Rookie cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) grew up in crime. That makes him the perfect mole, the man on the inside of the mob run by boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). It's his job to win Costello's trust and help h... more »is detective handlers (Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen) bring Costello down. Meanwhile, SIU officer Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) has everyone's trust. No one suspects he's Costello's mole. How these covert lives cross, double-cross and collide is at the ferocious core of the widely acclaimed The Departed. Martin Scorsese directs, guiding a cast for the ages in a visceral tale of crime and consequences. This is searing, can't-look-away filmmaking: like staring into the eyes of a con - or a cop - with a gun.« less
Sarah F. (Ferdy63) from DALTON, GA Reviewed on 1/20/2009...
Fantastic crime thriller that keeps you glued to your seat. It's definitely not for kids due to extreme language and violence but worth hiring a babysitter to get to see. Damon and DiCaprio are both great but Jack Nicholson steals the show as the villian. The plot involves police corruption, family honor, revenge and romance with a lot of twists and turns you'll never expect.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 5/6/2008...
Straight to the point, "The Departed" is the best film of 2006.
Martin Scorsese is indeed my favorite director of all time. The man is an artist in the truest form. Scorsese strayed away from gritty-street crime-dramas he's known for best for over ten years, and with "The Departed" he returns to that genre, and the man has not lost his touch.
This time we're dealing with the Irish mob in Boston under the leadership of Frank Costello (played by the magnificent Jack Nicholson). Costello opens up the story where he first meets Colin Sullivan, a local neighborhood boy whom Costello sees potential in. Sullivan grows up (played by Matt Damon) and joins the police academy and becomes very successful. He joins the State Police and attaches to a unit where the objective is to take down Costello himself; and Colin (being Costello's informant) gives useful info so that Costello remains untouchable.
However, detectives Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) decide to plant an undercover cop in Costello's crew. They select Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a recent academy graduate who comes from a family with a bad rep. This is one of the key elements that would work for Billy as a member of the crew. Queenan fixes Billy's records and is then underway to a world of crime.
So now we're dealing with two "rats" on opposite sides on opposite sides. Very well done as Scorsese captures the tension and drama of this situation, in the way he knows how, through extreme violence.
I'm gonna stop here.
"The Departed" is a remake of "Infernal Affairs," a Hong Kong film done brilliantly as well. It's follows the storyline pretty accurately, if I remember correctly, although of course it's Americanized this time 'round. But never fear, "The Departed" is no Hollywood extravaganza, it's a straight-forward, gritty crime-drama done Scorsese-style...NO HOLDS BARRED!!!
CHECK THIS OUT IMMEDIATELY!!!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gripping Crime Drama Ignites the Screen
Garrett Stiger | New York, USA | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the Hong Kong thriller, "Infernal Affairs" (2002), Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" is a shotgun blast to the pandering cinema that has afflicted the American screen of late. Scorsese has returned to the urban crime-drama genre that he helped to make famous with "Mean Streets" (1973) and "Goodfellas" (1990).
Scorsese, a consummate auteur, shares many thematic interests with his screenwriter, William Monahan. A Boston police officer, William Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), goes undercover in the local mob with the hope that he may purge himself of his family's criminal history (redemption and honor being major themes in Scorsese's films, such as "Gangs of New York"). Costigan's job is to provide enough evidence to allow the police to apprehend the head mobster, the lurid and merciless Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Costello has infiltrated the police force with a mole of his own, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), who Costello has been grooming since childhood (corruption being another important theme for Scorsese, see "Goodfellas"). Each of the moles quickly becomes aware of the other's presence, and they both realize that if either is going to survive, he must quickly find his opponent.
Monahan lathers his screenplay with the most vulgar language this side of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." Supporting actors Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, who both play upper level officers, deliver deliciously profane dialogue with side-splitting ease and authority. Matt Damon infuses the antagonistic Sullivan with poise, sophistication, and charisma. Leonardo DiCaprio's protagonist is conversely something of a blunt and unstable instrument. DiCaprio's work recalls that of James Dean, as he plays a frazzled young man waging war with the world and within himself. Surprisingly, screen legend Jack Nicholson is something of a weak link in the cast. He uses his trademark mixture of charisma and menace in a familiar and admittedly somewhat goofy portrayal of villainy.
