Shutter Island

Critics Consensus

It may not rank with Scorsese's best work, but Shutter Island's gleefully unapologetic genre thrills represent the director at his most unrestrained.



Total Count: 251


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,373,593
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Movie Info

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for a fourth time for this adaptation of Shutter Island, a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River). The film opens in 1954 as World War II veteran and current federal marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), ferry to Shutter Island, a water-bound mental hospital housing the criminally insane. They have been asked to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), a patient admitted to the asylum after she murdered her three children. As Teddy quizzes Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institution, he begins to suspect that the authorities in charge might not be giving him the whole truth, and that a terrible fate may befall all the patients in the spooky Ward C -- a unit devoted to the most heinous of the hospital's inmates. Complicating matters further, Teddy has a secret of his own -- the arsonist who murdered his wife is incarcerated on Shutter Island. Driven to confront his wife's killer, and stranded on the island because of a hurricane, Teddy must unravel the secrets of the eerie place before succumbing to his own madness. Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley round out the supporting cast. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi


Leonardo DiCaprio
as Teddy Daniels
Mark Ruffalo
as Chuck Aule
Ben Kingsley
as Dr. Cawley
Max von Sydow
as Dr. Naehring
Patricia Clarkson
as Ethel Barton
Emily Mortimer
as Rachel Solando
Jackie Earle Haley
as George Noyce
Ted Levine
as Warden
John Carroll Lynch
as Dep. Warden McPherson
Elias Koteas
as Andrew Laeddis
Robin Bartlett
as Mrs. Kearns
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Critic Reviews for Shutter Island

All Critics (251) | Top Critics (52) | Fresh (171) | Rotten (80)

  • A brilliantly constructed mystery.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • The problem, then, arrives in the film's hurried final act, where a hitherto steady narrative gives way to an engorged twist that, whilst believable, insults the audience's comprehension of everything that has come before.

    Mar 22, 2010
  • Shutter Island is too long and its increasingly surreal tone provides an ending that's a bit of a cheat. But, since it is a Scorsese picture, there's a lot to intrigue on the way.

    Mar 16, 2010 | Rating: 3/5
  • At the end of it, I got a whiff of shaggy dog.

    Mar 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Scorsese is capable of making a fascinating psychological thriller, but this effort is sub-Tarantino, without the irony.

    Mar 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Unsuccessful but fascinating and often entertaining attempt from Martin Scorsese to wrangle with baroque pulp fiction - by turns compelling, hysterical and silly.

    Mar 15, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shutter Island

  • May 07, 2014
    A interesting but lacking psychological horror. Another good performance from DiCaprio with a solid supporting cast. Ben Kingsley does a less intense "Sexy Best" type part efficiently. Competent direction from Scorsese.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2014
    Though I've already known the ending long before I went to see this, Shutter Island still managed to thrill, entertain, and leave an impact.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2014
    A thrilling and eerie film that consists of a solid and grand twist. Shutter Island is a Martin Scorsese attempt in the realm of suspense and thrillers that seems to pay off in an obscure way. The strength-filled cast and vintage direction ultimately helps this picture from the minor faults it possessed. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2013
    Visually beautiful, wonderfully acted, and relentlessly gripping, Shutter Island is a brilliantly unrestrained psychological thriller that keeps its audience riveted throughout its entire duration.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer

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