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  • MR_Heraclius15 February 2020
    One of the best films of the 21st century, The Departed keeps you on the edge of your seat and is incredibly exhilarating and the characters are incredibly well written and given great backstory. The ending will shock you and everything that comes before is some of Martin Scorsese's best work.
  • The Departed is one of the rare cases when the remake is better than the original.

    It succeeds mainly because of Scorsese's vision and ability to bring this project to life. Scorsese works with his cast turning DiCaprio, Wahlberg, Nicholson into a perfect trio and turning this film into of the best of the 00s. Like most of Scorsese's film, The Departed is very bloody and very violent but very entertaining in the process. Right from the opening line to the end credits The Departed shows off its style and keeps it consistent trough the 151-minute runtime. However, the 151-minute long runtime is the only thing preventing The Departed from being a masterpiece. At some moments in the film (not many), it gets somewhat annoying, but not annoying enough to make me lose interest. In other words, the strongest point of The Departed is also the weakest point. The Departed despite being a remake has enough charisma and energy to make it seem original. The Departed is a triumph of its own kind, it works its way up and hits on an emotional level.

    There is something everyone in The Departed whether you're a Scorsese fan or not but if you're familiar with his work this is a must-see.

    Final Score: 9/10
  • First off, this is an American stylized remake of the Hong Kong hit, Infernal Affairs. I have to give credit to that, a good film. I have seen both Infernal Affairs and The Departed. I personally prefer The Departed, and I think because of one thing: Martin Scorsese. This is the master behind such greats as Taxi Diver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and he's at it again. The film has an all star cast with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin.

    The Direction was amazing. (maybe one of the reasons why he won the Oscar for it) I loved how some of the scenes were shot and set up. Especially regarding the Chinatown, and police interrogation scenes, among many others. The film is perfectly set up with intense, suspense scenes while adding in amounts humor at times. It works really well. The script is top notch. (Also Oscar winning) Realistic strong dialogue from scene to scene.

    Another thing I liked more in The Departed, as opposed to Infernal Affairs, was the acting. DiCaprio really seemed to earn a lot of respect from this role. Here, he takes on the tough guy persona so well. Sure it was known he was a good actor from his Oscar nominated performances in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Aviator, but he really takes it to another level here. I can't see anyone else as the character, he fits so perfectly with it. Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, being Massachusetts natives, also give solid performances, with their natural accents. Nicholson works well in his role, as well. Everyone was extremely solid and everything seemed so real.

    Set in Boston, The Departed takes in all the Boston like atmosphere. Beautifully shot scenes of the Massachusetts Golden Dome State Capital building is just one part of the landscape. The Dropkick Murphys song "I'm Shipping up to Boston" really fits, great use of songs. Scorsese usually works music into his films really well.

    "Cops or Criminals. When you're facing a loaded gun what's the difference?" This quote really represents the film." Matt Damon plays a state officer in the Police, working for the crime boss of the area, Frank Costello (Nicholson). While Damon's character can be described as a "bad guy," he is really misunderstood. As a kid, he is sort of mentored into crime business by Costello while Costello becomes the father figure Damon's character never had. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young guy, coming from a bad, crime ridden family. He's decides to become a police officer to get away from the crime life he's been surrounded by. Taking all this into account, Captain Queenen (Sheen) and Seargent Dignam (Wahlberg) decide to send DiCaprio's character undercover to find out more about the criminal underworld and Costello. With his family's crime record, he fit's perfectly into the situation. Now you have a highly ranked officer working for bad guy, and an undercover cop in the criminal underworld working for the State Police. From here it's an all out suspenseful thrill ride. Who's who? Who's working for who? Who can you trust? Paranoia threatens everyone. Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?

    At the heart of this film is character development. We really feel for the characters. We feel like we know them. It's really amazing part of this story and film. Tremendous story telling here.

    This is one of the most entertaining and suspenseful crime/drama's I have seen in a while. While Infernal Affairs, came first, I think The Departed expands on it in so many ways. Really solid crime/drama. Check both out when you get a chance. It's really worth it. 9/10
  • Now I know that 'The Departed' is based off of the Hong Kong movie 'WuJianDao', but Scorsese really grabs hold of a great story and brings it to the American Screen. My father grew up in Boston and when we walked out of the theater he couldn't stop talking about how authentic the environment and attitude was. Then there's the acting in which the lead actors (Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon) not only give stunningly entertaining performances, but you become engulfed in each one's perspective and dilemmas. The smaller roles that of (Baldwin, Walberg, Sheen) are supporting roles that remind me of Jesus Quintana from 'The Big Lebowski', by this I mean that their screen time is limited but they make lasting impressions that you cherish each and every scene they are in, Alec Baldwin especially. The story itself starts off with the basic intro of the players and the setting, but you'll find yourself slowing following each and every plot twist and rooting back and forth for the good guys and for the bad guys. If you're a Scorsese fan, which I am, I think you will appreciate this film. You can clearly see the Scorsese touch ranging from the cinematography and of course the music, it's great to hear "Gimme Shelter" again, but "Comfortably Numb" played in so well. It's another gangster flick from Scorsese, yet this one stands alone because feels so fresh and most would agree Scorsese does gangster films the best; so why not let him. Oscar worthy, the acting I certainly hope; this is DiCaprio's best role since 'The Aviator' which was his best role since 'Gangs of New York', am I seeing a pattern here. But my lasting impression wasn't concerned with the politics of the golden statue; my lasting impression was that I had sat through 2 and half hours of brilliant and especially entertaining storytelling. Thank you Mr. Scorsese.
  • Please don't make negative comments like some of the aforementioned people have been doing if you haven't seen the film yet! I have seen it, at a press screening last week. Not only is it the best film of the year so far, it marks a return to form for Martin Scorsese, and ranks with the likes of GOODFELLAS as being one of the best in his canon of films.

