The Departed Reviews
October 21, 2007
"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me."
That's the opening monologue from Jack Nicholson who plays the Irish kingpin of South Boston, Frank Costello in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed." The movie is without a doubt one of Scorsese's most entertaining movies since "Goodfellas," and you can definitely tell by watching the movie that the two movies are similar. First off it's a mob movie, just like "Goodfellas," but it's totally different from "Goodfellas" and that is what makes it so damn fun to watch. What makes it different is that it's set in South Boston where the Irish rule the town and that there have been a few movies about the Irish mob, but not the way Scorsese delivers the Irish mob in this movie, but it is also not just about the mob, the mob is more in the background as the movie really focuses on the South Boston police department and how they go about trying to catch organized criminals through the use of modern technology such as cell phones. The cell phones play a distinctive role in the movie and should not be underestimated by any means as everyone today has one and that is another thing that is so awesome to watch in this movie is how both the cops and the mafia use cell phones today to get to one another. It definitely goes without saying that Scorsese is the king of mob movies and that nobody can deliver a mob movie the way he does, with the characters, the music he chooses for his movies which I always say he always has the best songs in his movies which is what always makes his movies the best to watch in my opinion. Just listen to "Goodfellas" and "Casino." Even "Mean Streets" has some awesome songs in that one especially songs by The Rolling Stones which I can Scorsese is a huge fan because he always has at least a few of their songs in his movies, especially the mob movies. But even "The Aviator" had some very unique songs from the 1930's to the 1940's and that is where I say Scorsese really is a true artist because nobody makes a movie like him. He really is the best film maker of all time and that is why DeNiro has worked with Scorsese 8 times and Dicaprio has worked with him 5 times already and more to come hopefully. The man has a unique passion for film making and you can definitely see it in his movies and even when you listen to him in interviews you can tell the man constantly has movies on his mind all the time. I can go on and on about Scorsese, but that would take away from my review about the movie even though the review is mostly dedicated to him because I don't think without him I would enjoy movies as much as I do today. "The Departed" stars Leonardo DiCaprio who gives one his most amazing and vulnerable performances in this movie as Billy Costigan, the undercover cop who has infiltrated Jack Nicholson's Irish mob and is under constant anxiety fearing his identity might be blown at any second under Nicholson's watch. The second lead in the film is played by Matt Damon who plays Colin Sullivan, who in the beginning of the film is recruited by Nicholson when he is just a kid and seduces him into his Irish mob having him when he is a grown man go undercover in the Special Investigation Unit in the South Boston PD as Nicholson's mole. Both DiCaprio and Damon are constantly playing a cat and mouse game throught the movie as they are both trying to reveal each others identity so it becomes literally a battle of the wits to see who can get to who first before one of their identities are revealed and their lives are screwed for good. Although Matt Damon does impressive work in this movie playing the bad guy, I really felt his performance didn't really come through until the very end of the movie with the rooftop scene with him and DiCaprio where they both literally give it their A game as they literally have a screaming match with each other as DiCaprio tries arresting him once he finds out Damon is the mole for Nicholson. It's a scene for the ages as it really defines the movie for what it is and that is just like Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said "4 STARS. A NEW AMERICAN CRIME CLASSIC FROM THE LEGENDARY MARTIN SCORSESE." And I couldn't agree more, as it truly is a movie for the new generation of movie buffs. Like how I grew up watching "Goodfellas," kids today will grow up watching "The Departed" and that's awesome as only Scorsese has such an impact on movie goers that people literally leave the theater quoting the movie like they have seen it a hundred times already. Jack Nicholson as always does awesome work as he is without a doubt one of the best entertainers of all time and one of the best actors that has ever lived. There will never be another Nicholson, just like there will never be another Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro or Gene Hackman for that matter, but what seperates Nicholson from all those other guys is