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The Departed
Year:
2006
Country:
USA, Hong Kong
Genre:
Crime, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Martin Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan
Matt Damon as Colin Sullivan
Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello
Mark Wahlberg as Staff Sgt. Dignam
Martin Sheen as Cpt. Queenan
Ray Winstone as Mr. French
Vera Farmiga as Madolyn
Alec Baldwin as Cpt. Ellerby
Kevin Corrigan as Cousin Sean
James Badge Dale as Barrigan
David O'Hara as Fitzy
Mark Rolston as Delahunt
Robert Wahlberg as Lazio - FBI
Storyline: In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello. While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan, a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there's a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy-and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself. But is either willing to turn on the friends and comrades they've made during their long stints undercover?
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Reviews
Making Decisions with a Gun Instead of a Gavel
I am not saying that I think this movie is in the category with other Scorcese greats such as "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver", actually "King of Comedy" is my favorite Scorcese film, however "The Departed" is a relatively remarkable film!! The acting in this movie is simply incredible!! The plethora of acting talent simply overwhelms you!! Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio, and of course Matt Damon!! I thought Matt Damon's performance was the best acting performance in this movie!! The comment he made which I found to be very interesting was "The Irish are impervious to psycho-analysis".. I went to grade school at an Irish parish, and even though they were affluent, they did seem more visceral than many other ethnic groups are!! Boston is the only city in the country where the Irsih control the syndicate. The Italians are accustomed to ruling organized crime in virtually every other city in the United States. Boston is where the movie "The Departed" takes place.. The F word replaced a lot of semantics in this movie, and the violence seemed to have some kind of tenet of amelioration attached to it!! "The Departed" won for best picture in '2006, as it would appear as though the copious quantity of top notch talent in this film would almost mandate such an accolade!! How were all the problems in this movie solved?...WITH A GUN!! The violence in "The Departed" was almost satirical, as it signified a precarious set of checks and balances!! Everyone's anger seemed to reflect a sordid and justifiable pontification for everything!! Many techniques of agitation and vindictiveness with this movie told the movie audience one thing- This is a Scorcese film!! His style emanates a proverbial belligerence through frustration that he has incorporated in so many of his past movies!! I enjoyed this film, and I can definitely see how it won best picture in '2006. What is the best way of saying "The Departed" is an excellent movie, by saying this: "The Departed" is a really good (F word) picture!!
2008-05-20
Scorsese Should Have Made His Own Movie
I had massive expectations for THE DEPARTED , a violent mob drama directed by Martin Scorsese the greatest film maker in the world today . After seeing it I did have a slight of feeling of something I have experienced throughout my life - Disappointment

***** SPOILERS ******

The film starts in typical Scorsese style of a sweeping framing sequence with a musical soundtrack by The Rolling Stones similar to the work he did in GOODFELLAS . Unfortunately the director doesn't sustain this and whilst never becoming mediocre we don't see much in the way of what cinematic beauty Scorsese is capable of and in several scenes most notably in the death of Queennan the original film INFERNAL AFFAIRS did it far more better

THE DEPARTED suffers from a very uneven screenplay courtesy of William Monahan . When it's bad it's woeful but when it's good it's great . It should be pointed out however that when it's good it's entirely down to Siu Fia Mak's original script and if you've seen INFERNAL AFFAIRS you'll notice how tight the storytelling was and how loose and cluttered Monahan's adaptation is in comparison . Did we really need a romantic subplot ? And there seems a lack of thought put into Costello . He's spent years as a crime boss so how come it appears it's only now that the Boston police department have come up with the bright idea of putting several moles into Costello's crew ? Are we to seriously believe that Costello is being protected for < Plot revelation that I won't give away > , and just because a tough gangster likes opera that doesn't make him multi layered , it just makes him clichéd and unconvincing . Most ridiculous scene is where Costello meets his police mole in the cinema . If it's a clandestine meeting then why does Costello draw attention to himself by grunting and pulling out his penis ? Possibly the most stupid sequence I've ever seen in a Scorsese film