    I'm a fan of the Hong Kong film, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, upon which this is based. While THE DEPARTED keeps the basic structure of the original, it is very much its own movie, so much so that the screenwriter, William Monahan, didn't even watch the original film while adapting its screenplay, thus enabling him to infuse the script with his, and Scorsese's, respective visions.

    All the actors are first-rate (yes, even Leo, for all you DiCaprio bashers out there), and turn in some of their best performances to date. THE DEPARTED is sure to garner a host of Oscar nods, if not wins, including (hopefully) Scorsese's long-overdue statuette for Best Director. Plus, with actors like Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin playing supporting roles, that says a lot about the quality of the film they signed up for! THE DEPARTED is tough stuff, not for the faint-of-heart. That said, it is a must-see for adult viewers who long for intelligent, gritty stories to grace our movie screens once again.
  • When veteran director Martin Scorsese walked up to collect his Best Director Oscar in 2007 for his efforts with Hollywood remake The Departed, it felt like justice had finally been served.

    After many a miss (hello Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Aviator, Casino etc. etc.), cinema fans breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the long-standing master finally get his just rewards and while it's hard to argue against the fact that The Departed is unlikely to be Scorsese's best work, it's one of his most easily accessible and fun films that remains a joy to watch to this day.

    Utilizing a whip smart and darkly humorous script by scribe William Monahan, that adapted Asian mega-hit Infernal Affairs for English audiences and transported the action from Asia to the thick drawl of Boston, The Departed is one of the most successful reimagining's of all time thanks to the screenwriter, Scorsese's energetic and perfectly paced direction and a collection of stars who shine together in an all-round ensemble.

    Front and centre of the cat and mouse game that sees an undercover mob affiliate infiltrate the Boston police department while simultaneously a Boston police office infiltrates the local mob, is lead trio Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, who all deliver seriously fun and switched on turns with fantastic help from the likes of Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg (in an Oscar nominated supporting turn), Alec Baldwin and Ray Winstone.

    Scorsese struck it lucky with the casting of his 2006 film with both DiCaprio and Damon operating at the peak of their powers, while also snaring Nicholson before he fell into relative obscurity and it's a cinematic treat to see these performers eat up the rich and sassy dialogue and play off each other to great effect as the stories twisted and ever evolving plotline transforms.

    The Departed is one of those rarely found films that continually stays on the move, barely allowing you time to stop and take a moments respite as DiCaprio's undercover cop Billy Costigan, Damon's undercover mob mole Colin Sullivan and Nicholson's purple adorned crime boss Frank Costello go about their respective lives, with Scorsese's film becoming a thriller that genuinely keeps you on the edge of your seat, culminating in one of the most unforgettable and at the times unexpected endings, that recalls many a wide jawed reaction for those that caught this classic in cinemas (myself included).

    Final Say -

    It's not Scorsese's best film but its absolutely one of his most enjoyable. The Departed may not offer anything deep and meaningful but this seriously addictive thriller is the type of cinematic ride we should all enjoy that rightfully ended up becoming one of the most memorable films of the mid 2000's.

    4 ½ rat impressions out of 5
  • He has made good musicals (New York, New York), surreal comedies (After Hours), satires (The King of Comedy) and biopics (The Aviator), but Martin Scorsese has never done better than the times he's dealt with life on the streets and gangsters. Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino (and, to some degree, Taxi Driver) are proof of that. It doesn't seem strange, then, that his finest film in over a decade (Goodfellas was released in 1990) sees him return to that familiar ground. With a few changes.

    The Departed, based on Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs (2002), is Scorsese's first gangster film not to feature Italian-American criminals. In fact, this film is set in Boston, where the Irish rule. One of these "godfathers" is Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), the man the State Police want the most. After years of investigation, they're finally getting close, thanks to undercover agent Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio). Because of his family (all Irish, all bad), becoming a member of Costello's crew isn't that difficult. Now all Costigan has to do is report to his superiors, Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg), who will pass on the information to Ellerby's (Alec Baldwin) Special Investigations Unit. What they don't know is that Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), the most promising element of said unit, has been on Costello's payroll since he was 12. Soon enough, both cops and crooks become aware of the situation, beginning a manhunt that's gonna make the already fragile Billy even more nervous and Costello increasingly crazier.

    By moving from Hong Kong to Boston, Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan have made the first step in ensuring this film will be quite different from its Chinese inspiration. Another significant factor is the running time: a mere 97 minutes for Infernal Affairs, 150 for The Departed. This is due to new characters (Dignam and Costello's henchman Mr French, played by Ray Winstone, were missing in the original) and subplots, such as the one concerning Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), a psychiatrist who gets emotionally involved with both of the moles. But the most crucial difference is in the depiction of the underworld: whereas IA was stylish without being excessive, Scorsese's vision comprises very colorful language (some insults are so creative one might expect Joe Pesci to show up) and, of course, buckets of blood, the last part of the movie proving to be particularly shocking. None of the scenes ever reach the gross-out level of Casino's head-in-the-vice scene, but in pure Scorsese tradition it remains unflinchingly violent (also notable is the music, perfectly setting the mood, scene after scene, alongside Thelma Schoonmaker's impeccable editing).

