Become a Premium Member | Only $2 a month

► You're making sure we survive
► Exclusive previews
► No more ads


Shutter Island [2010] [R] - 7.9.6



Although our site is very popular, the current economic climate has reduced our revenues just when we need extra security to prevent attacks from hackers who don't like what we do. If you think what we do is worthwhile, please donate or become a member.


Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

 [more »]

Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


» Official Site
» IMDb Listing

Thriller set in 1954 about two U.S. Marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) sent to Shutter Island, a remote island hospital for the criminally insane in Massachusetts, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. They quickly run into trouble when they find themselves being deceived by the hospital staff and administrators; the situation becomes even more perilous when a hurricane strikes the island, and the two officers become stranded and unable to communicate with anyone from the mainland. Also with Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson. Directed by Martin Scorsese. [2:18]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man is fully nude and his genitals are visible; he stands in a room with other men, who are also in various states of undress. Men are seen shirtless various times. A small painting of a topless woman is seen.
 A deranged man details a sexual fantasy, about a woman who liked to perform oral sex and was asking him to see his genitals. Using crude terms, a woman states that she killed her husband because he had sex with every woman he saw. A woman remarks that a man is "Not hard on the eyes."
 A man and a woman kiss passionately. A man holds a woman in his arms, with their foreheads touching. A woman wraps her arms around a man's neck, and the man rubs his hands on the woman's back.

VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - Many dead bodies, in various states of decay, are see piled inside or beside train cars multiple times; a man is seen walking beside the bodies, and describes the scene in vivid detail to various people at different times.
 In a scene that is seen multiple times, a man whose face is covered in blood and it seems that a portion of his jaw has been violently ripped away, is seen lying on the floor in a growing puddle of blood; he reaches for a pistol while another man, who stands over him, kicks the pistol out of the way and watches him die (the man later recalls that it had taken the bloodied man over an hour to die, and that it was a botched suicide attempt).
 In a scene slowly pieced together, a group of men holding rifles escort another group of unarmed men, line them up against a fence and open fire: bullets fly everywhere and the men begin to drop to the ground as blood sprays; after the gunfire ceases, whimpers and moans are heard (one of the executioners later remarks that it had been murder, not war).
 A man is seen with a massive wound down the length of his face and bloodied; the edges of the open wound are held together with staples, one of the man's eyes is milky and his teeth are rotten.
 A man finds two young boys and a young girl floating, face down in a lake, he jumps in and attempts to save them, but he's unable to do so: he pulls their bodies from the lake and lines them up on the ground when a woman approaches him and suggests that they treat the deceased children as dolls; a shot is then heard and the woman lurches forward, blood pouring from her torso as she lies on the ground (presumably shot in the stomach by the man).
 A man believes that he is shooting another man and he envisions blood pouring from the man's chest as he pulls the trigger of a gun; when nothing actually happens, the man snaps the plastic gun in half.
 As a man walks through a hallway, men who are detained in cells on either side of the hallway attempt to reach out and shove or grab the man; one man is seen rubbing blood from an open wound to write on a wall and another man has a bloodied and mutilated face, causing the man in the hallway to recoil.
 During a hallucination, a man imagines a woman with blood and water flowing from her torso as he holds her in his arms; the woman looks at the man and says that she is "just bones in a box." A dead or dying young girl is seen multiple times, as a corpse as well as reanimated as a hallucination; the image of the deceased young girl is also seen in a group of photographs, along with photographs of two dead boys.
 A man attacks another man and places him in a headlock, but the man is able to free himself, pins his attacker to the ground and beats him until another man pulls him off (this event is later discussed as being a violent outburst which threatened the life of the man).
 A man tackles a detention officer, shoves him to the ground, takes his rifle and bashes him on the head with it, knocking him out. A man tackles another man, pins him to a wall, rips a syringe out of his hand, holds it to the man's neck and injects him, leaving him slumped to the floor.
 A woman talks about her hallucination, saying that she believes a man is her deceased husband; the woman then screams at the man and says that he is dead, lunges at him and must be restrained.
 During a hallucination, a man believes he sees two bodies, a woman and a girl, come to life and begin to speak to him. A man hallucinates about a woman dying in a fire: as he describes the scene to another man, he finds himself holding a woman who is beginning to turn into embers and fall away in a pile of ash, while he finds himself completely surrounded by fire; in a similar recollection, the man awakens and find himself soaked in a cold sweat.
 Starved and sickly men, women, and children with heads shaved, are seen standing behind barbed wire; they are seen multiple times and talked about.
 A man causes a large explosion after placing a necktie in the gas tank of a car and lighting it on fire; as he waits, he hallucinates that a woman and a girl are standing in front of the car, even after it's engulfed in a giant fireball.
 During a psychotic break brought about by intense questioning about the mutilation of a woman, a deranged man shouts that different ethnic groups should be "gassed"; the man has to be restrained. Men shout at one another. A man angrily shouts at another man and smashes a glass on the ground.
 Asylum patients are seen being violently restrained by orderlies, as well as chained in various types of shackles. Moans, violent shouts, and muttering are heard from the asylum patients at various times.
 After scaling a series of dangerous bluffs, a man sees what he believes is the broken body of another man on the rocks below, just as waves pull the body away. Two men walk through a cemetery during a violent thunderstorm and as the storm worsens, the two men find refuge in a crypt and narrowly escape being crushed as a tree falls to the ground.
 A man holds what appears to be an ice pick, presumably about to give a lobotomy to an unwitting man. A man looks at paintings of people and various torture devices. Detention officers are seen carrying large rifles and pistols. A woman shouts at a man while holding a butter knife behind her back; the man calms the woman down, but she comments that she will be keeping the knife.
 A man describes in graphic detail that prior to modern medicine, the mentally ill were tortured in various, extremely violent ways, which would occasionally lead to death. Torture and medical testing, similar to those performed by the Nazis during WW2, are discussed at length as a form of possible government manipulation. A story is told multiple times by different narrators, that details how a woman had drown her three children, but being psychotic, she attempted to go about life as if all was normal; other people discuss the murders at length. On many separate occasions, two men discuss how a man had been responsible for the death of four people after he caused a fire, and later how he was responsible for the death of two people in a school after starting a fire; one of the men says that he would kill the man if he were found. Death, murder and violence are discussed in length, including a woman instructing a man to commit murder, a man forcing a woman to confess to a murder, and a man pressuring another man to give the details of a gruesome murder; a woman lightheartedly discusses with two men how she used an ax to kill her husband and has no regrets. Two men discuss violence, and one of the men states that God loves violence and ends the conversation by saying that he could bite the man's eye out. There are discussions of lobotomies, and a woman graphically details how a lobotomy patient is sedated with electrical shocks and then an ice pick is shoved into the patient's eye socket and "wiggled around" in the brain, ripping up nerve endings and rendering the patient unable to feel. A woman is declared dead, after a man argues that logically she could not have survived escaping an island prison, and that her body would have been crushed on the rocks of a coast or simply washed out to sea during a violent storm. People discuss how a woman had been killed in a fire. There are two brief mentions of nuclear bombs: one man says that nuclear bombs make every cell in the body of a person explode, and a woman remarks that she does not want to be exposed to a world where there are bombs that can destroy everything. Inmates are referred to as being the most violent and criminally insane of prisoners, and some are responsible for murder. Firearms are discussed and two men are told to hand over their firearms to a detentions officer. A man seems unaffected when presented with the fact that if they take his advice and shackle patients to the floor, the patients would most certainly drown if the area were to flood.
 A man is heard dry heaving, looks visibly ill, and he remarks that he suffers from motion sickness. A man collapses to the ground in pain and dry heaves. The back of a man is seen and it is implied that he is urinating (there's no sound). Rats are seen pouring out of a sea cave and covering the rocks where a man stands.

