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Shutter Island

USA 2010
produced by
Bradley J. Fischer, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Martin Scorsese, Chris Brigham (executive), Laeta Kalogridis (executive), Dennis Lehane (executive), Gianni Nunnari (executive), Louis Phillips (executive) for Phoenic Pictures, Sikelia Productions, Appian Way/Paramount
directed by Martin Scorsese
starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas, Robin Bartlett, Christopher Denham, Nellie Sciutto, Joseph Sikora, Curtiss Cook, Raymond Anthony Thomas, Joseph McKenna, Ruby Jerins, Tom Kemp, Bates Wilder, Lars Gerhard, Matthew Cowles, Jill Larson, Ziad Akl, Dennis Lynch, John Porell, Aidan Cole Mitchell, Drew Beasley, Joseph P. Reidy, Bree Elrod, Thomas B. Duffy, Ken Cheeseman, Steve Witting, Michael E. Chapman, Keith Fluker, Darryl Wooten, Michael Byron, Gary Galone, Gabriel Hansen
screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, music supervised by Robbie Robertson, cinematography by Robert Richardson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonadro DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are sent to an island that houses a high security hospital for the criminally insane, run by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Dr. Naehring (Max von Sydow), to investigate the rather inexplicable disappearance of an inmate/patient, Rachel (in different incarnations played by Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson), who after having drowned her children is deemed extremely dangerous. Thing is, she can't have left the island, but the institution's security personnel have so far failed to track down even the slightest clue of her. The other thing is, Teddy and Chuck, when investigating, experience more and more resistance from Cawley, Naehring and the stuff as such to actually support them. Eventually, we learn that there's a deeper reason why Teddy even came to the island, because he suspects the pyromaniac who killed his wife (Michelle Williams) being a secret inmate, and his wife appears in his nightmares to kind of guide him, nightmares that also stem from when he joined the liberation of the concentration camp in Dachau back in World War II. That's why he also wants to find another inmate, George Noyce (Jackie Earle Haley), who has information that the institution on this very island conducts human experiments, just like the Nazis did in Dachau. But before his investigations lead to anywhere, there's a power outage due to a hurricane, and all hell breaks loose on the island as pretty much all inmates escape their cells to wreak havoc, and Teddy and Chuck can only try to do their best to stay out of harm's way while continuing their work - which leads to Chuck falling off some cliffs to his death, while Teddy finds Rachel in a cave, who tells him she was actually a doctor in the institution, but since she questioned the methods applied here, she was demoted to patient status to hush things up. Eventually, everything comes together in Teddy's mind, and he's looking for an opportunity to confront Doc Cawley with the truth - but is instead confronted with his own truth, and it's not pretty ...


Now I have to say up front, I did not enjoy the resolution of this movie, it's as clichéed as it's forced and seems a bit like an easy way out. But apart from that, Shutter Island's pretty much a masterpiece, the writing's sharp and never ceases to push things, the camerawork is excellent and only helped by great locations, the directorial effort shows a master director still on top of his game after over 40 years in the business, and the cast is top notch for sure. And despite the letdown at the end, this is still essential viewing!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD