Director: Martin Scorsese Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams Running time: 138 mins
Subject: The film opens in the grey-tinged Fifities with US Marshall Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) succumbing to a touch of water sickness as a boat takes him and partner (Ruffalo) from mainland Boston to Shutter Island, an Alcatraz-style prison for the criminally insane. They have been called to find out what happened to Rachel Solando, a woman locked up for drowning her three children, who has gone missing. But how do you escape from a locked room off an island surrounded by sharp rocks and crashing waves? What starts like the riddle about an empty cell and a puddle of water assumes an interest in Teddy’s past traumas growing into a fully-fledged psychological horror that feeds off the bleak possibilities of the setting. DiCaprio’s increasingly troubled performance creates the pathos every horror needs to keep an audience invested.
Like: What’s Eating Dick Tracy?
Core truth: “Is it better to die a good man than live as a monster?”