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Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Departed (2006)


In this 2006 crime thriller directed by Martin Scorsese, Matt Damon stars as Colin Sullivan, a corrupt cop in the Massachusetts State Police who is working as a mole instead the Special Investigations Unit for the Irish-American mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). When the department learns there is a rat in the department, Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) ask Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to go undercover as his family has connections to organized crime. As Costello continues to commit crimes, the two cops race against one another to find out who is the rat for the other side, often times just missing an important clue that would give the other away.

Personally, I'm not always a huge fan of crime thrillers, but this film held my rapt attention from start to end. All of the characters, from the best and brightest cop to the most heinous criminal, are interesting and creative with their being a lot of shades of grey between the two groups as not all the criminals are awful people (though many of them are) and not all the cops are entirely white. Martin Scorsese's direction is almost impeccable (minus a few incredibly odd shots I noticed, though those were only towards the beginning of the film), and every actor in this film brings their A-game. Jack Nicholson is wonderfully threatening and menacing as the crime boss Frank Costello, Matt Damon as corrupt cop Colin Sullivan is wonderful as he does a good job of keeping up the face of just an innocent hard-working cop, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his career I believe (seriously... how did he not get an Oscar for this?) as you can almost physically feel the struggle that he is going through as Billy Costigan, being surrounded by atrocities and being forced into a situation where the smallest mistake could cause him to get killed. However, this is a tragedy, plain in simple, as even if the bad guys do get their come-uppance in the end *SPOILERS* (Costello getting shot by Colin when he learns he may betray him, most of Costello's gang getting shot down by the police), but almost none of the good guys come out of this alive (Queenan gets thrown off a building, and, most tragically, Billy gets shot in the head by another corrupt cop just after he arrest Colin and is attempting to bring him in.) *SPOILERS*. The ending is one I did not see coming at all, though I have to admit, it does make this one of the few films that I actually like Mark Wahlberg in (seriously, his character is the shit. A foul-mouthed Massachusetts cop who gives no fucks at all)

I highly recommend this film, and I also recommend checking out the Hong Kong movie Internal Affairs, of which The Departed is a remake of.

My Rating: 5/5

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