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Shutter Island is a 2010 psychological mystery-thriller film. Based on the 2003 novel of the same name.
The movie's US$40.2 million opening weekend take in the United States marked a career best for director Martin Scorsese. It went on to gross over $293 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of his career.
At the height of the Cold War U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are dispatched to Shutter Island, an institute for the criminally insane, to track down Rachel Solando, an inmate who escaped seemingly into thin air from a locked cell. Solando is in Shutter Island for drowning her three children, however, as head psychiatrist Dr. Crowley explains, she remained under the delusion that she was at home and her children were alive. The precipitous cliffs that line the island make it impossible for her to have escaped that way and Daniels deduces then that Solando must still be on the island. That night Daniels' dreams seem to support his conclusion when a disturbing vision of his deceased wife who died in a fire tells him that indeed Solando remains on the island, but so is Andrew Laeddis, the arsonist who set the blaze which killed her.
The next day, while interviewing patients, Daniels is told to flee the island while he can. Unfortunately, a tremendous storm prevents them from departing, so they continue their search. During the course of the search, Daniels reveals to Aule the real reason he came to Shutter Island: Daniels believes the institute's staff is using patients as test subjects in a CIA mind control experiment and that the arsonist who killed his wife is somewhere in the facility. Solando is eventually found and brought back to the asylum in a near catatonic state. Daniels is unconvinced, and when Daniels returns to the lighthouse to investigate further he finds the real Rachel Solando is hiding in a nearby cave, not an inmate at all, but rather a former doctor gone mad after discovering the truth behind the secret experiments to turn patients into sleeper assassins.
Daniels presses on to the lighthouse and confronts Dr. Crowley about Solando's allegations. The doctor reveals, in a remarkable twist, that Daniels is not a Marshall at all but actually a delusional Andrew Laeddis who murdered his disturbed wife after she drowned their children and then, in a bit of radical role-play therapy, created the elaborate law enforcement fantasy they find themselves in now. Dr. Crowley and Teddy's partner, in reality Dr. Sheehan, another staffer at Shutter Island, allowed Laeddis to play out his delusion to its end in order to see if he could return to reality. .
Laeddis, after some denial and frustration, eventually seems to accept reality and come to terms with his crimes. The next day, however, Laeddis seems to have relapsed. As he is being taken away to be lobotomized, Laeddis asks Sheehan if it's worse to live as a monster or die as a good man. The audience is left to wonder if Laeddis really relapsed, or if he simply wanted to be taken away from his pain.