Shutter Island | Film review

Scorsese triumphs with a powerful noir pastiche that sends Leonardo DiCaprio into a world of madness and paranoia

Susan Sontag greeted the centenary of the cinema with an essay proclaiming its "ignominious, irreversible decline". She added that "the commercial cinema has settled for a policy of bloated, derivative film-making… every film that hopes to reach the highest possible audience is designed as some kind of remake". How does that sound 15 years later? Well, the two most striking films this week, Shutter Island and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the one we're most looking forward to next month, Polanski's The Ghost, all centre on troubled protagonists lured to remote islands to investigate disappearances and past mysteries that threaten their lives. Is this chance, the mythic underpinning of narrative, or cultural exhaustion?

Having made this pious observation, let me declare that Shutter Island, adapted by Laeta Kalogridis from Dennis Lehane
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