Cannes poster, from

Here’s another one to put on your must-see/must-read list (sorry, Shelley P and Julien, for making your stack so tall!). When Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island first came out in 2003, I wrote the review below for When I heard about Martin Scorsese directing a movie version with that cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Emily Mortimer—insane!), I was like a kid who couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve.

Now the trailer’s here. How crazy, creepy is it? The movie opens October 2 in the U.S. and Canada (Oct. 1 for Shelley P, Oct. 9 for Poncho and Oct. 14 for Julien) but Santa can’t come soon enough!

My 2003 review of the book (no spoilers):

shutter islandA few years ago, Dennis Lehane decided to take a sabbatical from his Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro series to write a different kind of thriller. Lehane has said he wanted to improve his prose instead of relying on his usual minimalist, dialogue-laden style. This change of direction led him to Mystic River, a languidly-paced, character-driven mystery that became a critical and commercial breakthrough for him (and an Oscar-winning Clint Eastwood movie). Now, with his follow-up, Shutter Island, Lehane continues his growth as a sophisticated and insightful writer.

Island takes place in 1954 and follows U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a mental patient from a maximum security institution for the most violent and insane offenders. This hospital is located on the eponymous island and shelters almost as many secrets as residents. After the marshals’ arrivals, the island is hit by a deadly hurricane which temporarily neutralizes the electric-powered security systems. Daniels and Aule are trapped with escaped criminals, ambiguous doctors possibly dabbling in illegal experiments and a mysterious “67th patient” whose identity no one seems to know. Daniels struggles to uncover the truth about the island’s nefarious activities while struggling with grief from the recent death of his wife (aptly named Dolores, meaning “pains” in Spanish). Daniels may also have a secret agenda for being on the island but the question becomes: Will he and Aule ever get off the island?

First with Mystic River and now with Island, Lehane proves he is definitely moving in the right direction. There are many passages in Island which beautifully demonstrate his insight into the human condition. He can illustrate emotions such as love and sorrow as tangible entities, living things which can lift you off your feet or stab you in the heart. And while his prose has certainly become more eloquent, he has not abandoned his gift for dialogue. The marshals have an easy banter between them and there are touches of humor courtesy of Aule, who functions as the good cop of the duo.

As good as Mystic River was, Shutter Island is even more accomplished, with a plot that’s more complex. Just when the reader thinks he knows where the story is headed, it turns down a surprising path. As many plot twists as Island contains, however, they’re not there just for shock value and nothing else. Each revelation is duly supported by earlier events, making the ending—and the book—a tense and satisfyingly plausible read.

17 responses to “SHUTTER ISLAND Trailer

  1. Holy crap! That was awesome and scary! Yes, I read the book when it came out. Looks like DiCaprio’s gonna give another steller performance. One of the best thrillers ever written. Loved it yet wanted to throw it against the wall when finished. If you haven’t read then you won’t understay why. So read it! Looking forward to the movie and hope Scorsese did the book justice.

  2. Forgive the misspelling. Meant ‘understand’; not ‘understay.’ Duh!

    • popculturenerd

      Ha ha! Love your passionate response to the book, Donna. I hope the movie does it justice, too. With that kind of talent involved, it seems it’d be harder for them to screw it up than to make a good film.

      Oh, and I did “understay” what you meant.

  3. I’m a huge Scorsese fan, and I think most of his most brilliant job came with him collaborating with DiCaprio. And the trailer is amazing!

    By the way… my to-read pile is becoming heavier by the minute! I so have to read the book just before the movie comes out, so I should hurry! (I don’t know if I can find the book here in Mexico, so I think I’ll have to order it).

    P.S. If you didn’t read my reply about Star Trek, I’ll just repeat that I’ve discovered I was a closeted-trekkie, and just came out! That film was amazing.

    • popculturenerd

      I did see your Star Trek reply, Poncho, and meant to reply sooner! I think it’s hilarious how it inspired you to come out of the Trek closet. I also think it’s very cool your mom liked it so much she wants your dad to take her to see it again. I already know your dad likes Star Wars but does he like Trek, too?

      I really enjoyed the movie though I’ve never seen one episode of any of the Trek TV series. The only movie I’d seen before this one was the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was a giant dud. I had to review it for my school paper but could barely stay awake. Gotta give props to J.J. Abrams and the screenwriters, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, for making this one so fun.

  4. I viewed the trailer over the weekend over on Apple’s trailer page and was awestruck by the images and cast. Then, I saw that Scorsese was directing it. Wow! I never read the book (and maybe I should before Oct), but this looks like new, different material for this director. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks, PCN, for the post.

  5. popculturenerd

    Poncho and le0pard13, this might be one instance when it’s okay not reading the book first. It has such a fantastic twist at the end that maybe it’d be fun to let the movie make you gasp. But afterwards, I’d definitely recommend reading the novel. Lehane’s outstanding work is not to be missed .

  6. Oh, PCN, what are you doing to us??? {Kidding, of course! Keep them coming ~ it’s so great to know which books to head for.} I’m tempted to wait and see the movie first Then read the book. I’ll see how the reading stack goes as we get closer to October!

  7. First, let me say that I love Lehane’s books. But, I think I’m the only person who didn’t like Shutter Island. It’s not Lehane, though, it’s me. (Without giving away anything that isn’t revealed in the trailer) I think I must have a phobia of losing total control of my life. So when I read a book or see a movie where the character is no longer in control and can’t separate fantasy from reality, I automatically don’t like it. I’m sure the movie will be great and will do well and be recognized, but I have to admit that I cringe at the thought of going to see it. (Although my wife may make me go see it because she really liked the book. Ahh, the things we do for love.)

    • popculturenerd

      Eddy, now that you mention it, I have that same phobia. I’ve never done drugs and don’t even drink because I’m terrified of anything that might mess with my mind. But I loved the book so I don’t know what that says about me.

  8. Well, October surely can’t come soon enough! Thank you for giving us a look at this stunning trailer. AMAZING! Thank you!

  9. Read it, loved it and will definitely see the movie! Heard they shot it in Maine last year, but I didn’t know there was a trailer out already.

    I can hardly wait!

    • popculturenerd

      My brother-in-law stumbled upon the set in Maine! He called and said, “You know anything about a movie shooting here right now that’s got Leonaahdo (Maine pronunciation) DiCaprio in it? I just drove past them filming somethin’.”

      My response: “Wha…?! You’re looking at the next Scorsese movie!”

    • Though much of my love for this book is due to Dennis Lehane’s remarkable writing, this looks good, too! There are lots of intense scenes in the story which would translate into striking images. I hadn’t heard about this and now I want to get my hands on it. Thanks for the heads up!

      BTW, have you started Where Men Win Glory yet? I had to finish up another book but I’m starting Glory today or tomorrow. SO excited!

  10. Pingback: Sneak Peeks at 2009’s Most Anticipated Movies « Pop Culture Nerd

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