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*** Official The Departed Review Thread

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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted October 01 2006 - 07:14 PM

The Departed - Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Every bit as powerful and good a film as Gangs of New York and the Aviator.

I've not seen any of the Infernal Affairs films.

A note on spoilers. I will discuss who is good cop and bad cop, I won't reveal major plot points or resolutions, the film makes it very clear within the first few minutes who is who, but I was unsure as to who was good or bad based on the trailers. I will discuss how I see the characters and their development throughout the film, some of the description might be considered spoilers as it indicates general directions of the plot.

Overall, Brutally funny, more on the script later.

I nominate this film for the best fuckin' soundtrack of the year. From Patsy Cline to the Stones, John Lennon, Pink Floyd and opera; sonically this film is outstanding. Never quite as good a musical moment as the famous fight in Mean Streets but "Comfortably Numb" is ALMOST there... just interrupted a teensy bit by dialogue and awkward blocking.

The Departed spins a story centered around Boston crime lord/mafia chieftain Frank Costello. Costello has been a father figure to Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) since he was a boy being raised by his grandmother. At the start of the film we find Damon breezily being placed as a mole for Costello into the special unit of the Boston State Police who are continually hunting the elusive Costello. Nicholson tears up the screen as Costello, his role is full of energy and life, and could very well be in competition for a supporting actor nomination--simply because it's Nicholson.

Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a boy from a split home who was raised on both sides of the Boston tracks. his family is all dead, but most of his extended family are criminals. He applies to the same special division of the Boston State Police that Colin Sullivan did, but with his spotty record and disposition only one route is left open to him if he wants to be a cop--deep cover as a mole with Costello.

The rest of the film unfolds brilliantly. The story development had me on the edge of my seat from moment to moment. Often I was thinking, "what next," or "how will they get out of this (or be busted)". But that tension may be the film's one downfall; The Departed feels a little long; some of the plot seems repetitive or tat least looping upon itself. But this is Scorsese and I can already feel--as I think back on the film--how that repetition is one of the film's shining, brilliant aspects. The repetition layers and deepens the character of Costigan and Sullivan in contrast to each other.

The film is very catholic in its approach to all three characters, but it is Costigin who draws us in with the trials and tribulations he undergoes. Is he trying to achieve redemption or atonement by serving the police and undergoing these trials? He seems ignorant of his family's past in some key scenes. Scorsese delivers us a kind of tortured hero's journey for Costigan. We're not told enough to really discern his quest, his purposes, instead Scorsese keys in on two other aspects of the journey--isolation and pain (trials). And the audience attaches itself firmly to Costigan because of this. This is where Scorsese really powerfully exploits the repetition in the narrative. Costigan is forced through a lot, physical, mental and spiritual (metaphorically, what he believes in is tested the most), we're left wondering just how far a man can be pushed and still remember what is right.

I think this is Leonardo DiCaprio's finest performance, it's a brutal, demanding role. And yes, it is a showy role, he has a lot of juicy scenes to display his chops, but it is not as showy as Nicholas made the Costello role. Damon is superb as Colin Sullivan. It'd be easy to dismiss his performance, but this is a character that learned to wall off emotion and vulnerability long ago. One of the film's nicest contrast shows Costigan's walls breaking down as Sullivan's strengthen while both worm their way deeper into positions of trust. Sullivan is so stoic; Damon is guaranteed to be overlooked for any awards consideration. It is a nuanced performance and one of the film's greatest strengths. And it enhances DiCaprio's awards portential, his performance will contrast both with Nicholson's scene chewing and Damon's scene-deferment. He'll generate buzz and talk.

But what was my favorite performance? Mark Wahlberg. He lights the screen up with dialogue and fuck-you-ness the way Joe Pesci did for Goodfellas, it's a shame his character is so small.

The script by William Monahan is brilliant. This is one of the funniest films I've seen since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. there's brutal, snappy humor in every other scene--and it really works for the film. The humor is stronger than After Hours.

This is a film that makes me realize Italians are all moody, volatile bitches and the real fun is to be had by hanging with the Irish. Posted Image

The humor is what makes the film click and connect--it's what verbally ties the two separate stories together, and that makes the themes and connections between the men really ascend to the next level.

Michael Ballhaus' cinematography is outstanding. Gorgeous throughout with many visual nods to John Ford (made me think of the Informer and The Long Voyage Home).

