Movie Review This Week

The Departed

2006, Rated R

Directed By Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen


It is ridiculous to see that it took close to 40 years for Martin Scorsese to win his first Academy Award and yet he is such a talented director. Now, the movie that did this for him was, as you know, The Departed. Even though he probably should have won due to his amazing array of fantastic movies, such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. Yet out of his best movies, The Departed is definitely one of the best.

What mainly helps this film is the fact that it has a very intriguing plot. The Departed is mainly about the Irish Mafia in Boston. It starts out with the head of the Irish Mafia, named Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) giving a monologue over how he took over his share of boston. He reminisces that the way he got his power was by realizing that “No one gives it to you-you have to take it,” a quote that i found sad but true if you think about it. The movie continues by introducing Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) who as a kid, becomes friends with Costello, and then grows up to be a State Officer who is a rat(tells Costello what the police are doing) for Costello’s mafia. The other big character in this movie is Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) who comes from a bad family filled with crime. Unlike his family, Billy is training to be a cop when he gets put undercover into Costello’s mob. As Costigan starts to gain trust from Costello, the police start to realize that they have a rat, suspecting anyone but Sullivan. At close to the same time, Costello realizes he has a rat in his group and he starts searching for him. To reveal any more would spoil the movie but the rest of the movie is breathtaking, entertaining, violent and shocking and is capped off with a very prominent ending.

My personal favorite part of this movie wasn’t a surprise was its exceptional script from William Monaham. This film is filled with sharp, realistic and memorable dialogue from each character. The exceptional ending and twists are also a great part of this movie, and it is due to him. The movies greatest triumph is probably the fact its storyline is the kind of plot where you want to know what happens next.Another part of this movie that was good were its performances. The most memorable performance probably comes from Dicaprio as Costigan. It is by no means his best performance (i prefer his performance in Catch Me If You Can and The Aviator) but he definitely portrays the pained undercover cop, suffering from the things does and his panic attacks. He is easily the most likable and human people in this movie, due to most of the other characters in this movie being mafia subordinates, or trashmouth cops who also aren’t too nice. Damon does a solid job portraying Sullivan, its just you can’t help but really hate his character. The only other character that is likable is Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen), who is in charge of Costigan. Queenan is the good cop when the cops play good cop/bad cop. Also, Scorsese’s direction is not the best of his career but it is neverless breathtaking.

Overall, this is a very engrossing crime drama that features few flaws that are overshadowed by its excellent script, cast, and direction from Martin Scorsese.

Yoni Gottlieb