The Departed

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5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF Nicholson considers dessert.
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF Nicholson considers dessert.

Finally, he’s back—back from the nonsense of germophobic aviators, ancient turf wars and the notion that we ever came to him for epics about heroes. From Scorsese, we want epics about stupid jerks. The Departed shares the same lead actor from his last two pictures, but suddenly DiCaprio is perfect, tapping into his silver-tongued weaselliness as a Boston cop lying his way into the Irish underworld. You’ll have to go back to GoodFellas to find a Marty movie this fun, this enamored of language, of ethnic slurs, of “Gimme Shelter,” of explosive violence. Scorsese’s return to form is the year’s most dynamic film. Really, how could it not be?

Based on Infernal Affairs, a finely complex Asian policier from 2002 (this is ten times better), the plotting has much the same wit as Face/Off, with DiCaprio’s precarious dive mirrored by the spectacular rise of a clean-cut detective (Damon, equally well cast), secretly compromising the force for the benefit of his decadent gangster patron (an unhinged Nicholson, which is saying a lot). You know the two pretenders will eventually clash—our first taste is a silent cell-phone showdown worthy of Michael Mann’s Heat—but Scorsese ratchets up the tension in a two-and-a-half-hour feast of absorbing incident, the pair sharing a feisty therapist and bed partner (Down to the Bone’s Farmiga) and getting off on their roles. Unexpectedly, the prevailing mood is one of bizarre, cutup comedy, exploited by a supporting cast that would shame most topliners: Alec Baldwin (in his unpredictable Miami Blues register), Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone and the superbly rude Mark Wahlberg. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Joshua Rothkopf

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"You want them to chop me up and feed them to the poor?!"  is one of my favorite lines in any movie, and perfectly sums up this awesome film.   The pure anxiety and agony DiCaprio's character voluntarily puts himself through for the greater good just jumps off the screen and bleeds into your own heart until you are right there aching with him.   The acting in this movie across the board is phenomenal, a higher level overall than any recent movie I can think of.   DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Wahlberg, Sheen, Baldwin ALL at the top of their game.  The fact that Leo didn't even get nominated that year is ridiculous.  

tastemaker

This is hands down my favorite movie. The cast, the plot, the parallels of the characters coming from very different upbringings and backgrounds. Leo plays the cop who was bread to be a different kind of blue blood, while Matt Damon plays the hard worker that rises to the top. The two are linked by one man, Francis Costello (Jack Nicholson), the leader of Boston's Irish mafia. The recognition this movie has received is well earned. This is a Scorsese masterpiece.