PROFANITY 6 - About 14 F-words and its derivatives, 8 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 17 mild obscenities, name-calling (boozers, drunks, bugsies), 1 racial slur, 10 religious profanities, 13 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man is touted to be a recovering alcoholic and recalls instances of extreme drunkenness, a man is seen taking pills with a shot of liquor to cure a migraine, and people are seen being offered and are seen drinking alcoholic drinks. Several men smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. People discuss the psychotropic effects of prescription medication as a brainwashing technique, as well as a treatment for insanity.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - U.S. Marshals, schizophrenia, insanity, mental hospitals, hallucinations, lobotomies, pyromania, patient abuse, conspiracy, regression, Nazis, concentration camps, revenge, murder, coping skills, altered perceptions, grief, denial, medical testing.

MESSAGE - You must hold yourself accountable for your actions.

Special Keywords: S7 - V9 - P6 - MPAAR

Our Ratings Explained

Tell Friends About Our Site

Become a Member

A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

INAPPROPRIATE ADS? We have little control over ads since we belong to ad agencies that serve ads automatically; a standing order should prevent provocative ads, but inappropriate ads do sneak in.
What you can do



Become a member: You can subscribe for as little as a couple of dollars a month and gain access to our premium site, which contains no ads whatsoever. Think about it: You'll be helping support our site and guarantee that we will continue to publish, and you will be able to browse without any commercial interruptions.


Tell all your friends: Please recommend to your friends and acquaintances; you'll be helping them by letting them know how useful our site is, while helping us by increasing our readership. Since we do not advertise, the best and most reliable way to spread the word is by word-of-mouth.


Alert local & national media: Let major media know why you trust our ratings. Call or e-mail a local newspaper, radio station or TV channel and encourage them to do a story about our site. Since we do not have a PR firm working for us, you can be our media ambassadors.

Copyright © 1992- Critics. All rights reserved. "Kids-In-Mind™" and "Movie Ratings That Actually Work™" are Service Marks of Critics. For legal queries please see our Terms of Use; for comments or questions see our contact page.