone can understand. If you are one of those who can, then it is perfect for you. Not the ending , but looking after the main character is very interesting - how he evolves or degrades (up to you to decide).....
  94. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    i love this film. its one of those films you can watch over and over and you'll not get bored of it, you will also find new things every time as well. there are a few continuity errors, but whatever. its a shame this film fell under the success of inception in its genre, because its a modern classic. everyone fulfills their role perfectly and contribute to the atmosphere that scorsesei love this film. its one of those films you can watch over and over and you'll not get bored of it, you will also find new things every time as well. there are a few continuity errors, but whatever. its a shame this film fell under the success of inception in its genre, because its a modern classic. everyone fulfills their role perfectly and contribute to the atmosphere that scorsese aimed to create. the end leaves you questioning what happened next, and whether you understood i properly, like TDKR. This film keeps you interested all the way through, the ending is hinted at, but its not obvious. splendid film! Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 4 out of 37
  1. The ending is powerful..., but Shutter Island is a long slog.
  2. It's a pleasure to experience Scorsese as a circus master. One just hopes he doesn't continue in this vein.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Even when it's clear Scorsese has decided to employ fakery and allow it to be obvious, it's done with elegance and beauty.