the fact that he can do both comedy and drama. DeNiro has been pretty successful with comedy too with such movies as "Meet the Parents" and "Analyze That," but with Nicholson his comedy seems more natural, he doesn't have to prove to be funny, he can do it naturally without even trying. Nicholson you can tell had a blast with this character as he is both fun and crazy to watch at the same time, what else would expect from Nicholson? Remember him in "As Good As It Gets" where he played the mean nasty New York City neighbor his OCD that throws Greg Kinnear's dog down the laundry shoot, but has a thing for his waitress played by Helen Hunt? He was terrific in that movie. It definitely belongs in the category of one of the best characters ever in movie history. It belongs right up their with Nicholson's other best performances such as R.P. McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," or his early performance in as drunk Georgia lawyer in "Easy Rider," which made him a star over night. But we can't forget too "The Shining" and his performance as The Joker in Tim Burton's "Batman." The man has 3 Oscars for a reason. But getting back to the movie which also stars an explosive Mark Wahlberg who tears up the screen in a supporting performance as Sgt. Dignam, who works with Martin Sheen who plays Capt. Queenan (A sort of father figure to DiCaprio in this movie) who both work in the undercover section of the Boston PD, who DiCaprio reports to in the movie. It was really awesome to see DiCaprio and Wahlberg reunite for this movie as they haven't been in a movie together since "The Basketball Diaries," and that was at the time when they were both just kids and on the verge as rising stars in Hollywood. Wahlberg tears into DiCaprio like there is no tomorrow telling him that he knows what he is and he knows what he's not and that is that he's NO. FUCKING. COP! Because he scored a 1400 on his SAT's Wahlberg tells him he's an astronaut not a statie(Boston cop) so they almost beg him to go undercover since he really has no family or friends for that matter and the fact he knows the South Boston under world even though he is really from the North side of Boston in the movie, and the fact that there is a bonus involved, tax free as Martin Sheen puts it. Once both Wahlberg and Sheen tell DiCaprio what is involved with his undercover job, DiCaprio accepts and begins his operation going deep undercover in the south Boston world by doing enough jail time and seeing a court order shrink who is played by the lovely Vera Farmiga, in order to infiltrate Jack Nicholson's Irish mob, but in order to do that DiCaprio gets his cousin who is a drug dealer to let him help him deal drugs in the south Boston neighborhood and that is where he gets the attention of Nicholson and his Irish gang as Ray Winston who is fantastic as Nicholson's right hand man Mr. French, who warns DiCaprio that he knows him and knows his family and that if he ever does another drug deal with his idiot cop magnet of a cousin of his, that he'll forgte that his grandmother was so nice to him and that he'll cut his fuckin' nuts off and tells him "You understand that!" DiCaprio of course says absolutely, no problem as Winstone then asks him what he's drinking which is what got DiCaprio into the scuffle with Winstone's character in the first place as before he order a cranberry huice at the bar and one of the bar regulars makes fun of DiCaprio by asking him "What is is your period?" and of course DiCaprio retaliates by cracking the guy over the head with a glass cup which is when Winstone interferes to stop DiCaprio from doing more damage. But when Winstone asks him what he's drinking it's priceless because you see it in DiCaprio's face as he hesitates to tell Winstone at first, but eventually comes out with it and Winstone replies back "What is it your period?" It's classic Scorsese, but the real credit goes to William Monohan who wrote an extremely and incredible screenplay that won him an Oscar that year the movie was released. But the real comic relief in this movie is Alec Baldwin who is incredibly great and funny as Capt. Ellerby, Damon's boss in the Special Investigation Unit. Baldwin like Nicholson has a timeless gift for being both dramatic and funny at the same time which is what always makes me think that Baldwin is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Wahlberg and Baldwin both have great chemistry in one particular scene when Baldwin allows Wahlberg to brief the Special Investigation Unit about his uncover unit, but Wahlberg doesn't tell them shit as he says it's because Baldwin's character has leaks than the Iraqi navy, and Baldwin retaliates by saysing "Fuck yourself," and Walberg says back "Well I'm tired from fucking your wife" "How's your mother?" "Good she's tired from fucking my father." It's a great scene between the two of them as you can't help, but wonder that they must have had an awesome time