Thelma Shoonmaker's editing ties together the two separate threads so seamlessly it blows my mind how smooth the whole experience was. There's one hitch, in the editing, and that's where Comfortably Numb stops working for a spell. I think it's how the scene was shot and blocked, it's the only part of the movie that doesn't work.
The sex scene between DiCaprio and Farmiga.

Howard Shore's score is good. Kristi Zea's Production design is outstanding and the Makeup team did a stellar job, and may well be in the oscar hunt as well if WB plays their cards correctly.

So why rate this three and a half? Because it's terrific to write about the film afterwards but the film never yanked me up to the highest level Scorsese can achieve, at least, not on a first viewing. And that's in many ways because I was so anxious to find out how it all resolves that I was constantly thinking of it as a story and not caught up 100% in the story. In many ways the storytelling was so good that I was too tense to fully enjoy it. A second viewing and I'll be more relaxed and I think I'll enjoy the film even more, Unlike many action films, this film will really reward repeat viewings. It's not Goodfellas, it's a whole different animal . It's not a crime epic it's an action/police film. And it's a brutal comedy and a damned effective piece of storytelling. It is a crowd pleaser. The audience had a blast with the film and gave it a spat of thunderous applause at the end credits.

And the end credits are on cards rather than scrolling. Nice.


#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Shawn.F


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Posted October 04 2006 - 06:09 AM

I caught the Boston screening last night (William Monaghan introduced the film). It's a solid, solid piece of entertainment. Not quite up to the level of "Goodfellas", but then again what could be? Excellence in all areas (didn't expect it to be as funny as it was from time to time). For a film that runs two and a half hours, it felt more like half of that. Going back on Friday night to see it again. Can't wait.

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Nathan V

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Posted October 04 2006 - 07:02 AM

Oh, my goodness, that was sweet. I can't even explain how good this one is. It's one of those movies where you're smiling the entire time you're watching it. From the first frames, when those familiar Scorsesean block letters pop up on screen, and The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter starts up, you know you’re going to get what you came for. He’s given us what he’s best at- another breathlessly-paced, ultra-realistic, testosterone-infused, ultra-hip work of art. This is the most exhilarating experience I’ve had at the movies all year. His camera waits for no man. The movie is 151 minutes, and it feels like 90. There is not an ounce of fat on this mother. Bill Monohan's script is dynamite. Thelma's editing is sharp as a tack. Marty doesn't just intercut 2 scenes, he splices 3 or 4 scenes together, juggling all kinds of different themes (sexual repression and, of course, identity are the big ones here), and he manages to keep it all perfectly coherent. He's reinvented the genre a little bit with this, taking it in a new direction from all the subpar gangster flicks flooding the market in both film and tv that were derivative of his previous work. In time this'll rightly be seen as a bona fide classic. All the trademark attributes of his crime masterworks are here- deep, rich characters, stupefying violence, excessively fast pacing, perfectly selected tunes, brilliantly staged bravura sequences, and nonstop profanity. Everybody, do yourself a favor and don't miss this. See it with a big crowd (it's very funny in parts), on a big screen. This isn't just a good movie, or even a great one. This is Martin Scorsese at the absolute top of his game.

EDIT: Here's a link to my full review- http://movie-source....sp?movieID=2040

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#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 06 2006 - 12:08 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Departed". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.




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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Shawn.F


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Posted October 06 2006 - 02:20 AM

