Director Martin Scorsese returns to his trademark style with the violent, bruised, and bloody feature THE DEPARTED. Scorsese filched the basic storyline from Wai Keung Lau and Siu Fai Mak's masterful 2002 Hong Kong action film, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, which saw a policeman going undercover as a mob member and a mob member infiltrating the police force. Scorsese transfers the action to Boston, positioning Leonardo Di Caprio as undercover cop William Costigan and Matt Damon as undercover mobster Colin Sullivan. While Costigan and Sullivan get into plenty of nail-biting situations that almost reveal their true identities, Scorsese gradually unravels his strong supporting cast, including Jack Nicholson as Sullivan's mob boss, Frank Costello; Ray Winstone as Costello's meat-headed muscle; Mark Wahlberg as a hot-headed police sergeant; and Vera Farmiga as a love interest for both Damon and DiCaprio's characters.THE DEPARTED finds Scorsese generously dipping his toes back into waters that will be warmly familiar to his biggest fans. Rolling Stones songs pepper the soundtrack, recalling the remarkable "Jumpin' Jack Flash" sequence in MEAN STREETS; bullets and blood punctuate every key scene, bringing TAXI DRIVER's explosive finale to mind; and the mobster-themed storyline is a thrilling return to GOODFELLAS territory. Nicholson and Winstone provide acting master-classes every time they appear, neatly complementing the blossoming talents of DiCaprio, Damon, and Wahlberg, while further veteran support comes in small roles for Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin. Scorsese is often criticized for affording precious little screen time to female characters, and THE DEPARTED won't quell those dissenting voices, although Farmiga's character proves to be more than a match for DiCaprio and Damon's posturings. But Scorsese followers who balked at his diversions into documentary filmmaking (NO DIRECTION HOME) and period epics (THE AVIATOR) will be delighted to find raw male machismo puncturing the screen once again in this frenetic entry into his celebrated oeuvre.
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"THE DEPARTED is splattered with moments of pure, dead-eyed, blood-soaked Scorsesean violence....Nicholson provides a menace that's half silky, half seedy." -- Grade: A-Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (10/13/2006)4 stars out of 5 -- "DiCaprio fully justifies his place as Marty's new muse....[He delivers] THE DEPARTED's most dangerous turn."Total Film - Jamie Graham (11/01/2006)"The speed and Mr. Scorsese's sureness of touch, particularly when it comes to carving up space with the camera, keep the plot's hall of mirrors from becoming a distraction."New York Times - Manohla Dargis (10/06/2006)4 stars out of 4 -- "The actors bring their A games to this triumphant bruiser of a film, its darkly wanton wit the only defense against complete chaos."Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (10/19/2006)"[A] juicy and enjoyable gangster picture. It has generous salty humour, tremendous narrative drive, an absorbingly complex plot of multiple betrayal, and a roster of entertaining actors."Sight and Sound - Nick James (12/01/2006)"Martin Scorsese here succeeds in creating a bleak picture with a fatalistic Irish sensibility."Box Office - John P. McCarthy (12/01/2006)Included in Premiere's "10 Best Movies Of The Year" -- "[With] enough bravura acting for a dozen such pictures..."Premiere - Glenn Kenny (01/01/2007)Ranked #1 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "[A] model of what directing is when craft rises to the level of art."Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/28/2006)Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "Scorsese's got the best of men at the tops of their games. THE DEPARTED is this year's meatiest movie diversion."Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (12/29/2006)Ranked #1 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."Film Comment - Film Comment Staff (01/01/2007)"[T]his 'gangster movie' feels like a direct emanation from a society in a state of severe moral disorientation....THE DEPARTED reminds us that if there's truly an enemy, it's within."Film Comment - Film Comment Staff (01/01/2007)4 stars out of 4 -- "[I]t's a rare treat for moviegoers to see six major actors, all in strong roles, together in one movie."USA Today - Mike Clark (02/16/2007)5 stars out of 5 -- "DiCaprio stands tall, even when sharing the screen with Nicholson....THE DEPARTED is his master class..."Ultimate DVD - David Richardson (03/01/2007)5 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith Nicholson and DiCaprio together on screen for the first time, a performance masterclass is assured."Ultimate DVD - David Richardson (07/01/2007)"THE DEPARTED has become a classic in its own right, thanks in no small measure to William Monahan's script..."Wall Street Journal (09/17/2010)
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