Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis, based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Mark Ruffalo plays his partner and fellow deputy marshal, Ben Kingsley is the facility's lead psychiatrist, Max von Sydow is a German doctor, and Michelle Williams is Daniels' wife. Released on February 19, 2010, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics, was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010, and grossed over $299 million worldwide.
The film was noted for its soundtrack, which prominently used classical music, such as Gustav Mahler, as well as modern classical music by composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, John Cage, Ingram Marshall, and Max Richter.
In 1954, U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule travel to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island in Boston Harbor. They are investigating the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando, incarcerated for drowning her three children. Their only clue is a cryptic note found hidden in Solando's room: "The law of 4; who is 67?". The two men arrive just before a massive storm, preventing their return to the mainland for a few days.
Teddy and Chuck find the staff confrontational and uncooperative. Lead psychiatrist John Cawley refuses to turn over records, and they learn that Solando's doctor Lester Sheehan left the island on vacation immediately after Solando disappeared, preventing them from interrogating him. They are told that Ward C, one of three, is reserved for the most severely disturbed patients and is off-limits, along with the lighthouse, which has already been searched. While being interviewed, one patient writes the word "RUN" in Teddy's notepad. Teddy starts to have migraine headaches from the hospital's atmosphere and has waking visions of his experiences as a U.S. Army soldier during the liberation of Dachau including reprisals against the guards. He has disturbing dreams of his wife, Dolores Chanal, who was killed in a fire set by arsonist Andrew Laeddis. In one instance, she tells Teddy that Solando is still on the island—as is Laeddis, who everyone claims were never there. Teddy later explains to Chuck that locating Laeddis was his ulterior motive for taking the case.
Teddy and Chuck find that Solando has resurfaced with no explanation, prompting the former to break into the restricted Ward C. Teddy encounter George Noyce, a patient in solitary confinement, who claims that the doctors are experimenting on patients, some of whom are taken to the lighthouse to be lobotomized. Noyce warns that everyone else on the island, including Chuck, is playing an elaborate game designed for Teddy.
Teddy regroups with Chuck and climbs the cliffs toward the lighthouse. They become separated, and Teddy later sees what he believes to be Chuck's body on the rocks below. By the time he climbs down, the body has disappeared, but he finds a cave where he discovers a woman in hiding, who claims to be the real Rachel Solando. She states that she is a former psychiatrist at the hospital who discovered the experiments with psychotropic medication and trans-orbital lobotomy in an attempt to develop mind control techniques. Before she could report her findings to the authorities, she was forcibly committed to Ashecliffe as a patient. Teddy returns to the hospital but finds no evidence of Chuck ever being there.