The Departed (2006)

The Departed (2006)Martin Scorsese delivers with “The Departed” a superb thriller that leaves nothing to be desired. Scene of the crime: The Irish mafia against the FBI in present day Boston. Who wins? It wouldn’t be a Scorsese movie if it wouldn’t boil down to “organized crime doesn’t pay”.

I hear people say this is better than “Goodfellas“, is it? I’d say no, simply because it lacks the level of class “Goodfellas” had. “The Departed” is modern, it is crude, the story is secondary, it is merely about the good guys vs. the bad guys and that there are only losers and no winners in this whole circle of violence and corruption called “organized crime”.

“The Departed” is a cleverly orchestrated version for the new generation who may find “Goodfellas” a bit too dusty. It does offer nothing new but what it offers it offers with brilliant acting and sharp cinematography. Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) an undercover cop tries to win the trust of Frank Costello (Nicholson) to eventually bring the mafia boss to justice not knowing that there are moles on both sides. Colin Sullivan (Damon) has two bosses and bloodshed is inevitable…

You may not like Leonardo but you cannot deny that he does an amazing job as Billy Costigan and paired with Jack Nicholson who is just awesome as mafia boss Frank Costello, Leonard holds more than just his own, he pulls it off and brings the character to life. No small feat.

“The Departed” simply delivers on all accounts, there is no other way to put it. Whether it is better than “Donnie Brasco“, “Goodfellas” or whatever mafia movie you want to name is beside the point. “The Departed” stands for itself and it is top notch cinema.

8/10

2 thoughts on “The Departed (2006)

  1. I think it’s overrated. I can’t understand why everybody liked it so much. Well, I enjoyed watching the movie, was good entertainment, there is an awesome cast, esp. Mr DiCaprio (and I really really don’t like him). I liked the end and of course it wasn’t a bad movie but it did not touch me. 7/10!!

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  2. Well 7 is a great rating, too. If you only thought it’s a good movie like in “OK for watching once” then you may give it a 6 rather than a 7. 7-10 are the top of the crop movies really.

    6 are OK, 5 average in many aspects, 4 below average, annoying at times, 3 bad movie with some good bits, 2 bad movie with nothing to go for it except maybe a nice piece of ass (e.g. Charlize Theron would bump the rating up +1, the babe factor), 1 the bottom of the trash can.

    So 7-10 are all excellent ratings where you basically have a few points, be it script (dialogue weakness), story (plot holes), actors (miscast), effects (crappy CGI), etc that may lead you to deduct points from the maximum rating. For Departed it was its crudeness in particular that led to a lower rating, combined with some plot inconsistencies or rather forced plot lines that make the story appear too constructed at times and again lead to the aforementioned crudeness. Hence 8/10 but ratings are based on individual choice and as a critic I always weigh my choices against other movies in the same genre, compare them and rate them on that scale. That would of course mean that you need to know a lot of similar movies from that genre in order to have a meaningful scale on which to rate. If you do not have that you can of course still rate any movie but then the rating becomes a very personal, subjective choice without any frame of reference other than personal taste applied for exactly this movie which is OK, too. I always try and rate movies on both levels, personal taste and compared to how I rated similar movies in the past and that is a lot. You can check out my vote history on imdb.com here (which has only about 10% of the movies I have seen… I need to update that list sometime soon!).

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