And here is my review: THE DEPARTED (WARNER BROS. 151 MINUTES)-**** (out of four) After exploring turn-of-the-century immigrant hoods in Gangs of New York and billionaire Howard Hughes in The Aviator, Martin Scorsese returns to the mean streets he knows so well with The Departed, a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime flick Infernal Affairs. Choosing South Boston instead of New York City this time around (much of the film was still shot in the Big Apple), The Departed focuses on two Massachusetts State Police officers: street-smart William Costigan Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the ambitious Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). The two have never met, but their lives will become intertwined courtesy of Southie mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), the main target of the State’s war on organized crime. Costigan accepts an undercover assignment to infiltrate Costello’s organization. Sullivan, to whom Costello has been a father figure to since he was a kid, works his way up the Special Investigation Unit food chain while doubling as Costello’s informant inside the Department. For a while, each man handles their double life quite well. But as the saying goes, all “good” things must come to an end: both the police and Costello are growing suspicious that they each have an informant on their payroll. With solid turns by Andy Lau and Tony Leung and an emphasis on story and themes instead of over-the-top action scenes (a facet of Hong Kong cinema that got old for me about 14 years ago), Infernal Affairs was one of the better Asian crime thrillers I have seen in a while. Involving without being flashy or melodramatic, the strength of its drama stemmed from its performances and a solid script. In comparison to this new film, however, Affairs seems a bit anemic. It’s no real fault of that film, which I recommend you rent on DVD. It’s simply a matter of having one of American cinema’s top visionaries getting hold of the material and working with a first-rate screenwriter, cast and crew to really turn it into something special. Departed finds Scorsese once again working at the top of his game. His directing is a bit more laid-back and less flashy than previously, but no less impressive or vigorous because of it. He moves the story along with great confidence and ease, examining the multiple characters that inhabit the story without sacrificing pacing or the continually mounting tension. Backed by his longtime collaborators (editor Thelma Schoonmaker, cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and Production Designer Kristi Zea), Scorsese draws you into this brutal, seedy universe of cops and criminals right from the start and refuses to let you go for the next 151 minutes (which feels more like 75). As impressive as Marty’s work is, William Monahan (Kingdom of Heaven) deserves an equal amount of praise for his excellent screenplay adaptation. Monahan remains quite faithful to Infernal in terms of story, but goes the extra mile to create story and character depth. He also does a terrific job transporting the story from Hong Kong to Boston and incorporating the city’s minutiae. His dialogue is sharp, profane and at times, hilarious. And his examinations of the loyalty and identity themes (as well as a subplot involving a psychiatrist, played by Vera Farmiga) are given plenty of room to breathe and grow. This is a smart, layered piece of work worthy of awards recognition. The icing on The Departed’s cake is its remarkable ensemble cast. Nicholson, who based Costello on Southie crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, alternates between menace and humor perfectly. DiCaprio and Damon each handle their roles with great conviction, while Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen and Ray Winstone deliver superb supporting roles. Everybody gives it their all, working together without overshadowing one another to bring to life Monahan’s dialogue and characters with brilliant precision. Is The Departed Scorsese’s best work since Goodfellas? No (that honor belongs to 2005’s remarkable documentary Bob Dylan: No Direction Home), but it sure comes close. Unfortunately, I doubt it will win Scorsese the Best Director award at next year’s Oscars. But in the end, will that really matter? Once that boring butt-smooching fest has come and gone, The Departed will still be then what is now: a brutal beauty of a film. -Shawn Fitzgerald

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted October 06 2006 - 04:15 PM

Just came back from seeing The Departed. Scorsese shows off with his directing bag of tricks and the actors give some great performances, especially the supporting players. Having seen the original Infernal Affairs, I must say that The Departed improves the original in some ways and stumbles in others. On the one hand The Departed greatly add depth to its characters, compared to Infernal Affairs. There's alot more humor too, though I thought they went a bit too overboard with the jokes. However I felt the ending was a bit too haphazard and anti climactic, whereas the original had a much better ending which had an emotional resonance that the remake lacked. Still it's a worthy effort from Scorsese, easily his best film of this decade.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Nathan V

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Posted October 07 2006 - 05:09 AM

My review, from www.movie-source.com -

The Departed

Martin Scorsese’s The Departed isn’t a movie. It’s an animal. It’s a lean, mean, well-oiled machine. From the moment those familiar Scorsesean block letters hit the screen, and The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter starts up, you know you’re going to get what you came for. He’s given us what he’s best at - another breathlessly-paced, hyper-realistic, testosterone-infused, ultra-hip work of art. This is the most exhilarating experience I’ve had at the movies all year.

Mr. Scorsese’s films are usually very character-based, and this one is no exception. However, this film is also very plot oriented, with a strong, engaging story. It follows the pursuits of Billy Costigan (Leo DiCaprio), an undercover cop posing as a mobster, and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), an undercover mobster posing as a cop. Unbeknownst to each other, the two are undercover in each other’s respective crews. Gradually, they become aware of each other’s presence, and each is assigned to find the other out. Jack Nicholson plays a monster of a local mob boss, and Mark Wahlberg (who gets the film’s funniest lines, playing practically the only ‘good’ guy), Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga, and Ray Winstone fill out the ensemble cast. As many know, The Departed is a remake of the popular Hong-Kong action caper Infernal Affairs, which shares the same basic plot. It’s rather surprising that no one had ever come up with this clever concept until so recently.