doing that scene together. But Wahlberg who definitely deserved the best supporting Oscar nomination that year for the movie tells the special investigation unit which Damon is attending also that no one will ever know the identity of his and Martin Sheen's undercovers, but only them and them alone. There is one specific part where he tells the F.B.I agent who is working with them when he asks Wahlberg if he has anybody presently undercover in Nicholson's Irish mob and Wahlberg tells him "Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself. My theory on feds is that there like mushrooms, feed them shit and keep them in the dark, you ladies have a nice day." But what makes it better is when after Wahlberg leaves the room Baldwin tells everyone "Normally he's a very nice guy," which makes the whole room start laughing and then Baldwin says "Don't judge him from this meeting alone." This movie is the best example of great acting as everyone literally brings their A game for Scorsese, who finally won his long overdue Oscar for directing in this movie and you know what, it's about time. Scorsese has been denied the Oscar ever since he first got nominated for best director for "Raging Bull" in 1980. Even Clint Eastwood said himself that everyone thought Scorsese was gonna go home that year with the golden statue, but it ended up going to Robert Redford for "Ordinary People," which I'm not saying it didn't deserve it as it is a very good movie, but in all honest how many people talk about "Ordinary People" the way they talk about "Raging Bull" or "Goodfellas" for that matter. Which Scorsese should have definitely taken home the Oscar for that year over Kevin Costner for "Dances with Wolves." Even though Costner's movie is a magnificent movie, Costner has never really followed that up with anything besides "Open Range," which I might have to see again as I remember it being okay. But what makes "The Departed" so much fun to watch in the language in the movie. Yea Scorsese uses the F word in the movie but that's what he does. Just like Tarantino uses the N word for his movies. I know the N word is more offensive obviously, but the F word can be just as bad, but that's Scorsese, what else would you want from him. He tells it how it is in his movies, never taking any cheap shots in his films. But it's not even about the F word or the other curse words in the film, it's about the Boston accent that is captured so good in this movie. Like the New York accent was captured perfectly in "Goodfellas" the Boston accent will go down as one of the other best accents in movie history. Scorsese has natural talent for getting the accent down in his movies and for storytelling as that is what he is, a master storyteller. Scorsese is and will always be the king of directors in my opinion and even he came about with the rest of the greats such as Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola, for me Scorsese stands alone in that group as he is truly in my eyes an artist. I would say film maker which is what he is obviously, but Scorsese has a sort of style to him that you can easily point out when you watch his movies and that is what makes him unique.
July 31, 2009
Saw that one in France at the movies with my friend Emilie. Great film, excellent direction from Martin Scorsese (can the man do a bad film?)
Good scenario, based on the original film "Infernal Affairs" by Andrew Lau. This new take on the story manages to be original while respecting he great lines and the structure that made the original film such a great entertaining piece. This American version is flamboyant, raw, gripping and its casting and it's beyond irreproachable. Scorsese managed to appropriate himself this story and turn it into one of his best film ever. Not the typical gangster flick but for sure one that rise easily above the lot.
February 22, 2013
The mobster genre is, as a whole, an acquired taste. Despite not having much of that appreciation myself, the double agent aspect carried my intrigue through this well acted drama.
August 6, 2014
A great. cast, a great director, a great script, a great movie.
March 23, 2014
Although some might say it's one of the best gangster flicks ever made, Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" is indeed the American version of Hong Kongers Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's "Infernal Affairs" (2002). So, in my opinion, it's unoriginal and arguably unworthy Oscar winner for Best Picture.
September 20, 2011
Excellent soundtrack too
July 2, 2013
The Departed combines Scorsese's brilliant directorial style with outstanding performances from the entire cast and a bravura story that bobs and weaves in unexpected ways to create an incredible crime thriller.
January 6, 2013
Watch the Corean version first..
October 16, 2014
It's the best film of 2006.
October 1, 2014
One of the best I've ever seen. Wouldn't wanna change a thing about it. It's perfect.