    Amidst these brutal surroundings, the director handles a spot-on cast: Baldwin, Sheen and Wahlberg (the latter finally back on form) make good use of their little screen time, Damon fine-tunes the edgier side he showed in The Talented Mr Ripley and the Bourne movies, and Nicholson, playing the villain again at last, delivers another OTT but classy turn (original choice Robert De Niro would probably have played the part with more calm and subtlety). A special mention is needed for Di Caprio: working with Scorsese for the third consecutive time, he has finally found a way to shake off his Titanic image, thanks to a vulnerable, gripping (and arguably career-best) performance.

    With its clever plot, excellent acting and expert direction, The Departed is without doubt the year's best film so far. If this really is going to be his last gangster film (he has said so), as well as his last studio-endorsed picture, Scorsese can be proud, given the masterpiece he has given us. If only they gave him the Oscar in return...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just came back from watching the movie so it's still fresh in my mind. Overall the movie was good but it could have been shorter. Good movie but nothing extraordinary, not a master-piece, not a classic. In this period filled with really bad movies it's a movie you have to watch.

    Some things are better than in the original (Infernal Affairs) like character development. It is especially true for DiCaprio's character (not really for other character). However the scene, when Wahlberg cites all of DiCaprio's family connection to the mob, takes too much time. They take a long time establishing how DiCaprio sells drugs with his cousin and finally get into Nicholson's gang. However after that it doesn't take long for Nicholson to give his total trust (in one year and a half to two years), which bothered me. This takes the first hour of the movie and i think it could have been cut by at least 20min.

    Some scenes have a lot more impact in Infernal Affairs than in The Departed. I'm gonna cite 3 scenes which are some of the most important in the story in my opinion:

    -The death of Wong/Queenan: in IA, Wong falls suddenly, lands on a taxi cab taking Yan by surprise. When Yan realizes Wong is dead you can feel the suffering Yan goes through by the loss of the only person who knows he's a cop but also/mainly by the loss of his friend.

    In The Departed we see Sheen falls in slow-mo until he hits the ground in a splash of blood. There's absolutely no connection, no friendship between DiCaprio and Sheen. We see DiCaprio almost on the verge of crying. But Why ? He's not his friend and there's still Wahlberg to prove he's a cop.

    -The death of Sam/Costello: In IA, Ming seems to show a desire to redeem himself and become a good man for his girlfriend. When he confronts Sam in the parking lot during the raid, he kills Sam to remove any evidence he's a mole and restart on a blank slate.

    In The Departed, although Damon slightly mentions starting anew in another city, when he kills Costello he does it just to cover his a-s-s. Never after he seems like he might become good.

    -The elevator and final scene: In IA, the meeting on the rooftop is between two men on each side of the law but sharing so much in common. You can even sense that Ming has some respect for Yan. There's no violence until what happens in the elevator. When Yan dies you can see Ming didn't want this to end like that. Yan's death is really emotional, all sounds are drawn off and only an opera piece is playing. When the second mole gets killed by Ming you only hear gunshots.

    In The Departed The final scenes are a mess. Damon and DiCaprio just hate each other's gut, the token black guy shows up, the 2nd mole shows up and everybody executes everybody. They just stand there to get shot. The scene seems really rushed.

    And when Damon open his door at the end of the movie to see Wahlberg waiting for him, it was the cherry on top of the cake. Everybody was cracking up. How many shots to the head do we need to see ? Was it really necessary to kill Damon and provide the audience with a happy ending ?

    Although The Departed is a good movie I felt a lot more satisfied with Infernal Affairs. They have very different feel to them. One is over-the-top street violence while the other one is more subdued, concise and nuanced.

    For those who says that The Departed is way more psychological than IA I would have to disagree. Infernal Affairs shows how two men struggle to know what defines if they're good or bad. Is it their actions or their allegiance to one side or the other of the law? In the end they're really similar. Yan tells the Psy he's a cop and lift that weight off his shoulder even if it's for just a second. Ming wants to redeem himself and prove his girlfriend but also himself that he's not that bad. Others before me have also commented on the buddhist notion of eternal hell so I won't talk about it :)

    The Departed lacked in that department. There's no connection between the two main characters except for the fact they are moles. They're almost portrayed as black and white. Especially Damon who doesn't seem to have any nuance. He's just bad till the end.

    The Departed 8/10 Infernal Affairs 9/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just watched it last night and can't help but think how much better the original "Infernal Affairs" was compare to "The Departed." The Departed had wasted its cast power, failed to fully develop the characters, failed to focus on the inner conflict for the two undercover, didn't make enough of a point in betrayal, and tried but failed to made up with Scorsess' trade mark violence and sex.

    I didn't feel the inner conflict of Matt Damon the same as Andy Lau. I couldn't help but feel for Jack when Matt betrayed him while I could understand Andy's inevitable turn and his trying to be a better person than he was.

    I couldn't feel for Leonardo. He was crying and breaking up after what? SIX MONTHs? Damn! Tony Leung was a undercover for nine years and he didn't sign up because he chose to, he signed up because that was the only way he could be a cop! Martin Sheen got shafted in his role. There was no time for his character to develop a believable relationship with Leonardo. His screen time was wasted. When he got pushed off the roof, Leonardo wasn't feeling the loss of his only life-line to the world, there was still Mark, he wasn't feeling the loss of a trusted friend, there was no friendship, he wasn't feeling the loss of a fatherly figure, and the only emotion he could have was the shock from the brutality of the murder.

