SHUTTER ISLAND 4k Ultra HD Review

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In 1954, a US Marshall named Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule have been assigned to a case at Ashcliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. The hospital is on Shutter Island in the Boston Harbor. There is a patient who has disappeared named Rachel Solondo and there is no logical explanation as to how she escaped. In her room, the only way out is the door because the windows are barred but they found a note under a tile that says:

“The Law of 4 – who is 67?”

SHUTTER ISLAND is directed by Marin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis. It is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. Scorsese dabbles in the thriller genre every once in a while with films such as CAPE FEAR and BRINGING OUT THE DEAD. During the first viewing, the viewer is constantly trying to figure out what is reality and what is misdirection. The way that events transpire has the viewer questioning what is happening on screen.

This is one of those films that I strenuously advocate to people that haven’t ever given it a chance. It is a film filled with mystery, suspense, murder, and betrayal. Pretty much all the things people look for in a good thriller. I know it doesn’t have gangsters or based on historical events/people however, this is a solid film. I also want to note that the casting is perfect. Each character is so believable and it is exactly what you want in any film.

Cast
Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels
Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule
Ben Kingsley as Dr. John Cawley
Max von Sydow as Dr. Jeremiah Naehring
Michelle Williams as Dolores Chanal
Emily Mortimer as Rachel Solando 1
Patricia Clarkson as Rachel Solando 2
Jackie Earle Haley as George Noyce
Ted Levine as Warden

VIDEO QUALITY

The video is a 2160p HEVC presentation that is a step up from an already solid Blu-ray release. The bump up detail of clothing and fabrics such as wool blankets and the warmth makes things feel real. The walls and structures of the decaying hospital add to the already authentic settings of the island. Skin, facial lines, and facial hair are all prominent in the close-ups but also the cuts/scrapes on the actors show the care in the make up application. There is an abundance of cold tones in a lot of the patients’ skin due to the location and to give the idea that they don’t venture out. The warmer skin tones are appropriately colored as well. The coloring happens as if someone flicked on a switch to transition to memory or the mental state of Teddy. The Dolby Vision makes blood and certain foliage but not in an exaggerated way. Even the muted colors of the hospital walls have a bolder feel.

AUDIO QUALITY

The audio is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and it is the same mix as the Blu-ray release. From the opening notes of the cello in the dense New England fog, the score completely sets the tone to go along with the visuals. The sounds of the sea and crashing waves work in creating this cold seeming environment. In the dank portions of the facility, you have echoes of people making sounds in the distance. You can also hear water sort of running and dripping at the same time and it makes Teddy exploring have this immersive feel. There is so much happening in the rear channels and work with the movement in the sound field to keep things lively. One of the best moments in the mix is the storm scene. It is heavy with effects and LFEs. Also, there is a quick scene of a firing squad that has reverberating gunfire that is almost meant to startle. The dialogue is clear for the most part and there are a few moments where the effects have priority over the actors’ voices.

SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING

-Behind the Shutters: This 17-minute long featurette with the cast, crew, director, and even the author of the book. It covers pretty much all elements of the film.

-Into the Lighthouse: This portion is 20-minutes long and looks at the set, environments, and more.

Disc Details
2-Disc Set w/ 1 4k UHD and 1 Blu-ray
Steelbook Edition

Running Time
138 mins

Edition Ratings
Rated R

Region Coding
Region Free

4k UHD
Video Resolution
2160p HEVC H.265
HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
English
English SDH
French
Japanese
Portuguese
Spanish
Arabic
Cantonese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Korean
Malay
Mandarin (Simplified)
Norwegian
Polish
Romanian
Slovenian
Swedish
Thai
Turkish

Blu-ray
Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
English
English SDH
French
Portuguese
Spanish

THE BOTTOM LINE

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a fan of the film for so many reasons but I say the three biggest are: Leonardo DiCaprio is believable, Mark Ruffalo is brilliant, and it is directed by Martin Scorsese. The 4k release is a nice step up from the Blu-ray in the video department but the sound mix is identical to the previous release. I’m a bit surprised that this wasn’t given a newer mix such as dts:X or Dolby Atmos. It would take immersive to a whole new level. As for the extras, I was hoping that the studio would beef it up for the 10th anniversary but they only included the same from the Blu-ray.  All in all, this is a worthy upgrade and a must-buy for fans.

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles to movies and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...