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Legendary director Martin Scorsese takes the helm for this tale of questionable loyalties and blurring identities set in the South Boston organized ...Show synopsisLegendary director Martin Scorsese takes the helm for this tale of questionable loyalties and blurring identities set in the South Boston organized crime scene and inspired by the wildly popular 2002 Hong Kong crime film Infernal Affairs. As the police force attempts to reign in the increasingly powerful Irish mafia, authorities are faced with the prospect of sending in an undercover agent or seeing their already frail grip on the criminal underworld slip even further. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young cop looking to make a name for himself in the world of law enforcement. Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a street-smart criminal who has successfully infiltrated the police department with the sole intention of reporting their every move to ruthless syndicate head Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). When Costigan is assigned the task of working his way into Costello's tightly guarded inner circle, Sullivan is faced with the responsibility of rooting out the informer before things get out of hand. With the stakes constantly rising and time quickly running out for the undercover cop and his criminal counterpart, each man must work feverishly to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, and Ray Winstone co-star, and writer William Monahan adapts a screenplay originally penned by Alan Mak and Felix Chong. ~ Jason Buchanan, RoviHide synopsis
While this isn't Scorcese's greatest movie, it may be the one he had the most fun making.
As usual, DiCaprio delivers a strong performance that helps keep the movie grounded. Although Nicholson is lazy throughout (you can play a game of will he or won't he be attempting a Boston accent in each scene), his Frank Costigan is fun to watch.
Adding to the enjoyment of the movie is how the story links to the infamous Whitey Bulger, former real-life head of the Boston Irish mafia, FBI informant, and current fugitive. And for those so inclined - the high level of what my wife calls "manjoyment" throughout is just another added bonus (aside from Leo and Jack, the movie features another of her favorites, Mark Wahlberg, along with Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen).
The result is a pure movie fun but remember, this is Scorcese, so if you're not able to overcome violent imagery, this one's not for you. I think it might be his most graphically violent movie ever - it might be his way of showing that he can craft a movie that appeals to today's desensitized tastes and tell a good story at the same time.
From the streets of NY, to Victorian England, to the Southie neighborhoods of Boston, Martin is a master in capturing the essence of a group and a place. "The Departed" is no different in that regard and simply shows why he's one of the best directors of all time.