Scorsese Strikes Again with New Thriller "Shutter Island"

 "Tell me something. Is it better to live as a monster or die as a good man?"

The combination of Leonardo DiCaprio's acting and Martin Scorsese's directing has struck gold once again in the new thriller, "Shutter Island." The story of two federal marshals, "Shutter Island," is not merely a movie; it is an examination of the thin line that separates a good man from a monster.

Taking place in the middle of the Cold War, US Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) have been called in to investigate the disappearance of a prisoner.

What's so noteworthy about this particular prisoner is that she managed to escape from a bolted room surrounded by around-the-clock surveillance.

But there is more than just an escaped prisoner on the island. As the story progresses, a deeper mystery emerges. The staff members are hiding something, the doctors have their own agendas, and even Chuck may not be who he seems to be. These secrets serve to blur the line between insanity and sanity and merge reality with hallucinations, creating an interesting dilemma.

While the movie is a bit on the long side, a little over two hours, it is well worth the time. From the beginning to the climax, there is a pervading sense of "wrong" throughout the film.

Whether it be from a storm that hits just as Daniels is getting ready to leave the island, to Aule's reluctance to go to the lighthouse, there is always something that makes you wonder, "Why?"

While confusing at first, the film was everything I expected it to be and more. DiCaprio slips into the tortured persona so well and the camera focuses on that unsettling look so often that his anxiety begins to affect us, even though we know that it is just a movie.

In the end, it boils down to two simple interpretations, both of which are valid. The plot twist will leave many shaking their heads as they realize their conclusions were completely off base, but for those of you who nod in smug realization, don't kid yourselves. You never saw it coming.