There's been many other criticisms of this movie , a movie that seems to have split the critics right down the middle . One is the cast . I do think DiCaprio is a much better actor than what he's given credit for but I was never entirely convinced when he has to dish out violence . Someone a little less pretty should have been cast while you're left with the impression that Deniro and Pesci were first choices for Costello rather than Nicholson . Damon does merely okay as Sullivan while Ray Winstone as French is somewhat distracting because he's a widely regarded actor and household name in Britain and seeing him attempt an American accent is something of a shock to the system . The one performance I wasn't keen on was Mark Wahlberg as Dignam down to the fact he plays one of those fast talking foul mouthed cops that we've seen in far too many films and HBO series. Perhaps I'm being somewhat harsh to the cast in general and Wahlberg in particular because the dialog in Monahan's screenplay contains far too much swearing . Yeah I know swearing exists in real life but it's almost like it's included in every line just so the audience know that it's a hard hitting adult drama . I think everyone knew that when we saw the name Scorsese in the title . No need to over egg the pudding or include a fist fight every few minutes otherwise someone might think they're watching a Tarintino movie

As for the good points ... well if you've liked most of this great auteur's movies then you'll certainly like THE DEPARTED , just not as much as you've liked Scorses's previous output . If you have loved most of Scorsese's films then you'll be slightly disappointed . It's not helped by the fact that this is the first movie directed by Scorsese to pick up the Oscar for best film where as master works like TAXI DRIVER , RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS didn't
2007-03-23
Disappointment
When I heard Scorsese made this movie, i was very excited. Because one thing that i know, Departed will be an adaptation of my favorite Hongkong movie "Infernal Affairs" or "Wu Jian Dao". And when I read a magazine, the director denied and said it's only inspired by. So my expectation flew away. But all my dream has gone when I saw "Departed". It's all the same. Sorry, spoiler, how the boss gang died, how the captain died, how the undercover died, all the same. In short, all the important scene, are all the same. Maybe, they have different ending but if you have seen "Wu Jian Dao", "The Departed" just only follower. No need a big name like Scorsese just to remake an Asian movie. One thing, "The Departed" has lost the thrill that "Wu Jian Dao" have.
2006-10-09
another Asian remake
With out Siu Fai Mak, this film would never have happened - even from Martin Scorsese. It is evident that Hollywood has completely run dry of new ideas and is seeking great films from Asian nations to make money - e.g. 'The Ring'. After years of great original gangster films from Scorsese, I am disappointed. A setting in Boston, is the only original item of this film. For those unfamiliar with Siu Fai Mak, I deeply encourage you to watch 'Mou Gaan Dou' ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338564/ ) aka 'Infernal Affairs' - the basis for this film. Infernal Affairs contains far more intense drama and (if not better) an equally high quality acting roster than this remake. Although this film was greatly entertaining, it would not have been made if not for the 2002 original from China.
2006-11-09
if THE DEPARTED is the movie fo the year then INFERNAL AFFAIRS is the worlds best movie
i am a huge fan of 'Infernal Affairs' when i heard that Hollywood were remaking it, i was a bit sceptical about it, then i heard it was being directed by Scorses i was excited.

i sat there for the first half hour or so, thinking the original got this part over and done with in about 10 mins. The Departed just didn't have the suspense or the character development of the original. When Sheen died, you just didn't feel anything for him, and the shock factor that the original had was just not there.

the character development in the original was great, as you genuinely felt for the characters went hey died, but in the departed it was like so what if you die. The ending of the departed was a bit of a joke, it was just too much, i think Scorses just thought 'i don't want to make a sequel or a prequel to this movie' - (didn't want to make another goodfellas).

to those who say Scorses deserves best director or that the departed deserve best movie, must be kidding me. Infernal affairs didn't even get nominated for best foreign language movie. When it is certainly a cut above the Hollywood remake. I'm sure they'll be nominated but to win, i don't think so.

however on the plus side, DiCaprio has probably produced his best work since 'Whats eating gilbert grape', and is certainly in with a shout for best actor.

the movie alone is a gd movie, but compared to the original its just another unfulfilled remake So if you have only watched the departed, go and rent out/ watch on film four the original and then re-write your review because I'm sure it will be very different.
2006-10-07
Nothing compared to the Hong Kong original!
Trust me! Once you see the Hong Kong original, you would find out that Scorsese ruined this terrific play!

The original title in Chinese was "Wu-chien-dao", which in Buhdism it means the bottom level of the hell. In this hell, people are doomed for eternity and suffer forever. And in the original, Costigan killed the other guy Costello sent into the force and the movie ends. Costigan has to bear the quilt and live on! This is what the script wants to show! Living but with the quilt is THE true hell after all! The new ending totally ruined the essence of the script underneath.