Of course, whereas the Hong Kong version was simply an entertaining thriller, Scorsese takes the concept and explores all of its possibilities, piling thematic layers on without ever losing sight of the story. Costigan has spent his life struggling for acceptance, and finds the undercover job a solution, if an unsatisfying one. Sullivan (Damon) is able to integrate himself so skillfully into the cop world that he’s able to sustain a relationship through his false identity. The two get so lost in their worlds that we often have to remind ourselves who these characters really are. Scorsese’s new film isn’t just about the struggle to maintain one’s identity - although it is very much about that - it also explores the theme of sexual repression. Constant verbal references to “homos,” “c*nts,” “pricks,” and the like, not to mention Nicholson’s bizarre antics in a porn theatre, reveal the level of concealed frustration inherent in the professions chosen by these men. It becomes clear just how lonely these people are, and how hard they try to conceal that fact. The dual relationships with Vera Farmiga are fascinating to watch - both men fall for her character, a psychiatrist. Such a development might sound preposterous on paper, but it’s presented in such a straightforward manner that it works. Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Scorsese has always spent lot of time on his women characters (he’s directed nine actresses to Oscar nominations).

All of the classic trademarks of a Scorsese crime picture are here: deep, rich characters, rapid-fire editing, perfectly selected rock tunes, stupefying violence, high-energy pacing, and non-stop profanity. It’s always amazing how fresh his films are, despite legions of imitators and copycats. The reason for this, I think, is because he knows the streets better than any other director alive. Scorsese grew up in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, not as a participant in the criminal activity surrounding him (he is asthmatic), but as an observant. His crime films smack of a reality that just isn’t present in anyone else’s films. It’s his turf. Note how the violence isn’t something that’s built up to- it just explodes, with great suddenness, out of the moment. In this world, people don’t point their gun and recite five-minute monologues. As in Michael Mann’s Miami Vice, if somebody wants to shoot someone, they do so immediately and without hesitation. The atmosphere is always tense; characters can, and do, burst into sudden rages in ways only Scorsese would know. It is clear that the situations portrayed are derived from life, not from movies.

The staging of these situations, however, owes much to the great classic films. There is a nice nod to The Third Man, and a certain scene involving a vibrating cell phone and a lot of silence is Hitchcockian in its suspense value. This is Scorsese’s first film to take place in the area of cell phones, and he just about exhausts all their story possibilities. This will be the first Oscar-nominated film to feature text-messaging. Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing is sharp as a tack - she and Scorsese abandon traditional crosscutting and effortlessly splice together three, sometimes even four scenes at once. Somehow, they manage to juggle all the themes and plotlines and keep everything completely coherent. Scorsese’s editing skills, in my mind, are the best proof of his unofficial status as “America’s greatest living filmmaker.” The dexterity in which he and his editor pile on the shots without ever seeming extraneous is staggering. Each shot supplies new information in the most cinematic way possible, and is onscreen only as long as it needs to be. His camera waits for no man. The 151 minute movie feels like it’s only an hour. There is not an ounce of fat in this picture.

It would seem unfair to single out a particular performance- the all-star cast is uniformly brilliant. Those who accuse DiCaprio of being an amateurish pretty face no longer have an excuse to do so. In his third outing with close friend Scorsese, he delivers another powerhouse performance. It is interesting to note the increase in his abilities with each consecutive Scorsese film. His ability to give the impression of thinking and reacting to situations is uncanny, and particularly exciting to watch in this film - Nicholson often threw improvised lines at actors on this set. DiCaprio’s reaction when Nicholson says the unexpected line, “I smell a rat,” is real. Damon exudes a subtle menace as the undercover gangster. He is so convincing as a cop that it’s easy to forget his character’s true identity. The Damon and DiCaprio roles are dreams come true for actors - they require the actor to play someone who’s pretending to be someone else, with the stakes as high as possible. Interestingly, after The Bourne Supremacy, Damon swore he was going to take a long break from acting, “unless Scorsese calls me-” which, oddly enough, is exactly what ended up happening. His understated performance is a counterpoint to Nicholson’s outrageous, seething depiction of pure evil. This is the “Jack” persona taken in a new direction to a delicious extreme. He is an unpredictable force of nature, and a joy to watch.

In the end, superlatives do not do this film justice. Like Goodfellas and Casino, it’s an adrenaline rush to experience this film - a sensory assault overload. Music pulsates under nearly every scene, while Bill Monohan’s labyrinthine script pushes the plot forward, escalating the tension gradually until breaking point. It should also be noted that the film is quite funny in its own morbid way - Nicholson’s absurd line of advice to the Chinese about “nuking Taiwan sometime this century” brought the house down. As stated above, the film is absolutely rock solid in every respect. It manages to be wildly entertaining in addition to having a depth that rewards multiple viewings. Folks, this is one of the great ones. It isn’t just a good movie, or even a great one- it’s beyond that. This is Martin Scorsese at the absolute top of his game. Don’t miss that.
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#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted October 07 2006 - 06:32 AM

Saw it last night..won't go into great detail since several others have.

