THE DEPARTED (2006) 

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Matt Damon
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jack Nicholson
Mark Walhberg
Martin Sheen
Ray Winstone
Alec Baldwin
Vera Farmiga
Anthony Anderson
David O'Hara

Martin Scorsese



Time: 151 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Drama/Crime

Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Wahlberg), Director, Editing, Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

SYNOPSIS: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy's identities.

BOTTOM LINE: Though I can appreciate the artistry behind Scorsese's films, I have to admit the subjects he chooses to cover are not generally genres I enjoy watching. THE DEPARTED is no exception, however, with the great cast and many award noms, I decided to give it a go. Despite the violence and the utter lack of any likable character, I found myself drawn into this underworld of crime and deception. The characters are immensely human and mostly despicable. Damon and DiCaprio more than hold their own with Nicholson, who seems to find great pleasure in playing a real menace to society. He manipulates both these men, who each have a secret that could get them killed.

It's a lot of great wordplay, interspersed with some bloody brutality that keeps the characters honest. After all, they are criminals. The film is so good, it makes you shiver to think there are people in the world who really behave this way. I can't say I was completely surprised by the ending, though the finality of it sure takes your breath away. The plot gets overly convoluted in the third act with so many twists and turns your head will begin to ache, almost overburdening an already complex tale. Ultimately, what keeps you enthralled are the characters, not the hoops they have to jump through. This is a true tour-de-force that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

"One of us had to die. With me, it tends to be the other guy."

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