Scorsese's Best Since Goodfellas
I've always liked Martin Scorsese's movies, he has done several types of movies and has shown that he definitely knows how to make good movies. When you see his name stamped on a movie, you know you're going to get quality work. And he's shown his versatility in directing unrelated films like Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, After Hours, The Last Waltz, Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Color Of Money, Raging Bull, The Aviator, the list goes on. But what Martin is known best for are his gangster movies. From Mean Streets to Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York, and now The Departed, he shows he knows how to make gangster movies. My personal favorite from Martin is Goodfellas (I've seen it a dozen times, and I think it's right up there with The Godfather for best gangster/mob movie of all time), but as good as Goodfellas is, The Departed gives it a run for its money. The thing I like about Martin Scorsese the best is he has a vision. He knows what works for him, and he stays with what he knows. And if he decides to go a different way, he definitely does his homework. He knows cinematography as well and knows what will look great on the big screen, and it looks just as great in the living room after you pop the movie in.
The Departed is an excellent movie with an excellent cast. Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin all put forth performances so real that you believe that they are the characters. DiCaprio, Damon, and Nicholson steal the show with their great performances in great roles; but it's Wahlberg, Sheen, and Baldwin who complete the movie with their excellent supporting roles. Sometimes you see an excellent cast fall flat on their face (Ocean's Twelve), but Scorsese doesn't let any egos get in the way. He does an excellent job of keeping everyone within their own character, and the result is outstanding.
The Departed is similar to the movie Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, but it's way more complicated. Complicated in a good way. It takes a while for everything to play out (it runs in at two and half hours), but it all comes together, and I'm glad Martin didn't skip out on the storytelling by making the movie shorter. I honestly don't know what could've been cut out. It's about a mole who gets inside the mob while reporting to police officers in order to bring down mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson). Only problem is that he has a cop that's supposed to be on his side who's reporting back to Frank, so Frank keeps eluding the heat. Meanwhile, each side is trying to figure out who the mole is on the other side. There are all kinds of twists and turns which make this movie truly original and great, and it keeps you guessing all the way up to the climactic end.
It's nice to see that Martin finally got his Oscar nod. I cannot think of anyone in Hollywood who has done so much for the movie industry, and yet kept getting snubbed year after year. He finally got what was coming to him, just like the guys who get whacked in his movies, but in a good way. Goodfellas is still my favorite Scorsese movie (favorite movie period), but The Departed is right up there. I was actually kind of surprised to see that he won the Oscar for Departed; not because of the quality of the movie, but because of past snubbings. I thought maybe Scorsese's movies were too violent for the Academy. They finally got it right. Thank you.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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.
I know what you're all thinking. Finally, something new! Maybe this'll actually be helpful to me. And I think it will.
This movie directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon as Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan, both men serving undercover. One working for the Irish-American mafia as a cop and the other a cop working for the department as a criminal. Both men become aware that there is a "rat" in their midst and are charged to sniff the mole out. They both work or pretend to work for Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson. Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin play cops trying to put Costello away once and for all. Things really get escalated and both main characters find things aren't always what they seem.
Matt Damon is the perfect poster boy for his role as the guy who gets all the promotions, charms everyone, and gets ahead in life but is really a rat on the inside. He has such a winning personality that everyone just wants to believe him. But the guy you really want to root for is Leonardo DiCaprio, the guy who has never had it easy, and has always had all the odds stacked against him and persecution like crazy, particularly from Mark Wahlberg. He's dubbed a failure and put in prison to get a reputation and thrown out on the streets again to get recruited ultimately by Costello. He goes through so many hardships and injuries and emotional turmoil while Matt Damon checks out the view from his upper class apartment and shags his new therapist girlfriend. The parallels from their lives are so facinating to watch, even if it does go a step too far with them both pursuing the same woman.
Jack Nicholson is crazier than ever. He beats, kills, does all that mafia stuff. Starts to really come unhinged and just walks around with blood on his hands. Gets a little careless and both main characters have to jump through hoops to protect him. I have to say all the roles in this movie were well played. Particularly Leonardo DiCaprio, you just really had sympathy for what he had to do to try and earn a little respect that no one will ever know about.
I was really into this plot all the way till the last fifteen minutes or so. I don't want to put any spoilers out here, let's just say a lot of people got shot in a very short period of time with no premeditation or recovery time. I still think this was a pretty good movie, but falls a little short of spectacular due to the confusing ending. All in all, I still liked it. It gets an A-. I'm expecting to see some nominations out of this one.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The pros & cons of "The Departed"
"Martin Scorsese won't be winning any Oscars for ``The Departed." The movie's too hard, too pulpy -- too good"
thats what the Boston Globe said about the film when it came out.
pros- A big collection of well-known actors headed by the veteran and very talented Jack Nicholson give standout performances. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon play guys who are both working both sides of the fence and the big suspense revolves around their characters and if will be found out, thats basicly the main part of the film. Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, some new lady never seen before(shes the only female with many lines)(no offense ladies, but thats really how it is in the film), Alec Baldwin, and Ray Winstone give superb support. Despite the length of this movie, it keeps your interest all the way. thats how I rate movies, if I get bored, its done for me.
cons- the f-words is way over used. Usually I never care about that, but over 250 of them? come on! Sometimes it seemed like it was in every sentence. It just wasn't necessary to have it said THAT many times, and by practically everybody in the film. also, every character in the movie is a scumbag: an untrustworthy person who will sleep with anyone and lie to everyone. Baldwin's character, as an FBI director, was the most ridiculous of them all. Both of these faults are typical for a Martin Scorcese film.
never the less, a great movie, I just wanted to give my two cents
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Martin Scorsese hits a triple with "The Departed." It's a merry orgy of violence, not in the same league as "Taxi Driver" or "Raging Bull," but a cut above "Gangs of New York." In Boston, crime boss Frank Costello (played as a murderous prankster by Jack Nicholson) places a mole (Matt Damon)inside the Massachusetts State Police; the police in turn plant an undercover agent in Costello's inner circle. Each side soon tumbles to the fact that it has been penetrated by the other, and the moles end up hunting each other.The actors don't appear to be acting, which is what great acting is all about. Nicholson, who sports a Mephistophelean beard and is often shot against fire-red backgounds, gives a riveting performance, and the camera-work and editing leave nothing to be desired. "The Departed" won Scorsese his first Academy Award for Best Picture (2006)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.