Overall I thought it was a good film...great acting, lots of nice twists (some I saw coming I must say)...but overall I'd give it a 8 out of 10.


#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted October 07 2006 - 07:25 AM

I won't compare it to Scorcese's recent films. Which child do you love more Posted Image

I thoroughly enjoyed Gangs of New York (it was a near masterpiece, but had some significant flaws), and thought The Aviator was one of the best films of 2004.

Scorcese is so accomplished, even his average efforts are a pleasure. The Departed is not an average effort, though. It's an endearing, tough film. Better writers than I have gone on and on about it, so I'll simply agree with them.

Wahlberg steals almost all of his scenes (well, he and screenwriter), Damon is excellent as usual, and Nicholson is Nicholson. But I LOVED DiCaprio's performance. He is a very rare talent, and it was on display here. I wish Gangs was being made now. He did the best he could in 2002, but DDL ate him alive. This performance had the grit and intensity that one was missing. I thought he was extraordinary.

2006 is shaping up to be quite a year. This will be one of the crown jewels.

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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 07 2006 - 11:45 AM

While I thought it was a good film, I don't think it hit the "great" level for me. The film is one of the more well-lit "daylight" films I've seen from Scorsese, as I was anticipating more darkness and shadows for such a tale of 2 moles. In addition, the story was almost too contemporary at times (making information dissemination between the moles on either side far too easily in terms of screenplay consideration). For once Leonardo finally seems like an adult in this film, rather than a tall skinny kid wearing his dad's clothes in previous film roles. Damon was on his game throughout the film, Wahlberg brought the comic relief, Sheen was good for what he represented in the film, and Nicholson was entertaining as always as the big bad kahuna. The runtime seems about right for all the twists and turns, but there's maybe about 5-10 minutes that could have been trimmed and not lose much of the dramatic narrative. I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   AaronMan


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Posted October 07 2006 - 08:01 PM

Awesome film for sure! Scorsese hadn't made a film I enjoyed since Casino. That is, until now. Wahlberg, Damon, DiCaprio and even Alec Baldwin, who I don't really care for, were all terrific. I'd give it a 7 or 8 out of 10. It's get a perfect 10 if it wasn't for the female roles. Once again, like Gangs of NewYork, they dragged it down a notch. Just my opinion. By the way, what was the instumental that was playing as the end credits started rolling?

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Joe D

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Posted October 08 2006 - 02:43 AM

I saw this Friday and I really loved it. I was on the edge of my seat for the last hour or so waiting on what was going to happen. Leo has done quite the job in the last 2 Scorsese movies, here he was excellent. Four Stars / Four Stars from me.

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   mattCR


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Posted October 08 2006 - 04:57 AM

I loved this film. I find it humorous that years ago, when people talked about Matt Damon & Ben Affleck, everyone figured Ben would be the one with the great film resume. I think between the two, there is no doubt who has done far more with his talents.

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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Thi Them

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Posted October 08 2006 - 05:38 AM

Awesome movie. Along with Goodfellas, Scorsese's most entertaining ever. Strongest cast ever in a Scorsese movie. Nicholson, Wahlberg and Baldwin were really fun. Damon was his usual good self. I haven't seen better from Dicaprio. Great and funny dialogue. It was a little long, and I was a little disappointed by the use of "Comfortably Numb" (some great stuff could've been done with the ending guitar solo). A lot better than Infernal Affairs. ~T

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted October 08 2006 - 08:25 AM

I saw Infernal Affairs a couple times before a remake was ever mentioned. I don't love the film, but I do love Tony Leung. Posted Image It's a decent movie, but not a great one. The Departed is a great remake, but that's about it. At the very least, it's on par in quality with Infernal Affairs, but if it's better, it's only by a tiny bit. I thought the pacing was fine, and by the end, I didn't feel like that much time had passed. It didn't feel like a 2 and 1/2 hour film to me. The casting was fine, but the only standouts for me were Vera Farmiga and Martin Sheen. If I had to choose between watching Infernal Affairs or The Departed again, I would choose Infernal Affairs most of the time. One reason is that The Departed is definitely more graphic and violent than Infernal Affairs. and that stuff puts me off most of the time unless it's absolutely necessary, and I feel that isn't the case for The Departed. Will this get an Oscar nomination? I won't be surprised. Will it win? I hope not.

