Are you a fanatic of suspenseful thrillers like Shutter Island? Do you enjoy conspiracy theories, creepy atmospheres, or multi-layered characters?
The film Shutter Island has an eerie aura that lingers long after you’ve watched it. If you’re looking for something comparable, here are the best 12 movies like Shutter Island.
1. The Prestige (2006)
English 2h 10m IMDb
This mystery thriller from 2006 is staged in 19th-century Edwardian London. Alfred Borden and Robert Angier, two rival magicians, worked together until the tragic death of an assistant during a show.
Their friendship turns into a heated rivalry that leads to a life-long battle for supremacy. It is without a doubt one of Christopher Nolan’s best films.
One of them performed the ultimate magic trick – teleportation. His opponent worked frantically to figure out his routine’s secret.
He dabbled in dangerous new science. However, his search drove him to the point of insanity. Everyone around them was in danger.
The film’s unpredictable nature is rare these days. The plot includes many twists, including one involving Tesla. It transports you back in time and provides insight into how magic might have functioned at the time.
The mind game of who’s-bilking-who is entertaining. The excellent diversionary techniques kick in when you think you’ve figured everything out. When the film’s pivotal scene is revealed, your expectations may be crushed.
2. Inception (2010)
English 2h 28m IMDb
This is another Christopher Nolan film that will leave you spinning. Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a robber with an unusual ability. He can infiltrate people’s dreams and steal their secrets.
Cobb’s abilities have made him a sought-after commodity in corporate espionage. But they have also lost him everything he cares about.
Cobb is given a choice to have his criminal record cleared in exchange for an impossible task. Instead of taking an idea away, he must plant a new one. How can he do this in a dreamlike environment?
Cobb’s plan will be ideal if he succeeds, but a formidable adversary watches his every step. His plan will be excellent if he succeeds, but he is against a powerful enemy.
It’s worth seeing Inception if you enjoy a dramatic twist like Shutter Island. It will stay with you for days.
3. Memento (2000)
English 1h 53m IMDb
Memento is a 2000 psychological thriller film. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia. It’s a condition that causes short-term memory loss and the inability to develop new memories.
Leonard is looking for the people who attacked him and killed his wife. During the onslaught, he kills one of the attackers. His last memory is of his wife dying. He devoted his entire life to tracking down and executing the second assailant.
Some of Leonard’s coping mechanisms include having a system of where to put things. He’s also utilizing Polaroid photos and tattoos for information he can’t recall.
Leonard believes a man named John G. murdered his wife. He had his name tattooed on his body.
He is aided by a few persons who appear unrelated to each other. However, he has no idea who they are or why they assist him whenever he sees them.
The majority of viewers will struggle to absorb this film. The audience relies on Leonard for information. So the plot is delivered in a disorganized manner. Expect violence, profanity, as well as a mature tone.
4. Source Code (2011)
English 1h 33m IMDb
This is a story of a man who attempts to alter the past. Captain Colter Stevens of the United States Army wakes up on a commuter train bound for Chicago. Stevens is confused since his last memory is of flying an Afghan mission.
It gets even crazier when he enters the restroom and notices a face in the mirror that isn’t his. To the world, he seems to be another man. He is Sean Fentress, a schoolteacher.
This thriller is fascinating, dramatic, and nail-biting!! The film holds your attention throughout. The audience is kept guessing about the ending. In the end, many questions occur to the mind.
The film changes things up just as you feel comfortable with what you believe the storyline is. It is unsettling at first but ultimately riveting. It is full of suspense and powerful revelations. Your eyes will be glued to the screen throughout the film.
5. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
English 1h 53m IMDb
Jacob’s Ladder is a well-made and thought-provoking film. But this is not for the faint of heart. The story follows a solitary character racing against time and space to uncover a mystery.
Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) battles to save his sanity after returning home from Vietnam. His life and the people around him change and twist into unsettling pictures. Hallucinations and memories plague him.
Jacob is stuck in his head, which is comparable to Shutter Island. However, Singer’s psychology is not explored in depth. Instead, it focuses on his current situation. He is trapped between reality and his imagination.
The film contains some well-known story gaps and loose ends, yet the overall conclusion is satisfactory. You don’t even notice when the timetable and things don’t stack up.
6. Changeling (2008)
English 2h 21m IMDb
In Changeling, Angelina Jolie plays a mother raising her son in Los Angeles in 1928. After being abducted, the Los Angeles Police Department sets out to locate her son.
She is eventually reunited with her kid, but there is one snag. The boy isn’t her biological child.
When she tells the cops, they do everything to keep her silent. Jolie must fight a serial killer and a corrupt police agency to discover what happened to her child.
Shutter Island shares some similarities with this film. There are many challenges to overcome in each. This includes the protagonist’s questionable state of mind.
The plot is intriguing, and the acting is compelling. This film is great because it depicts how corrupt and hypocritical the system can be. It has happened in the past and could happen again in the future.
7. American Psycho (2000)
This movie is based on the same-named 1991 novel, American Psycho. It’s a thriller about Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street banker. He lives in the narcissistic, stereotypical culture of the 1980s.
Patrick is slowly revealing a second life. He is a serial killer ganging up on prostitutes, co-workers, and street people. The film seduces the audience into wondering if what Patrick Bateman was doing was real or if he was making it up.