What a waste!
2006-10-09
Bloated competence - stick to the original
Idiots often say this: "Oh, yes, it's very good for Hollywood I suppose, but not a patch on the Uruguayan original." Well smack me in the face and call me an idiot, 'cos the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou) is aeons better than the Scorsese-directed, all-star Hollywood remake.

The original was 100 minutes long and so taught you could probably play it like banjo strings. Several of the scenes were filmed with such artistry that they set a new standard in beautifully realised intensity. The plotting was tight, the acting pitch-perfect, and you really felt for the protagonists.

It was, in short, the best cops and robbers thriller anyone had seen in years.

So of course it had to be remade.

Enter Scorsese, Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Sheen, Baldwin et al.

What results is bloated competence.

The set-pieces from Infernal Affairs remain, but are slacker and less well-handled. People in the cinema were laughing where they should have been clutching their heart to keep it in their chest.

The precision camera-work gives way to run-of-the-mill shots. Consider the sloppy execution of the rooftop fall.

The film is considerably longer without any real cause (bar, perhaps, Nicholson's hammy imperative to overplay any role he takes on). Witness the affair storyline, which is an unnecessary sop to the need for a more prominent female role, or the FBI addition, which is completely superfluous.

The end result is simply a lot weaker than the tightly-budgeted, tightly-edited, subtler original.

The only improvement – and I shudder to say this – is Alec Baldwin's role as the wise-cracking police captain, which made me chuckle on many occasions.

Get the original out instead. Please. You won't regret it.
2006-10-09
can you spell "deus ex machina"?
Although I loathe a lot of what Hollywood does in films these days, I am willing to put up with much of it as long as the film pays off in the end. While there is much to admire in The Departed, the ending is one of the worst I have ever seen, below the standards even of Training Day and John Q. I was quite mesmerized up to the point where Costigan discovers the truth about Sullivan. In spite of Scorsese's compulsion/obsession with every filthy aspect of human nature, I was very much enjoying the performances and the story. Then, it seems he or the screenwriter had a brainfart. In light of that fact, all of the excess of the film caused it to implode. In the ensuing vacuum, I could find no redeeming quality of the film at all. What does the story tell us? It wasn't true to itself at all. No one gained a thing. No redemption. No resolution.

I am not an expert on films in any way. But it seems to me that when a story is developed on the strength of a collection of main characters, the story had better wind up focusing on the relationship between them. One by one, the supporting cast is eliminated. Then one of the three main characters is killed off. That leaves the two lead roles, and as far as I'm concerned, at this point it has to come down to the two of them. Whether it's a showdown or a meltdown, this film had to close with Costigan and Sullivan forcing the outcome. Instead, they are both eliminated with as little drama as if they were innocent bystanders. The fact that these events left as many questions as answers tells me that the director really didn't know what he wanted the story to say.

The acting was superb, the story captivating, the suspense almost unbearable - what more could you want from a good movie? Well, as far as I'm concerned, without a good ending, all of the above amounts to little more than the hype that usually precedes a film, but in this case makes up the bulk of the film. Enough with the blood and guts, Mr. Scorsese, enough with the profanity and vulgarity - lets see if you can make a film that succeeds on its own merits.

And in the meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you could convince the studio to refund my money.
2006-10-08
Abject failure of a remake of Infernal Affairs (SPOILERS)
Caught The Departed last night and I have to say, its one abject failure of a remake. I was expecting it to be good, and truth be told, I wanted it to be good because it is based on Hongkong's Infernal Affairs, quite possibly one of the best gang flicks of all time. It is one of my personal favorites due to its brilliantly conceived plot of gang versus police, replete with paranoia and deceit. It is also quite possibly, one of the most intelligent films I have ever seen (second to Memento).