The real star of the film is Scorsese. Taking a cue from an early exchange between Wahlberg's character and Costigan - "What's the matter don't you know any Shakespeare?" - Scorsese's presents the film as though it were one of the playwright's tragedies. Tragic and comedic tones are expertly juxtaposed. Music, be it classic rock or Howard Shore's score, is ever present. The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" is used to great effect during the film's opening. It acts as a harbinger of things to come. Violence is explosive and brutal. Michael Ballhaus' lighting is atmospheric and exaggerated. Note a scene in Sullivan's office where a bizarre light effect casts an X across the wall (Scorsese litters the mise en scène with X's, both as an homage to Howard Hawks's "Scarface" and a visual representation of Sullivan and Cositgan's duality). Relentless camera movement and Thelma Schoonmaker's jump cuts further give rise to a sense of nerve-jangling tension.
Under Scorsese' own admission, "The Departed" is his first attempt at a film with a plot. On paper, the film does indeed represent one of his more traditional, studio-friendly ventures. He is working with a very bankable cast and a three-act narrative (most of his films have been more concerned with character studies than a archetypal stroyline). Despite the creative limitations that may be associated with a more commercial project, Scorsese is more than able to elicit his own passions. "The Departed" is a fierce, raucous entertainment that is not to be missed."
Please read this if you've seen it.
Steven C. Huskins | 05/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to like this film. Before bashing me for having bad taste, keep in mind that Goodfellas is one of my all time favorite films. This movie was fantastic up until the end. Every character (which are mostly unlikable) SOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!! was killed off needlessly at the end. Could someone please write a comment as to why it was necessary, then I may edit my review to 4 stars."
Not a Classic, but Enjoyable
Jack R. Tallent | Ellicott City, MD USA | 05/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You have probably already come to grips with the fact that when you go to see a new Scorsese film, it's not going to be another "Taxi Driver." Without the burden of comparison to classic Scorsese works, "The Departed" is an enjoyable thriller with an all-star cast, some of whom deliver better than others.
On the subject of the cast, there is, of course, Jack Nicholson as Costello. Nicholson is a master of playing characters which are simultaneously disgusting and compelling, and this role is no exception. There's lots of great dialog in this film for Nicholson.
On the other end of the scale is Matt Damon, who seems a little weak in this film. There are a number of moments in the film where he pulls out the Good Will Hunting, and you think to yourself "Oh Geez." I am a fan of Damon's, but this role did not seem to be a great fit.
Mark Wahlberg's role is a relatively minor one, but it is one of the film's highlights. He is excellent as the extremely vulgar and abusive Sgt. Dignam, of whom I wanted to see more.
The best part of the film, though, is Leonardo DiCaprio, who's central performance as Billy Costigan is excellent to the point that Matt Damon seems diminished in the complementary role of Colin Sullivan.
As for the plot, I am told that this film is a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film entitled "Infernal Affairs." It is the story of two moles; a police mole in the mob, and a mob mole in the police. The suspense lies in who will discover whom first.
If I had one major complaint about the film, it was that the script did not sufficiently (in my opinion) convey the motivation of DiCaprio's character. What motivated him to endure such a harrowing, dangerous, life-wrecking enterprise?
One last thing, I just remembered that Alec Baldwin is in the film, and he is quite good as well!"
Gerald A. D'amore | Newport, RI United States | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a masterpiece. From the openening scene this movie takes you by the throat with both hands and doesn't let go. Its all there like it never left - Scorceses use of tracking shots and slow mo sequences take you back to the movies that made this man great. His use and arrangement of recorded music on his soundtracks is without peer. Scorcese has put together what is arguably one the best casts in movie history.. at least since Goodfellas. Every actor in this movie finds time to chew the scenery without going over the top Pacino style which is a testament to Scorcese and his directing skills. This is a man who got Paul Newman his 1st elusive Oscar and let Joe Pesci run amok in Goodfellas in what is one of the all time great mafia hood portrayals. All thats left is the icing on the cake - this movie should clean house at the Oscars. For those that disagree I suggest a blanket party with a pillowcase full of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver VHS tapes to knock yourself back into coherence."