The Departed (2006) [DVD]
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Oscar-winning crime thriller from acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. The Massachusetts State Police Department in South Boston is waging an all-out war to take down the city's top organised crime ring. The key is to end the reign of powerful mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) from the inside. A young rookie, Bill Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), is assigned to infiltrate the mob run by Costello. While Billy is working to gain Costello's trust, another young cop, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), is quickly rising through the ranks of the state police. Earning a spot in the Special Investigations Unit, Colin is among a handful of elite officers whose mission is to bring Costello down. But what his superiors don't know is that Colin is working for Costello, keeping the crime boss one step ahead of the police.
Martin Scorsese makes a welcomed return to the mean streets (of Boston, in this case) with The Departed, hailed by many as Scorsese's best film since Casino. Since this crackling crime thriller is essentially a Scorsese-stamped remake of the acclaimed 2002 Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, the film was intensely scrutinized by devoted critics and cinephiles, and while Scorsese's intense filmmaking and all-star cast deserve ample acclaim, The Departed is also worthy of serious re-assessment, especially with regard to what some attentive viewers described as sloppy craftsmanship (!), notably in terms of mismatched shots and jagged continuity. But no matter where you fall on the Scorsese appreciation scale, there's no denying that The Departed is a signature piece of work from one of America's finest directors, designed for maximum impact with a breathtaking series of twists, turns, and violent surprises. It's an intricate cat-and-mouse game, but this time the cat and mouse are both moles: Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is an ambitious cop on the rise, planted in the Boston police force by criminal kingpin Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a hot-tempered police cadet who's been artificially disgraced and then planted into Costigan's crime operation as a seemingly trustworthy soldier. As the multilayered plot unfolds (courtesy of a scorching adaptation by Kingdom of Heaven screenwriter William Monahan), Costigan and Sullivan conduct a volatile search for each other (they're essentially looking for "themselves") while simultaneously wooing the psychiatrist (Vera Farmiga) assigned to treat their crime-driven anxieties.
Such convenient coincidences might sink a lesser film, but The Departed is so electrifying that you barely notice the plot-holes. And while Nicholson's profane swagger is too much "Jack" and not enough "Costello," he's still a joy to watch, especially in a film that's additionally energised by memorable (and frequently hilarious) supporting roles for Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, and a host of other big-name performers. The Departed also makes clever and plot-dependent use of mobile phones, to the extent that it couldn't exist without them. Powered by Scorsese's trademark use of well-chosen soundtrack songs (from vintage rock to Puccini's operas), The Departed may not be perfect, but it's one helluva ride for moviegoers, proving popular enough to become the biggest box-office hit of Scorsese's commercially rocky career. --Jeff Shannon
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Special Features are:
- Additional Scenes With Introductions By Martin Scorsese.
- Stranger Than Fiction: The Story Of The Boston Mob.
- Crossing Criminal Cultures: How Little Italy's Crime And Violence Influence Scorsese's Work.
- Theatrical Trailer.
- English Subtitles: Feature Only.
- DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio.
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
The performances: all-star cast delivering all-star performances
The music: perfect
The Directing: Martin Scorsese at his finest and that is saying something.
Once again Scorsese delivers a film that meets or exceeds the expectations of its audience in nearly every way. There are moments of incredible tension, violence, and drama, moments where characters reveal their vulnerabilities and weakness. Comedic moments and moments of sadness and through it all a multi layered and brilliant story is told by an American film maker who once again proves Harvey Keitel correct when he said, "Maybe he (Scorsese) got what he deserves--exclusion from the mediocre."
This film is Scorsese's finest work since Raging Bull, but it is not simply about Martin Scorsese or the amazing screen play by William Monahan, it is more than an amazing score, and great cinematography. While many of the accolades for this film belong to those behind the scenes people who envisioned and directed this film. One would be remiss to not point out the great performances of an all-star cast, many of whom deliver the finest performances of long and storied careers. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon deliver incredible performances.
However the performance that stood out for me was Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg's Sgt. Dignam stole every scene he was in, and he shared screen time with each of the afore mentioned actors. He gets to deliver some of the best lines, and with every scene he leaves the audience wanting more, and anticipating his next scene.
That was the long version; the short version is if you like a movie with incredible performances, direction, music and visuals.Read more ›
The performances from the main actors were excellent.
Very good storyline. It is violent but it is a gangster film and so not unexpected.
I'm a fan of Scorsese from the 70s onwards and there's no question that he's made some great movies - Goodfellas and Casino would be my (not very controversial) picks of a pretty good bunch - but is it just me that finds it all a bit by numbers these days? Nasty men - check. Bad language - check and (insert cuss word) check again. Periodic megaviolence, with plenty of red sauce spread around - absolutely. Spurious Catholic iconography - yup, all in place.
This stuff has been Scorsese's stock in trade for years of course, and whenever one of his side ventures - the woeful Aviator and the dead-on-arrival Gangs of New York for example - flops (and they did flop, regardless of awards) he retreats back to his comfort zone of bad - but hey, deeply troubled - guys with big handguns and limited vocabulary (is there something you need to talk about, Marty?). This didn't matter a bit of course when the films had the amoral but highly enjoyable sparkle and flash of the aforementioned Goodfellas and Casino, but unfortunately The Departed offers none of that. It's just damn bleak and airless, maybe drawing on the superior US cop dramas like The Wire and The Shield (which have arguably left Scorsese's world behind) as much as its Hong Kong source, and reeking of well-past-its-use-by-date testosterone. This is a man's, man's world and boy, does it need a Sharon Stone to liven it up. Or any women of significance in fact.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very Good movie. I cannot compared with Goodfellas and Casino but still is one of Scorsese's bests. Di Caprio, Damon, Nicholson are excellent.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Tl, dr: Really horribly bad remake of "infernal affairs", "infernal affairs 2" and "infernal affairs 3". Read morePublished 2 months ago by MarkHR
Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon & Mark Wahlberg are brilliant, in a confusing yet albeit brilliant plot.Published 2 months ago by James Robson
Everything about this movie is great. Great Acting - Great All Star Cast - Great Storyline. Worth adding to your DVD collection.Published 2 months ago by R & G. Fiske.