An Overlooked Leonardo DiCaprio Movie Is Arriving On Netflix

One of Leonardo DiCaprio's most underappreciated films is coming to Netflix, one that reunited the actor with director Martin Scorsese.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Leonardo DiCaprio Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio has an impressive resume that includes great films like Titanic, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. But one of his more overlooked films is on its way to Netflix on February 1st, as the Martin Scorsese-directed Shutter Island is coming to the streaming service.

Shutter Island is a creepy psychological thriller set in the 1950s that tells the story of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal who, along with his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), arrive at the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, situated on Shutter Island. The duo is there to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando, who is incarcerated for drowning her three children. The only clue they have when they arrive is a note reading “The law of 4; who is 67?” With a massive storm on the way, the pair are trapped on the island for a few days.

Daniels and Aule’s first attempts to get answers only lead to dead ends. The staff refuses to help and the doctor on staff, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) won’t turn over his records. The longer Leonardo DiCaprio’s Daniels and Aule stay and investigate, the stranger things become for Daniels. Migraines and visions begin to haunt him, leading Daniels to finally break into the off-limits Ward C, where the most disturbed patients are being housed.

Shutter Island Mark Ruffalo Leonardo DiCaprio

The craziness and creepiness continue to ramp up as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy begins to realize that maybe he isn’t who he thinks he is. In fact, nothing appears to be what Teddy thought. Dr. Cawley delivers a blow of reality to Teddy, telling him he has actually been a patient all along. The whole set-up has supposedly been designed to try to alert Teddy to the reality of his situation one last time before they move on to their final option: performing a lobotomy on Teddy. But is Dr. Cawley’s truth even true?

Shutter Island was the fourth collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, after Gangs of New York, The Aviator, and The Departed, and the pair would reunite for a fifth film, The Wolf of Wall Street. The two also made a short film called The Audition, which pitted Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro against each other, as they played fictionalized versions of themselves fighting for a role in Scorsese’s next film.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Shutter Island is a disturbing, mind-bending thriller based on the novel written by Dennis Lehane. The script was written by Laeta Kalogridis, who has since co-written Alita: Battle Angel and created Netflix’s Altered Carbon. Lehane recalled how his inspiration for the novel came to be. “There was a minimum security mental institution on an island in Boston Harbor, but it was connected by a bridge,” he told the Patriot Ledger.

Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio

Lehane stated, “I believe it had stopped being a mental institution in the ’60s, then it was a home for the mentally handicapped, and now I think it’s a drug rehab place.” Lehane continued to explain his uncle’s involvement influence on the story: “He brought us out there during the Blizzard of ’78 and it was really barren, nobody was using it at that point. And he told us that sometimes, usually right about now when the sun was going down, the ghosts of the former patients could be seen in the woods. And then, because it’s my family, he vanished. That was our sense of humor. And me and my brother were walking around the woods and truly thinking we saw people in mental institution straightjackets running past us.”

Shutter Island was the number one movie upon its release, bringing in $41 million its opening weekend. In total, Scorsese’s film brought in nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office. The film was Martin Scorsese’s highest-grossing film of his entire career, until he teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, which made $394 million worldwide when it was released in 2013.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese have plans to work together again. Up next for them is Killers of the Flower Moon, based on the true-life story of the Osage Indian Murders that happened between 1910-1930. Scorsese will also reunite with another one of his favorite actors, as Robert DeNiro is also set to star. Killers of the Flower Moon will mark the first Scorsese feature to star both DiCaprio and DeNiro.

Shutter Island Mark Ruffalo Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are also attached to The Devil in the White City, based on a nonfiction book by Erik Larson and tells the true-life story of serial killer H. H. Holmes who, during the 1893 Chicago World Fair, lured victims to his World’s Fair Hotel (which was called infamously “The Murder Castle”). While Scorsese was originally planning to direct, with DiCaprio set to star when the project was a film, it looks as though The Devil in the White City will be a television series for Hulu, with Scorsese and DiCaprio currently only signed on to executive produce.

While you’re waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese to team up for even more projects, why not check out Shutter Island when it comes to Netflix on February 1st.