Shutter Island is available on Netflix! If you want to know the explanation of the ending in detail, read on! Martin Scorsese has directed more than 20 feature films in a career spanning 50 years. He is the most influential English-language filmmaker after the great Stanley Kubrick. His films don't just set milestones on distinctive aspects.

With fierce Sicilian blood flowing through him, Scorsese destroyed fragile pots that could not withstand the test of time, the conventions, and constraints of mainstream cinema. Shutter Island is a film that makes you question your thinking and judgment. It was released the same year as Inception, and Nolan's film was widely acclaimed despite its narrative and structural flaws which irritated me greatly on second viewing.


Shutter Island is conventional with its linear storytelling. It's set in the 1950s and stays true to the film noir style by building a mystery. With a curious lead detective shrouded in his mystery unfolding along with the plot, frequent flashbacks that disrupt the flow of the narrative, the lingering presence of a femme fatale, supporting characters who arouse curiosity rather than solutions.

A tragic universal event preceding the plot which gives a dark or moody mood and the use of minimal lighting to create a sort of chiaroscuro. The main reason for this is Scorsese’s avowed love of traditional black. It's also a fitting homage to a genre that's more mocked than adored.

Shutter Island is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lahane and follows Teddy Daniels, an American marshal who investigates a murderer's masterly escape from an insane fortress-like asylum on a remote island. His new partner, Chuck Aule, is trying to improve the situation. But Teddy quickly learns that everyone on the island, including Chuck, maybe playing a game against him. Trying to regroup and cope with the evolving situation. Teddy tries to save himself before he can even understand the disappearance of the patient.

Shutter Island: Explanation of the end of the movie!


There is a huge twist at the end of Shutter Island! Teddy is not Teddy, nor a Marshal. Teddy is Andrew Laeddis, a demented killer and mental hospital patient he is "investigating". His psychiatrist encouraged Andrew to stage his delusions. However, this fails, and Andrew reverts to his schizophrenic condition. The movie ends with him being taken away to be lobotomized.

At the end of Shutter Island, Andrew utters a phrase that is nowhere to be found in the original book. He says, "This place makes me wonder what the worst might be." Do you want to live like a monster or do you want to die like a good person?”

Maybe Andrew's last line is just a madman's ramblings. Or, there's a chance he's faking his relapse into insanity, and Teddy's role-playing got him out of psychosis. Scorsese hasn't commented on the end of Shutter Island, so it's up to viewers to decide what the truth is.


At the start of the film, "Teddy" is on a boat heading to Shutter Island. In the room where Teddy is, handcuffs and shackles are hung. These are shackles for prisoners brought to the island, and possibly where Teddy / Andrew was being held before the start of the role play experience.

In the lighthouse, Dr. Cawley tells Andrew that he sees things and feels tremors from the “withdrawal”. No, the cigarettes and pills Teddy takes throughout Shutter Island are not meant to drug him, in fact, quite the opposite. Cawley and Sheehan take Andrew's medication off for the role-play experience, to help him open up to reality. It's the stopping of the drugs that makes him go so mad later in the movie

Fire is a symbol of Andrew / Teddy's insanity in the film. Teddy is still near a fire, whether it's the matches he lights in Pavilion C or the fire in the cave with "Dr. Solando," if you look closely. and when he blows up Dr. Cawley's car near the end. from Shutter Island, he suffers from some sort of hallucination. Fire is the symbol of Andrew's make-believe world, while water is the symbol of the reality of what happened to him. So the cave scene with Dr. Solando isn't real and so all of its spiel on Shutter Island as being a secret government mind control lab isn't real either.

The government's mind control operation is a red herring that Andrew Laeddis makes up for his fantasy. This allows him to keep explaining to himself why he is on Shutter Island and to demonize doctors and staff as threats or conspirators. The purpose of Drs. Cawley and Sheehan's role-playing game is to allow Andrew to see for himself just how impossible and absurd his conspiracy theory is, by letting him investigate it to the end. That's why nothing is in the lighthouse at the end of Shutter Island.


Watch the guards throughout Shutter Island. They get extremely nervous as soon as “Teddy” is around and squeeze their weapons a little tighter. This is especially true at the beginning when the “Marshals” arrive on the island. This is because the guards know Teddy is crazy and they weren't exactly thrilled with the role-playing experience.

Pay attention to the staff interview scene. When Teddy and Chuck interview nurses and orderlies, it's easy to see how ridiculous the staff find the interview. A nurse says how "far from normal" her job is. She's making an ironic joke because she's talking to a madman dressed as a policeman.

When Teddy questions Ms. Kearns, she talks about how awesome Dr. Sheehan is. There's a little awkward eye contact between her and "Chuck" because she's talking about him! This is also why she asks Chuck for water and he quickly accepts. Ms. Kearns writes “run” on the paper which she slips to Teddy because she knows he has the option to escape while they experience the role play.

The creepy woman in the backyard at the start of the movie hushes Teddy because she knows him, knows she's playing a game and has been ordered not to mess it up. She's a crazy girl who loves to play, that's all.

When Teddy reveals to Dr. Naehring that he solved the Patient 67 riddle during a staff meeting, Naehring says, "What are they doing here?" He's genuinely annoyed that Dr. Cawley lets Teddy / Andrew roam so freely.

In Pavilion C, Teddy is accosted by a prisoner at large and nearly strangles him to death. "Chuck" and a guard arrive and drag the strangled man aside. The guard tells Teddy he can't come to the infirmary while muttering that he's going to have a lot of trouble for letting a patient strangle another patient


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