    Mark Walhberg and Alec Baldwin got shafted, too. Mark Walhberg was reduced to a foul mouth asshole turned plot device. What do we need him for other than showing up at the end to put Matt out? Alec Baldwin? His whole highlight was to make that stupid speech about marriage at the golf course? COME ON! The only bright spot in this movie is Jack Nicholson. But even his talent is wasted because he had no one but "Mr. French" to play off his evilness. The classic scene of the original Infernal Affair had Jack's character to confront his counter part in the police station with some of the most memorable moment of the film. Jack has no counter part in "The Departed" and his brilliance was wasted. (The dock encounter was lousy with Martin Sheen making empty threats and Mark Walhberg just running his mouth off.) Matt Damon and Leonardo Dicaprio made lousy under covers, nowhere up to the professionalism showed in the original. Even the confrontation at the end lack the power of the original with the surprise. More dead bodies and more punches and elbows actually subtracted the suspense and the confrontation. There was nothing like the psychological confrontation with the calm manner in the original. Instead, we had elbows flying and a character cracking up crying. Mark Walhberg's existence actually ruined the helplessness of Leonardo. Unlike the original, logically he didn't have to do it alone.

    "The Departed" is a good movie if only it wasn't a remake. There is a reason it is not doing well in Hong Kong. The original is much much better plot wise and character wise. The acting was superb in both movie but the script and the direction was the difference. Even though the plot was essentially the same, Infernal Affair was a much better movie.

    Watch the original if you haven't seen it, and see the difference in camera work and characters.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Idiots often say this: "Oh, yes, it's very good for Hollywood I suppose, but not a patch on the Uruguayan original." Well smack me in the face and call me an idiot, 'cos the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou) is aeons better than the Scorsese-directed, all-star Hollywood remake.

    The original was 100 minutes long and so taught you could probably play it like banjo strings. Several of the scenes were filmed with such artistry that they set a new standard in beautifully realised intensity. The plotting was tight, the acting pitch-perfect, and you really felt for the protagonists.

    It was, in short, the best cops and robbers thriller anyone had seen in years.

    So of course it had to be remade.

    Enter Scorsese, Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Sheen, Baldwin et al.

    What results is bloated competence.

    The set-pieces from Infernal Affairs remain, but are slacker and less well-handled. People in the cinema were laughing where they should have been clutching their heart to keep it in their chest.

    The precision camera-work gives way to run-of-the-mill shots. Consider the sloppy execution of the rooftop fall.

    The film is considerably longer without any real cause (bar, perhaps, Nicholson's hammy imperative to overplay any role he takes on). Witness the affair storyline, which is an unnecessary sop to the need for a more prominent female role, or the FBI addition, which is completely superfluous.

    The end result is simply a lot weaker than the tightly-budgeted, tightly-edited, subtler original.

    The only improvement – and I shudder to say this – is Alec Baldwin's role as the wise-cracking police captain, which made me chuckle on many occasions.

    Get the original out instead. Please. You won't regret it.
  • Movie_Buff_Brad11 November 2006
    Before seeing this, I knew I was in for a treat, given that it's a Scorsese movie, but The Departed was even better than I expected.

    The acting is outstanding. Leonardo DiCaprio gives what is quite possibly the best performance of his career. Even the people who hate him admit he did a good job. It's turned some haters into fans and my brother who despises him even says he was great. Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson give their best performances since The Talented Mr. Ripley and As Good As It Gets. Mark Wahlberg almost steals the show with the best lines. Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen are good, too.

    Definitely one of the best films of the 00's. And easily one of the best remakes of all time. It's intense, funny, exciting, suspenseful, superbly acted, violent, has great characters, and has one of the most shocking scenes I've ever seen. And there's not a boring moment in it's two and a half hour running time.

    The film will most likely be nominated for picture, director and adapted screenplay, and in my opinion, it deserves all three of them. DiCaprio and Wahlberg also deserve nominations.

    See this as soon as you can.
  • SoncoChairman29 September 2006
    Excellent. A great, great movie. I saw it last night at a special screening and must say it was a tour de force. Even though Boston is not really a gritty town Scorsese was able to capture a darker side of the city. Coming from that area, I am always concerned when actors put on the local accent as it tends to be distracting rather than supportive. However, with local pros like Damon and Wahlberg they were able to really grab hold of it and not go overboard... most of the time. The true stand out performance has to go to DiCaprio. He has really come into his since hooking up with Scorsese, having scored a number of original performances all of which have expanded his range. He really snagged onto a deep and tragic character and created something that will hopefully be recognized come awards season. One of my favorite aspects was the friendly hostility the characters had for each other. It is a specific trademark that I have never noticed in any other city. In Boston, when you are really close with someone (or not really) it is, more or less, a requirement to bust their balls and shoot cruel insults back and forth in rhythmic banter. That detail was extensively realized in THE DEPARTED and I doubt anybody who was raised outside of the metro Boston area, or at least visited at some point, would find it nearly as hilarious as those who were. As for Scorsese's direction, I think he scored big with this one. While many have criticized that his movies have become more commercial I believe that he has just evolved. There were some classic Scorsese moments here, my favorite being a scene where DiCaprio is alone and packing his things in his apartment. Beautifully cut and stylistically directed. Is it his best effort? No. But it still is truly mesmerizing. He has created something truly special from a city that is highly underrated.
  • The Departed

    The screenplay: Top Notch

    The performances: all-star cast delivering all-star performances

    The music: perfect

    The Directing: Martin Scorsese at his finest and that is saying something.