July 16, 2011
"When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference"? The Departed is a masterpiece. It is one of the best crime movies ever made. The story is inspired by "Internal Affairs", a very successful Hong Kong movie. This movie is about rats. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a trainee policeman who has a very bad family history. Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Sergeant Dignam(Mark Whalberg) send Billy to infiltrate Frank Costello's(Jack Nicholson) gang. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a policeman who is rising fast through the department, but he is secretly working for Costello as a rat in the department. Each man must work hard to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other man.They have to be convincing though. A good undercover cop has to be prepared to brake the law. A good undercover gangster has to be able to arrest some of the bad guys. It would be really fishy if a cop seemed liked he wanted to protect the bad guys. Same goes for a gangster. Both Billy and Colin struggle with there identities. Each man undercover has only a few men on there side that no they are undercover. What if something happened to them. Billy and Colin also fall for the same girl, Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), the shrink who treats Billy and moves in with Colin.William Monahan's script is fantastic. Every line of dialog is written with great care. The acting is superb. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Sheen, Farmiga, and Baldwin are all great. This was a risky role for DiCaprio, but he pulls it off. The surprise performance though was from Mark Whalberg. He gives his best performance to date. He gives a real a real Oscar worthy performance here. This is also the first time Scorsese has made a movie with Jack Nicholson. I hope they team up again in the future. You really care about the characters, witch is always important for any kind of movie. The characters are developed well throughout the course of the movie. So you really find yourself wanted them to get out of this big awful mess alive.The movie is filled with great tension as well. There is a scene where someone calls someone, he picks up the phone and none of them say anything. That scene has great tension. Nobody was even talking. That kind of scene would not be suspenseful in a lot of movies. The movie earned all that tension though. It earned it with every scene that was before it. The movie keeps that same tension throughout the entire movie.The Departed is brutal and brainy, with speedy plot twists. There are deceptions layered on top of deceptions layered on top of deceptions. Another thing the movie had going for it was the music. Scorsese is also a master of music. His movies always have great soundtracks. Scorsese also places the music with great care, he will place a certain song that helps make that scenes work even better than it would have. This movie is up there with Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas. People often ask if it is his best? Martin Scorsese is one of the best directors working today, and has made many great masterpieces. You can't really say that this is his all time best, Scorsese has made to many great movies. Still, this is one of his best.
September 22, 2014
This film is definitely one of my personal favorites, and one of many examples to why Martin Scorsese is the master of mobsters.
May 2, 2007
There is neither Italian Mafia nor New York mean streets. But you could still expect some Scorsese trademarks like Jazz and cinematography. This Hong Kong adaptation is not his best work, but the story about undercovers in a deceptive and brutal reality worths a glimpse, as you won't want to miss the performance from the stunning cast.
July 8, 2014
Hilarious cinematography, random useless cuts, funny accents, and mark wahlberg. What more could you ask for? scorsese platinum.
September 18, 2014
Another Martin Scorsese's masterpiece , The Departed has a lot of excellent actors ( a fantstic Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon , Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg ) and an intriguing plot about gangster and spies.
July 6, 2011
While not up to the standard of Scorsese's previous crime masterpieces, The Departed is still a superb piece of work, with solid performances and as you might expect, near flawless camerawork.
September 15, 2014
Immersive, violent, well acted and unpredictable. Martin Scorsese combines an all star cast to make another box office hit.
February 20, 2014
After watching this film several times I can now say I absolutely love it. "The Departed'' is directed masterfully by Martin Scorsese, starring Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. The story is short, a cop informant is in with the baddies, and a baddie is a baddie informant in the cops unit.
Along side the two leads stands Jack Nicholson, who kills it in this film. The guy is good in just about everything he's in.
The film is laced with tension throughout, and its very well written. The direction in sharp, and the acting flawless, It shows the dark underbelly of gangs and the police force. The dialogue is great and this is one of Scorsese's best. Love this film!
August 21, 2014
Best DiCaprio performance ever, deep and intelligent script and superb direction.
August 26, 2014
Usual american film in its kind!