4K December 2018 - Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese takes Dennis Lehane’s novel, gulps down a generous handful of Hitchcock pills and delivers a wild psychological thriller. But how does Shutter Island shape up on 4K Ultra HD? Will it leave you spellbound, or is it for the birds?

The story: It all goes a little something like this: In 1954, US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his new partner arrive at an island-based mental hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of one of its patients. They discover strange things afoot…

Yep, that’s a pretty nothing summary, but to go into any more detail would be to do this movie a disservice – you’re best off going in with as little foreknowledge as possible. We can’t overemphasise the Hitchcock leanings on display here though, with actual near shot-for-shot homages to some of the Master of Suspense’s great moments. It was obviously a labour of love for Scorsese, and it’s a highly-enjoyable one. Well, as long as you keep your wits about you at all times.

“We gotta get off this rock, Chuck.”

The 4K disc: Scorsese and cinematographer Robert Richardson went to a lot of effort to make this movie look really special, and those behind the transfer for this release have followed suit. A 2K presentation that belies its upscaled roots is the order of the day, with even, fine film grain that’s only really noticable if you purposely tune into it. The whole affair is presented with both Dolby Vision and standard HDR treatments. Speaking for the Dolby Vision, which we reviewed, the picture delivers pleasing deep blacks right through to whites that pop – but not too much. It’s a very good-looking image that delivers a lot of detail, despite some (we believe) purposely softer shots.

Audio didn’t quite get all that it could have treatment-wise, with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation the order of the day here. Save for the odd storm there probably wasn’t a lot of height speaker action missed out upon, but Dolby Atmos or DTS:X would have – as always – been welcomed regardless. What we do get balances the necessities nicely, with dialogue clear even when things get a bit noisier. There’s the odd bit of enjoyable surround action, too. The absolute sonic highlight, however, is the movie’s score, which is a wonderful collection of mostly Bernard Herrmann-influenced pieces that was, like several other Scorsese productions, curated by The Band’s Robbie Robertson.

If you want extras, you’ll have to resort to the included standard Blu-ray, which offers up two featurettes.

Release date: December 19, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.