Where do I even begin? There are just so many things to criticize about. Firstly, the utterly realistic characters in Infernal Affairs have been reduced to one dimensional vectors that merely carry the plot forward. Matt Damon's character was reduced to a bad ass villain and was almost gleefully ridding anyone who knew of his identity, with no hint of remorse even till the very end. In Infernal Affairs however, at the end of the film, Andy Lau truly wanted to be a good guy but obviously, circumstances did not allow him to, and therefore he was forced to kill the gang boss to protect his identity. He subsequently went crazy over the guilt of killing the police informant (Tony Leung, or Leornado in Departed). Infernal Affairs ended brilliantly because Andy Lau's character survived it all with no one knowing his true identity. He could therefore assume his role of a high-ranking police officer, but was ridden with guilt and constantly reminded of the people who died because of him. It was really tragic and you could almost sympathize with his character. And what's with the ending of The Departed?!! Do all Hollywood films have to have perfect fairy tale endings where the bad guy has to die? And even if he has to die, does it have to conclude with an abrupt scene that lasts 30secs, and not to mention, totally cheesy and lame. It seems like a quick way out to conclude the story. The climax at the lift in the abandoned building was also unintentionally funny as body counts skyrocketed as people just started dying ridiculously. The reaction that people had in that scene in Infernal Affairs was true shock…'Oh my god!'. The reaction in Departed was quite the opposite – people started laughing.

Also, the strange and awkward friendship between the police informant's boss and the gang boss was completely removed in the Departed. It was so enjoyable watching how the 2 former friends who are currently on opposite ends of the law, try to outplay each other in a full-fledged war of wits and power, but with grace as a result of their friendship in the past. This was COMPLETELY omitted in the Hollywood version. And also, there was a lack of tension between the police force and the gangs. Martin Sheen seems almost weak and hapless against Jack Nicholson and Nicholson himself appears barely sinister and intelligent. Another stupid omission was the friendship between the police informant and his boss, which was meticulously staged in Infernal Affairs, and culminated in a tragic climax when the boss fell off the building and landed right in front of the informant. This scene was attempted in Departed but failed miserably when Leornado tried to look sad when his boss died. There was no friendship to speak of between these 2 characters in Departed!!!

The movie also tries way too hard to entertain. The crazy antics of Jack Nicholson is reminiscent of his character in Anger Management. Yes, Anger management, that rubbish of a comedy. And I do not understand why there are so much sexual references in the movie. There is sex, women and porno everywhere in the movie and is completely unnecessary and downright insulting. Gritty realism is not achieved by dumping sex scenes in the movie.

I can go on and on and criticizing about almost every single aspect in the movie (like how unnecessary the role of the psychiatrist in the Departed was, but completely pivotal in Infernal Affairs etc.), and might as well write a thesis on this movie. To conclude, there was not a single scene of tension nor was it ever moving or exciting. In fact, i found it more funny than anything else. The acting was not particularly great as well despite a rather stellar cast.

Infernal Affairs was an intricate and convoluted plot of deceit, lies, friendship, paranoia and love, at the hands of skillful directors who carefully stage memorable scenes and powerful climaxes – almost everything that Departed was not, despite an almost identical script. The critics are REALLY WRONG on this one. It is a complete failure of a remake, and even without comparison to the original Hongkong version, it is still a ridicule of an otherwise excellent plot. The editing was also fragmented and confusing, and coupled with horrendous pacing, the film gets progressively frustrating. Martin Scorsese has effectively removed everything that was so good about the original. Trust me, save your money and time, and watch Infernal Affairs, even if you have watched it already.
2006-10-15
Another "Sympathy" Oscar
I'm never going to be in a position to win an Oscar, so maybe I just don't understand how goshdarn fab it is to get one. Still, were I Martin Scorsese, I can't imagine not being too ashamed to show my face in public after receiving an Oscar for this claptrap. This isn't a Martin Scorsese film; this is a Saturday Night Live sendup of a Martin Scorsese film. This is the Academy saying, "Well, we didn't give him one for Gangs of New York or for Good Fellas, and he's getting a little long in the tooth, after all. We'd better give him an Oscar for this before he croaks." Is there anyone -- ANYONE??? -- in this film, with the possible exception of DiCaprio, who isn't acting following a major dose of Xanax? (Matt Damon evidently took his Xanax after a lobotomy that was so botched that he could no longer even change his facial expression.) And what's with Mark Wahlberg's HAIR??? Is there any redeeming social value in scene after scene (after scene) of heads exploding in a red cloud? Even Scorsese is bored with depicting violence; he does it because it's expected of him, not because he really gives a damn anymore. You're stupid enough to want it; he's jaded enough to give it to you. A plot line with more holes in it than the hull of The Titanic. Characters about as appealing as Jeffrey Dahmer. You can't care what happens to a single person in this film, and you can't even care that the moral center collapses about an hour in. This film isn't even sickening; it's just dull, dull-witted, and trashy. Scorsese got his Oscar out of sympathy; too bad the film doesn't have any for the viewer.
2007-04-25
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