Common Sense Note
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.
No sex, but in a flashback sequence we see a little kissing between an affectionate married couple. Brief flash of unclothed male prisonors.
Quite a few disturbing flashbacks and nightmare sequences, with piles of dead bodies in the Dachau concentration camp, a failed suicide attempt (the victim lays twitching in a puddle of blood), drowned children, a woman's body burning, shooting victims, and more blood. One scene shows the mass slaughter of Nazi guards by American soldiers; their bodies are riddled with bullets as they collapse, one by one, in a line. There are also scary images, such as prisoners grabbing through prison bars at the hero.
The words "f--k" is heard about a dozen times; "s--t" a few times. We also hear "dick," "prick," "cock," "screw that," "dammit," "Jesus Christ," and "Goddamn it."
The movie deals with the limits of the human mind and the sheer amount of horror and torment it can take before it snaps. It also examines the extent to which humans are capable of violence and evil. Some characters may or may not have good intentions, but the movie deliberately blurs this behavior in the service of the story. Some conversation about belief in God.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Characters smoke cigarettes often, and one character smokes a pipe. The main character once had a drinking problem, but now abstains from liquor. We see him drinking whisky in flashbacks. Other characters drink in a social way. The hospital uses various sedatives and other kinds of drugs on the patients. The hero takes aspirins and there is a suggestion that they might be laced with hallucinogens or other drugs. We see the effects of these drugs through the eyes of the hero.