    Once again Scorsese delivers a film that meets or exceeds the expectations of its audience in nearly every way. There are moments of incredible tension, violence, and drama, moments where characters reveal their vulnerabilities and weakness. Comedic moments and moments of sadness and through it all a multi layered and brilliant story is told by an American film maker who once again proves Harvey Keitel correct when he said, "Maybe he (Scorsese) got what he deserves--exclusion from the mediocre."

    This film is Scorsese's finest work since Raging Bull, but it is not simply about Martin Scorsese or the amazing screen play by William Monahan, it is more than an amazing score, and great cinematography. While many of the accolades for this film belong to those behind the scenes people who envisioned and directed this film. One would be remiss to not point out the great performances of an all-star cast, many of whom deliver the finest performances of long and storied careers. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon deliver incredible performances.

    However the performance that stood out for me was Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg's Sgt. Dignam stole every scene he was in, and he shared screen time with each of the afore mentioned actors. He gets to deliver some of the best lines, and with every scene he leaves the audience wanting more, and anticipating his next scene.

    Since The Academy has had its collective heads stuck … for so long, mentioning a Scorsese picture and Oscar in the same sentence seems to be a waste of time. That being said I can not say if he will finally win the Oscar that he has deserved for so long, as his major competition (Flags of our Fathers) has yet to be released, I will say that I expect to see Wahlberg nominated for best supporting, and Leo and Damon will be pitted against one another once more, this time for best actor, Monahan will be nominated for writing, and of course Scorsese will be nominated for director. Also, it goes without saying a best picture nomination will be in order for The Departed.

    That was the long version; the short version is if you like a movie with incredible performances, direction, music and visuals. If you like a layered story that is not formulaic, in short if you appreciate film making and story telling at its finest then see this film. Even with the glowing reviews of myself and others, and the high expectations they will undoubtedly bring I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, saw the movie actually 2 days ago, didn't get a chance to think about it. Now with a refreshed mind, here it goes:

    If one never saw the original "Infernal Affairs", you would fall in love with "The Departed" right away, after all it has an excellent plot. And with the legendary "Gangs" like Nicolson and Scorsese, we have every reason to have a high expectation. Unfortunately, this is not the case!

    The Bad: If I want to sum it up, I would say that was because of Scorsese's passion over brutal violence, it prevents him to reveal the true essence (as human beings) of the movie.

    1. I really feel sorry for Martin Sheen, his character in the movie is so pale, he does not show the deep and close relationship (as in the Infernal Affairs between Tony Leung and Anthony Wong), nor there was any sign shows he was even a capable cop. So unfortunately, I found myself hardly could feel sorry for what happened to him. Having said that,Infernal Affair's Anthony Wong did a superb job to catch the essence of his character.

    2. OK, how about Mark Wahlberg's role? The obviously increased lines for him did not charm him a bit. With his boss being killed, and him as the only one knows about DiCaprio's true identity, he actually took a paid leave?! What's up with that? Does it even make a logically reasonable sense?! All right, he took his action in the end, but…

    3. Does it have to be a two and half hours movie? There are so many unnecessary scenes to my opinion. Just name a simple one here: when Matt Damon went in talking to the bad guy pretending he is the lawyer. PLEASE! We audience are no fool, you don't need to show everything to us, all you need to do is send Damon to the room and start talking. We would figure out the guy's lawyer did not show up. Well, there are so many in the movie, what I am trying to say is if Scorsese wants us to keep thinking about what happens and what will happen next, you ought to do a consistent job!

    4. The most of all, this movie pretty much follows what the Infernal Affairs had to offer, the biggest shock? The ENDING! I have to say I was confused right after I saw the movie, I thought maybe I was too dumb to figure out what it meant. BUT, the more I think about it, the more I got disappointed. The ending was so bad it can literally take all the credits it gets. Let's set Mr. Scorsese's beloved violence scenes aside, for me, I think the essence for the movie is: the "good" and the "bad" does not really have a clear line in between to judge from. Just like Nicolson said: "When I was your age, they would say you could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is this: When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?" For that reason, I gave two thumbs up for Infernal Affairs' ending, sorry Scorsese, yours is just too lame!

    Also, I am not buying the cell phone communication throughout the movie, personally, I think the Morse code is a much better way!

    The Good:

    1. Nicolson! To be honest, he is a perfect fit for this character. The only other possible candidate I can think of is Robert De Niro. Nicolson actually did a great job as Frank Costello. My only problem is I could hardly see Costello's foxy side. 2. The Shrink! OK, I have to say that is one shining point of the movie! Not like the original one assigned two female roles to the two leading actors, "The Departed" combines as one, which not only makes the character more standing out, but also adds another interesting twist to the story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I beg you all, especially those who vote > 8, please view the trilogy of "infernal Affair" (Wu Jian Dao) from HK before doing any judgment on anyone in Departed.

    I personally favorite staff in the movie, Jack, Matt, Leo, Martin. I have to say all actors are the best, also, the script. Director, i am so disappointed.

    The story and even most charming details are borrowed from the original version(the first installation of the trilogy, if you are interested, the following two are also the most excellent movies in HK movie history), however, Martin turned me down finally.

