In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello. While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan, a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by their double lives, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations they have penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there is a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy - and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save themselves. But is either willing to turn on their friends and comrades they've made during their long stints undercover? Written by
When the main characters are shown in a police academy ballistics lecture at the beginning, the large flip chart illustrations seen in the background are Warren Commission exhibits of President John F. Kennedy's head wounds, prepared by medical illustrator H.A. Rydberg under the direction of Dr. James Humes, the chief examiner of Kennedy's autopsy. This is another reference to the Bulger case (albeit a fairly oblique one): when Kennedy was shot, one of the other passengers and shooting victims was Texas Governor John Connally. John Connolly was also the name of the FBI agent who recruited Bulger as an informant and ultimately protected him from investigation or prosecution for many years. See more »
When Costello is hitting Costigan's arm with his shoe, he is clearly hitting the table area in front of his arm. See more »
[after a counseling session]
Why is the last patient of the day always the hardest?
Because you're tired and you don't give a shit. It's not super-natural.
See more »
The title doesn't appear on screen until nearly 20 minutes into the movie. See more »
I can say without overstatement that I just saw the most gripping and entertaining American film to come out in at least the past ten years.
I was lucky enough to get a pass to an advance screening of The Departed this past weekend in Boston. I wasn't sure what to expect and actually planned on being a little disappointed with all the expectations and hype of such an all-star cast.
From the moment the opening credits came up, the movie grabbed me by the neck, ripped me out of my seat and didn't let go until the final scene.
Each performance is more masterful than the next. Damon was a tour de force as the lead, tapping every ounce of his acting reservoir for this role. Nicholson creates another classic role to add to his already sterling resume. His mob boss would almost steal every scene he was in, if it not for every other actor being so fantastic However, the biggest surprise for me personally came from Leonardo DeCaprio.
Having never warmed up to any of his roles or movies, I found myself blown away by him in this. I'm not sure if it was the material he was given, or if DeCaprio has grown this much as an actor, or a combination of both, but he finally won me over with his role in this instant Scorsese classic. Every character is pitch perfect, every scene is right on the money. The plot builds to a crescendo of such dynamic proportions rarely seen on film. I don't want to give too much away, but I'm still shaken from the ride I was taken on.
People go to the movies in the hopes that maybe once in a hundred times you get to experience storytelling so masterful and transcendent that it changes the way you view cinema. This is one of those spectacularly perfect times.
Forget Taxi Driver. Forget Raging Bull. Forget Goodfellas. As much as I LOVE those movies and as much as they have affected me in my lifetime, The Departed will hands down be Martin Scorsese's Master Work.
769 of 1,476 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?