Sunday, 21 November 2010

Film Review: THE DEPARTED (2006)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Running time: 151 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

UK release date: 6th October 2006

Watched on DVD Sunday 21st November 2010.


I have lost count of the number of times this film has been recommended to me. Consequently I bought the DVD some time ago but never got round to watching it… until now. It is a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film titled Infernal Affairs which was a big hit over there. It deals with crime and police corruption in Boston, and I must admit to those that recommended it to me, it’s pretty damn good! More of my thoughts later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters take big Joey for a ride while I write the next paragraph… But don’t let me catch you readin’ it!!!).

State Detective, Billy Costigan, is from the South side of town; he has no family to speak of and so is targeted by Cpt. Queenan and Staff Sgt. Dignam who run undercover operations. They persuade him to get in with crime boss, Frank Costello, who they suspect is selling technology to the Chinese, amongst many other crimes. Little do they know that Costello has an inside man on the police task force, Colin Sullivan. Now Sullivan is not able to get the name of the undercover operative in Costello’s gang, but tips him off whenever the cops are getting near. After a while the cops become suspicious that Costello has an inside man amongst their ranks and start up an investigation to find out who the rat is. Cpt. Ellerby appoints Sullivan to lead the investigation. Add to this the fact that Costigan is slowly losing his mind the longer it goes on and has to see a police psychiatrist, Madolyn, who just happens to be Sullivan’s girlfriend. With both sides slowly closing in on the insiders a tense and shocking climax is in the offing.

I must say I really enjoyed this film up to a point. That point is the ending, I would have done it differently, but then who am I to argue with a man like Scorsese? A great script by William Monahan really brought out some great performances. First up I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was outstanding as Billy Costigan, Matt Damon totally made me forget the Bourne films as Colin Sullivan and, of course, Jack Nicholson was great, as ever, as Frank Costello. Also on the role of honour are; Mark Wahlberg as Staff Sgt. Dignam and Martin Sheen as Cpt. Queenan. Honourable mentions go to; Ray Winstone as Mr. French (Costello’s top henchman), Vera Farmiga as Madolyn, Anthony Anderson as Brown (a cop) and Alec Baldwin as Cpt. Ellerby.

A really engrossing film with just enough twists and turns to keep the audience enthralled without confusing too much. A great script and some really great performances only add to the enjoyment factor. I’ve already said I have a slight problem with the ending, but it is still a tremendous film and one I don’t hesitate to very highly recommend.

My score: 9.3/10

IMDb Page:
Official Site:

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