    No discussion on the reasons why the two mouse come to be themselves, (it has been a long way why they "departed"), please do not use only F-word to attract us, please don't regard everyone of us as fool. Matt is kind of no-brain to get all the info to Leo when they finally meet at the police office, and then became just a cold blood killer(still no-brain) to delete his files. is that make any sense, they looks like idiots there? Music is nice, but still a long way to the old one, which is much compatible to the atmosphere(which is also missing in this cut).

    And finally, the end is disappointed. where in the HK version, it is most exciting and moving 10 minutes during last 10 years. thanks!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Caught The Departed last night and I have to say, its one abject failure of a remake. I was expecting it to be good, and truth be told, I wanted it to be good because it is based on Hongkong's Infernal Affairs, quite possibly one of the best gang flicks of all time. It is one of my personal favorites due to its brilliantly conceived plot of gang versus police, replete with paranoia and deceit. It is also quite possibly, one of the most intelligent films I have ever seen (second to Memento).

    Where do I even begin? There are just so many things to criticize about. Firstly, the utterly realistic characters in Infernal Affairs have been reduced to one dimensional vectors that merely carry the plot forward. Matt Damon's character was reduced to a bad ass villain and was almost gleefully ridding anyone who knew of his identity, with no hint of remorse even till the very end. In Infernal Affairs however, at the end of the film, Andy Lau truly wanted to be a good guy but obviously, circumstances did not allow him to, and therefore he was forced to kill the gang boss to protect his identity. He subsequently went crazy over the guilt of killing the police informant (Tony Leung, or Leornado in Departed). Infernal Affairs ended brilliantly because Andy Lau's character survived it all with no one knowing his true identity. He could therefore assume his role of a high-ranking police officer, but was ridden with guilt and constantly reminded of the people who died because of him. It was really tragic and you could almost sympathize with his character. And what's with the ending of The Departed?!! Do all Hollywood films have to have perfect fairy tale endings where the bad guy has to die? And even if he has to die, does it have to conclude with an abrupt scene that lasts 30secs, and not to mention, totally cheesy and lame. It seems like a quick way out to conclude the story. The climax at the lift in the abandoned building was also unintentionally funny as body counts skyrocketed as people just started dying ridiculously. The reaction that people had in that scene in Infernal Affairs was true shock…'Oh my god!'. The reaction in Departed was quite the opposite – people started laughing.

    Also, the strange and awkward friendship between the police informant's boss and the gang boss was completely removed in the Departed. It was so enjoyable watching how the 2 former friends who are currently on opposite ends of the law, try to outplay each other in a full-fledged war of wits and power, but with grace as a result of their friendship in the past. This was COMPLETELY omitted in the Hollywood version. And also, there was a lack of tension between the police force and the gangs. Martin Sheen seems almost weak and hapless against Jack Nicholson and Nicholson himself appears barely sinister and intelligent. Another stupid omission was the friendship between the police informant and his boss, which was meticulously staged in Infernal Affairs, and culminated in a tragic climax when the boss fell off the building and landed right in front of the informant. This scene was attempted in Departed but failed miserably when Leornado tried to look sad when his boss died. There was no friendship to speak of between these 2 characters in Departed!!!

    The movie also tries way too hard to entertain. The crazy antics of Jack Nicholson is reminiscent of his character in Anger Management. Yes, Anger management, that rubbish of a comedy. And I do not understand why there are so much sexual references in the movie. There is sex, women and porno everywhere in the movie and is completely unnecessary and downright insulting. Gritty realism is not achieved by dumping sex scenes in the movie.

    I can go on and on and criticizing about almost every single aspect in the movie (like how unnecessary the role of the psychiatrist in the Departed was, but completely pivotal in Infernal Affairs etc.), and might as well write a thesis on this movie. To conclude, there was not a single scene of tension nor was it ever moving or exciting. In fact, i found it more funny than anything else. The acting was not particularly great as well despite a rather stellar cast.

    Infernal Affairs was an intricate and convoluted plot of deceit, lies, friendship, paranoia and love, at the hands of skillful directors who carefully stage memorable scenes and powerful climaxes – almost everything that Departed was not, despite an almost identical script. The critics are REALLY WRONG on this one. It is a complete failure of a remake, and even without comparison to the original Hongkong version, it is still a ridicule of an otherwise excellent plot. The editing was also fragmented and confusing, and coupled with horrendous pacing, the film gets progressively frustrating. Martin Scorsese has effectively removed everything that was so good about the original. Trust me, save your money and time, and watch Infernal Affairs, even if you have watched it already.
  • adrossan18 October 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Well, due to all the hype I went to see this one with great expectations, although I must admit without having seen the parent film Infernal Affairs. What a let down ! Setting the scene is great, and time taken to achieve this is well spent, but for me the film started to drag, with expectation and patience well run out by the time the plot strands began coming together. Yes, Jack Nicholson is a great actor, but no he didn't convince me in the role, even though most of the good lines and deliveries were his. But Boston Irish ? Everyone, including the deliverer of the line "I'm Irish & can live with something wrong the rest of my life...." failed to convince me of Irish lineage. The accents, the faces, the attitudes were all wrong for souls in torment over doing what they believe they have to do, a basic for Irish/Catholic guilt and angst.

    The film would have been much stronger with unknowns in several key positions, and for me once the disparate strands were established the rest of the film was very predictable and I wasn't kept guessing - crucial if we are to suspend disbelief and have pressure and tension build in the viewer.