The final word: Whether you have seen Infernal Affairs or not, I would recommend The Departed.

***1/4 out of ****

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted October 08 2006 - 12:10 PM

Good not great. Terrific performances from all, especially Wahlberg. The woman was the weakest link. A bit long, but overall, a very good film.

I don't think Scorsese will win the Oscar for this one unfortunately. The wait will continue.....

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image1/4 out of 4
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#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Holadem


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Posted October 08 2006 - 03:08 PM

Ties and perhaps bests United 93 as the best movie I've seen this year.

Stellar performance from one of the most solid casts in recent memory, outstanding dialogue, a plot so intricate it makes LA Confidential look like a nursery rhyme. Interestingly enough, this movie has made me understand much of the praise lavished upon Goodfellas. Scorsese's unique, energetic style and mastery of his craft is indisputable. But one thing sets these two movies world apart: characters I care about, and this one delivers in spades.

I want to see Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing and Screenplay nominations.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image / 4.


#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Dave Hackman

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Posted October 15 2006 - 05:41 AM

Leonardo DiCaprio reunites with Martin Scorsese and kicks ass. He had to carry most the film and turned in one of his best performances. He’s not really the person I visualize in this role but he pulled it off. My favorite scenes involve him freaking out over his escalating narrow escapes of being uncovered and his heart felt conversations with the psychologist. Matt Damon was the best cast of all the actors. There was no doubt that he became his character and I never once thought otherwise. He not only looked the part but he displayed many different gears that were impressive. He would go from somber and calm to Bourne stealthy all while remaining internally vulnerable and insecure. This guy is a great prize for any director. Jack Nicholson gave his role many layers that only he could pull off. His character is all over the place and it helps keep you on your toes. Some of his dialog could have been better. Vera Farmiga looked beautiful as the psychologist and her performance complemented both Damon and DiCaprio. She gave the film a softer side when the violence would escalate to a bloody level. Alec Baldwin also reunites with Scorsese. He appeared fat and sluggish. I wasn’t impressed with his effort. Martin Sheen’s character must have been patterned after Mr. Rogers. It worked as you found yourself comforted by his relaxed nature but it did seem strange in a movie like this. If anyone needs an actor to play a priest having sex with children or a congressman text messaging sexual innuendoes to a page, this is your man. Mark Wahlberg was the worst cast in my opinion. His role required a much stronger presence to belt out insult after insult. It was weird to see him yelling at Leonardo. It felt like this movie could have used him in a different role. His brother Robert also appeared in the film as a FBI agent. This film tells its story with great confidence and never appears rushed. You get interesting characters that intertwine with one another with enough depth to feel completely satisfied when the end arrives. Speaking of the end, I feel it twisted one too many times. It didn’t seem out of place or anything, just a bit excessive. A

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted October 15 2006 - 09:00 AM

The Departed
10 of 10

It probably won't end up being my favorite of the year, but this is an outstanding film that seems very likely to be in my top 5. I loved Infernal Affairs and the instant it ended I said to myself "this MUST be brought to mainstream America, the script is just too good not to". And here it is a few years later, just as I'd hoped and without being ruined by a script butcher.

This is a remake on part with how Yojimbo turned into Fistful of Dollars, each with the directors style but without losing sight of the fundamental keys to the plot and themes. In fact in this case Scorsese seems to have locked in on almost all the best stuff and tried to draw more of it out.

There are a few misses on changes, but they are really mild.

I love the pairing of Leo and Marty and I'm glad that started happening. I'm also a big Wahlberg fan and this is another hit effort by him. Baldwin too proves that he has good range between the intensity of a GGGRoss and SNLive when he shows off both at the same time here.

The script adaptation is outstanding, and very often extremely funny. In fact the comedy found within the drama and the characters is better than it is in your average half-assed comedy.

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

Tim Glover

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Posted October 16 2006 - 12:46 PM

Saw this today. Outstanding film. I am a sucker for nice-happy endings but in spite of that part, this is one of the most intense movies I've ever seen. One thing is for sure, the screenwriters loved the F word Posted Image. Wow. That's got to be a record.

Gripping, brutal, intense, tightly directed and incredibly acted. Chuck, I agree with you on DiCaprio. Excellent performance. Another one was from Martin Sheen.


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