What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shutter Island is a very intense thriller, with some highly disturbing imagery, including drowned children, Nazi concentration camps, piles of corpses, blood, guns, dark prison corridors, and bizarre, scary nightmares and hallucinations. It contains strong, but not pervasive, foul language, smoking, and suggestions of various medical/experimental drugs. The movie's surprises and twists, while somewhat transparent, might appeal to older teens, if they can stomach the strong stuff. Younger kids and teens are strongly warned away.
- Families can talk about the movie's violent nightmares, visions, and flashbacks. How did they affect you? Did they make you feel angry, edgy, or curious? Why do you think that was? Did you notice your behavior change after the movie?
- Talk about the methods of Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley),which include listening to and empathizing with his patients. How isthis better than treating dangerous patients with drugs and lockingthem up? Is it easier, or more difficult, to listen?
- According to the movie, the human brain has the capacity to block out memories of horrible or tragic events. What effect would thishave? Would it make life easier, or more difficult?
- The movie is set in 1954 and portrays a lot of era-accurate smoking? What has changed about how people think about smoking since the 1950s?