    DeCaprio fails to convince as a tough guy, despite the convincing scars. He stills comes across as an adolescent fuming after his pocket money's been withheld. Matt Damon looks like an awkward schoolboy, and was even less convincing than DeCaprio about being a cop. Mark Wahlberg sounded like he'd been taught to swear the week before, Martin Sheen was as hard bitten as a kitten and there were so many operational goofs the film became a comedy. A Federal agent running a State operation against his own informer? What a waste of time and budget monies. Only two people knowing about an undercover operation? BULL! Keep sending an undercover back after his nerve's gone ? Garbage ! Permanently deleting a full record (on a State Police computer no less!) without possibility of recovery ? Unbelievable - even children know data can be restored, and the system will keep a record of who deleted the information. For me, the film became a joke and I couldn't wait for the end to arrive so I could leave. By the time the end plays arrived and new players were falling like flies, the audience was laughing out loud at the inanity. Once again, Hollywood takes a good story and ruins it with poor crafting, no matter how well filmed. Very bad casting, a rushed and unfulfilling ending, far too much gore, not enough character substance, one dimensional players and an insult to the viewers intelligence.
  • cappocanieri9 October 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    When I heard Scorsese made this movie, i was very excited. Because one thing that i know, Departed will be an adaptation of my favorite Hongkong movie "Infernal Affairs" or "Wu Jian Dao". And when I read a magazine, the director denied and said it's only inspired by. So my expectation flew away. But all my dream has gone when I saw "Departed". It's all the same. Sorry, spoiler, how the boss gang died, how the captain died, how the undercover died, all the same. In short, all the important scene, are all the same. Maybe, they have different ending but if you have seen "Wu Jian Dao", "The Departed" just only follower. No need a big name like Scorsese just to remake an Asian movie. One thing, "The Departed" has lost the thrill that "Wu Jian Dao" have.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Make it long, add top star billing, and spend a zillion dollars, and I guess anything can receive an award. Silly me, I thought original, provocative, and at the very least, plausible story telling was needed for good drama.

    Let me start by adding, that "great" actors are useless when miss-cast. I'm sorry, but Damon and DiCaprio's persona's and looks are both too soft to play hard edge characters. Wahlberg and Sheen were so absent of realism, they compromised important plot dialog. Baldwin's attempt to add some comic flare came across as more buffoonery then wit. Even Nicholson's part was more cartoon then character. (Quintisential Jack)! Costello should have been cast by a hungry unknown, (from Boston).

    What makes this very pretentious movie really bad, are the "holes". This movie leaked like a sieve. Allow me to address a few:

    1) The premise alone. You have a large police department investigating a large crime family, yet only three members, (one of which is not even out of the academy), will alone without the resources of the department infiltrate an organized mob presumably using a mole. 2) If costigan is suppose to have been dismissed from the force, then why is he being seen by a civil service police psychiatrist. 3) If costigan was pulled out of the academy specifically for the benefit of his anonymity, then why does everyone he meets, know him and his family. 4) Does the department acknowledge the existence of costigan or not? His entire identity can not be conveniently eliminated from all record and then later resurface for a meritorious award. 5) If Costello was an F.B.I. informant, were the hell were the F.B.I., and better yet, what bigger fish would the F.B.I. want, then Costello himself. 6) Speakng of other agencies, were the hell were the Boston police during all these inner city homicides going on inside their jurisdiction.

    The ending alone was most pathetic due to the fact there was no feasible conclusion possible based on the story's lack of continuity. I don't mind the enigmatic challenge of a smart and sophisticated screenplay, but please don't mollify me with vapid subplots.

    Too much budget, and not enough substance. Unfortunately, I seem to find the latter in only foreign or independent films. Hollywood needs to to produce more movies that don't just rely on its marquee. Next time the director calls, "That's a wrap", there should be no loose ends..
  • ayda-ayda17 December 2006
    I was excited to see the movie because of the cast and the story. I was very disappointed after 5th minute because it is the same exact copy of the movie INFERNAL AFFAIRS '. The scenes, the story, everything is the same. I would understand if they used the story as a base and made a movie out of it but I will not accept it if the only thing they changed is the cast. I cannot make a good comment of the movie because it definitely is not a movie of it's own. There is no excitement of watching the movie because I know what would happen on every scene. I will give my vote to the actors only because their performance ( especially Leonardo Di Caprio )was very good but that's all.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have loved the original (Infernal Affairs) from the first time it enthralled and enticed me into its engrossing story, and I have watched it so many times without ever losing a moments interest. When I found out it would be remade, I was annoyed at Hollywood for meddling with masterpieces, but then I heard it would be Marty at the helm. His films have always impressed me and he deserves an Oscar for his efforts, yet his recent offerings have left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. Take Gangs of New York, it was entertaining, it had all the right elements to make it a great film, but after watching it, I felt a bit robbed. Undoubtedably, the best thing was Daniel Day Lewis' 'Butcher' character, along with the fight scenes and the setting, yet none of it really ever gelled together to make that masterpiece Scorsese always craves.

    This brings me onto 'The Departed'. I went in thinking, this should be OK, Scorsese has taken an amazing concept and is trying to make it his own with a stellar cast that with such material, really shouldn't go wrong. I was right to an extent, but I was left with a feeling of dissatisfaction.

