mdtinney's Movie Review of The Departed

Rating of

The Departed

Almost as good as the Godfather Trilogy
mdtinney - wrote on 07/23/09

I'm not going to pull any punches here. 'The Departed' is the definition of a crime/thriller. Any fan of Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, and gangster films will absolutely love 'The Departed', which deserves to go down as one of the best films of the last 25 years, if not of all time. It is near perfect in every aspect of film making, and is a non-stop, heart pounding, gripping, and brilliant thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

Gang lord Frank Costello (3-Time Oscar Winner Jack Nicholson) is practically the most feared man in all of Boston. For years, he has controlled the streets with unparalleled authority. But now, that could change. The police has assigned a young man from another gang family turned police officer, Billy Costigan (3-Time Oscar Nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), to infiltrate Costello's system with hopes of bringing him down once and for all. Meanwhile, Costello has assigned his most loyal and trusted friend, Colin Sullivan (Oscar Winner Matt Damon), to be a mole within the Massachusetts State Police Department. When both sides discover that they have a mole in their midsts, it's war between the police and Costello.

The real standouts of the film are DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, director Martin Scorsese, and writer William Monahan. The cast is phenomenal, probably the best ensemble acting this year. DiCaprio gives the second best performance of his career (only to Blood Diamond, an Oscar nominated performance), a role which really is an actor's role. There are so many emotions involved with the character of Billy Costigan, and DiCaprio expresses them naturally. The feelings of fear, hate, depression, and indecision are displayed naturally and perfectly. It would have been very easy to nominate him for 2 Oscars in 2007, but they don't allow that. Mark Wahlberg gives the best performance in the whole film as the menacing cop Dignam. He steals the show in every scene he's in with his intensity and no holding back approach in this Oscar nominated performance. He upstages just about every other actor in this film, and looking at DiCaprio and Nicholson, that's extremely impressive. Jack Nicholson is the villain of the film, and he is just plain scary. There are moments when you will jump in fear of him, and you won't laugh at his jokes (not because they're not funny, but because you're scared to laugh at him). DiCaprio and Nicholson feed extremely well off of each other. DiCaprio has a thing for working well with other great actors (see Johnny Depp, Daniel Day Lewis, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, and Tom Hanks). The other stars, while they are great, are not at the level of Wahlberg, DiCaprio, and Nicholson. It's not really his fault, but Matt Damon just doesn't seem right with a Boston accent. He does capture the essence of his character very well. Colin Sullivan is a character you may not understand at first, but as the film progresses, you'll know his motives and understand his actions. Well done by Mr. Damon. Alec Baldwin and Ray Winstone give great performances, both being in small supporting roles. Legendary director Martin Scorsese won his first Oscar for this film because his film-making here, and all the time, is simply amazing. From the cinematography, to the sets and backgrounds he created, to the direction of a trio of phenomenal leading performances and a couple great supporting performances, Scorsese is at the top of his game in 'The Departed'. It's his best in a long time, possibly his best film. It's extremely hard to find fault with 'The Departed', except that I wish Mark Wahlberg had more screen time...but that was just because he was so damn good. 'The Departed' is one of the best films of the last 25 years, and should not be missed by any true fan of the movie industry. Remember, it won Best Picture of 2006, which it rightfully deserved. I absolutely loved this film, and recommend it to everyone age 16 and up, due to the brutal violence, strong language, and sexually explicit dialog. The 'f' word is spoken over 200 times, if you need an idea of how severe it is.

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