The film’s production qualities are excellent. It successfully conveys the 1980s period.
The set design evokes an 80s look, such as the architecture of New York City buildings. The cinematography is also excellent, focusing on which aspect of Bateman we see.
American Psycho features a great plot, a scary lead actor, and several chilling moments. A few pacing difficulties could have been handled better, but the ending surprises the audience.
8. Secret Window (2004)
English 1h 36m IMDb
Secret Window and Shutter Island are pretty similar. Both stories feature protagonists struggling to reconcile their past and present.
This film takes real-world issues and puts them in a scary context. Secret Window is a gripping thriller with an astounding psychological narrative twist. It will have you on the edge of your seat.
Mort Rainey moves to his secluded cabin in New York City for seclusion. He is going through a messy divorce from his wife (Maria Bello).
Rainey is trying to reclaim his mental wellness when he is discovered by a man named John Shooter.
Shooter is a psychotic farmer who alleges Rainey stole his work. Rainey first dismisses the allegations. But the enemy has no plans of going quietly.
All profound secrets are disclosed near the end of the film. If you pay attention, though, it is predictable. Despite the excellent plot, the ending feels rushed and unfinished.
This film doesn’t contain the usual “everything is settled” and “good guys win” ending. The ending is not something you might expect to happen.
9. Mulholland Drive (2001)
English 2h 27m IMDb
Do you enjoy films that make you feel uncomfortable? Then you should watch Mulholland Drive. This mystery thriller is bizarre and incredibly thought-provoking.
Mulholland Drive is about people and their ability to imagine, fantasize, and dream about the life they want rather than the life they have. Order is a figment of the imagination. Everything is random, and no one has any control over anything.
It tells the story of Betty Elms, who dreams of becoming an actress. She travels to Hollywood to pursue her goal. Betty meets Rita, a car accident survivor with amnesia. The two women instantly bond.
Betty tries to assist Rita in learning more about her background. But her findings lead her to dark and bizarre places.
Mulholland Drive and Shutter Island share some similarities. These include guilt, identity crisis, escapism, and uncomfortable realities.
On the other hand, Mulholland Drive takes a different path with its dark parody of Hollywood society.
It’s the kind of film that requires post-viewing analysis to comprehend. But once everything comes together, it’s mind-blowing.
10. Identity (2003)
English 1h 30m IMDb
The night is dark and stormy. On a lonely Nevada road, a furious thunderstorm rages. A blowout brings a family of three to a halt. A passing limousine strikes his wife while the father tries to repair the tire.
Despite a pampered Hollywood star’s complaints, the driver transports them all to a nearby motel. Both directions of the roadways have been washed out.
The telephone lines have gone down. Others seek refuge at the motel overseen by a strange clerk.
There are ten people in total. They perish one by one. Fans of Agatha Christie will presume that one of them is the murderer. Or that the clerk is the murderer.
Meanwhile, a hearing for a guy guilty of multiple heinous crimes is intercut throughout the plot.
For this appeal, a cranky judge has been summoned. Unless he overturns his own decision, the guy will die. Alfred Molina, his psychiatrist, comes to his defense.
As a psychological thriller, it succeeds in striking a decent balance. The pacing keeps you interested. It’s easy to finish in one sitting. There are multiple plot twists. Understanding the dynamics of what is happening in these plot twists pays off.
When watching this film, don’t overthink it. It’s a thriller that keeps you guessing. It’s not one that you should dissect in detail. It should not make you question your existence or reality either.
11. Gone Girl
English 2h 29m IMDb
Former NY writer Nick and his beautiful wife Amy project a perfect marriage in the eyes of Carthage, Missouri. However, Nick turns as the primary suspect when Amy goes missing on their fifth anniversary.
The image of an ideal marriage collapses due to media police intimidation and media frenzy. Intriguing questions start raising about who the couple is.
Of course, there’s always a turn in a movie like this. This one is particularly stunning. Amy is not only alive and healthy. She also planned her disappearance to frame Nick for her death.
Gone Girl is a fascinating and disturbing mystery thriller. It leaves you wondering what the protagonists have “done to one other” and what they will do next.
The storytelling is fantastic. It makes you think something happened at first. Then you realize what happened.
But the story doesn’t finish there. It gets more exciting and keeps the viewers on edge as it becomes more difficult to tell the outcome.
12. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
English 1h 40m IMDb
This film features an undercover cop named Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves).
He is on a mission to find out who is trafficking the brain-damaging narcotic Substance D. Eventually; he becomes hooked on the substance. He loses his identity as a result.
Bob woos Donna, a dealer, to track down her supplier. Simultaneously, he is given orders to spy on his housemates. One is suspected of being Donna’s big-time client.
Do you prefer a challenging, sophisticated, character-driven narrative? You will undoubtedly enjoy this cinematic masterpiece.
It is truly astounding in scope and beauty. It presents biting social commentary in an immensely engaging and entertaining manner.
This film is a bizarre fantasy with an excellent cast and intriguing hypnotic animation. It’s well worth viewing and contemplating. It’s a dark and sinister film that keeps you absorbed from beginning to end.
Not everyone enjoys mind-blowing mystery films. However, if you love films like Shutter Island, there are more comparable films to watch.
Outlined above are the best 12 movies like Shutter Island that will make you cling to your pillow. So buckle up and get ready for an adventure.