    Having read in reviews that Jack Nicholson stole the show, to be honest, he didn't really do much for me in the film, just his usual on screen persona (feisty, scary, loud). He fits the bill though, he took up the screen and he owned the scenes he was in. However, if you look at the original and compare it to Sam, you'll notice that Sam seemed more menacing, because you really didn't know what he was going to do or say next.

    Martin Sheens 'Quinan' was probably one of the weakest characters, his role in comparison to the original does not give a real mentor bonding with Billy Costigan (Leo Di Caprio) and defeats the idea of the closeness of the two main good characters. His sidekick however, Mark Wahlbergs 'Dignam', I think was the best thing in the movie. It allowed for a bit of banter and sparked off a few laughs in the cinema. He was more developed in this version, however he got in the way of Quinan making any impact on the story.

    The two leads were well cast, Leonardo Di Caprio does well with his role and looks frail but tough, and caught in the middle of things. Matt Damon had probably less to do, in acting terms, however he manages well with what he had. Having said this, neither of them match up to Tony Leung or Andy Lau, from the original.

    The one thing I did like about The Departed was the new idea that they both fall for the same woman. It added a bit more to the back story and suspense, towards the end.

    Overall, I gave this a 7, because it is a movie in its own right and being that, it is a pretty good offering by Scorsese. The problem is, for me, the original is far better. The whole concept, suspense and acting from Infernal Affairs is so much more believable and flowing. I think one important point to note is the environment, the Hong Kong police force and triads are much better suited for this plot, as well as the language. Scorsese did well with transferring the idea over to the S. Boston Irish 'mafia', but he failed in trying to translate a lot of the dialogue over from Cantonese (eg. the wrong way of writing the word 'bodyguard' on the envelope, changes to the misspelling of the word 'citizen').

    To conclude, if I was to take into account the original, I would have given this a 3.5/10, which may seem harsh, but I believe its nowhere near as good. If you haven't seen Infernal Affairs and were intending on seeing The Departed, I would advise you to see the latter first, so you will know what I mean about feeling unsatisfied. I think the rating of 8.7 (at the time of writing) for The Departed does not do the original justice. I leave it for you to decide.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had massive expectations for THE DEPARTED , a violent mob drama directed by Martin Scorsese the greatest film maker in the world today . After seeing it I did have a slight of feeling of something I have experienced throughout my life - Disappointment

    ***** SPOILERS ******

    The film starts in typical Scorsese style of a sweeping framing sequence with a musical soundtrack by The Rolling Stones similar to the work he did in GOODFELLAS . Unfortunately the director doesn't sustain this and whilst never becoming mediocre we don't see much in the way of what cinematic beauty Scorsese is capable of and in several scenes most notably in the death of Queennan the original film INFERNAL AFFAIRS did it far more better

    THE DEPARTED suffers from a very uneven screenplay courtesy of William Monahan . When it's bad it's woeful but when it's good it's great . It should be pointed out however that when it's good it's entirely down to Siu Fia Mak's original script and if you've seen INFERNAL AFFAIRS you'll notice how tight the storytelling was and how loose and cluttered Monahan's adaptation is in comparison . Did we really need a romantic subplot ? And there seems a lack of thought put into Costello . He's spent years as a crime boss so how come it appears it's only now that the Boston police department have come up with the bright idea of putting several moles into Costello's crew ? Are we to seriously believe that Costello is being protected for < Plot revelation that I won't give away > , and just because a tough gangster likes opera that doesn't make him multi layered , it just makes him clichéd and unconvincing . Most ridiculous scene is where Costello meets his police mole in the cinema . If it's a clandestine meeting then why does Costello draw attention to himself by grunting and pulling out his penis ? Possibly the most stupid sequence I've ever seen in a Scorsese film

    There's been many other criticisms of this movie , a movie that seems to have split the critics right down the middle . One is the cast . I do think DiCaprio is a much better actor than what he's given credit for but I was never entirely convinced when he has to dish out violence . Someone a little less pretty should have been cast while you're left with the impression that Deniro and Pesci were first choices for Costello rather than Nicholson . Damon does merely okay as Sullivan while Ray Winstone as French is somewhat distracting because he's a widely regarded actor and household name in Britain and seeing him attempt an American accent is something of a shock to the system . The one performance I wasn't keen on was Mark Wahlberg as Dignam down to the fact he plays one of those fast talking foul mouthed cops that we've seen in far too many films and HBO series. Perhaps I'm being somewhat harsh to the cast in general and Wahlberg in particular because the dialog in Monahan's screenplay contains far too much swearing . Yeah I know swearing exists in real life but it's almost like it's included in every line just so the audience know that it's a hard hitting adult drama . I think everyone knew that when we saw the name Scorsese in the title . No need to over egg the pudding or include a fist fight every few minutes otherwise someone might think they're watching a Tarintino movie

    As for the good points ... well if you've liked most of this great auteur's movies then you'll certainly like THE DEPARTED , just not as much as you've liked Scorses's previous output . If you have loved most of Scorsese's films then you'll be slightly disappointed . It's not helped by the fact that this is the first movie directed by Scorsese to pick up the Oscar for best film where as master works like TAXI DRIVER , RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS didn't
  • Warning: Spoilers
    They sure know how to make their version real 'American' with all the F words. That seriously was annoying, how every actor in the movie always needed to curse, I should have counted them.

    The original (Infernal Affairs/Mou gaan dou) is way better.

    Why? Cause the most important key was missing! In the original movie; the mole (Chan Wing Yan (as Tony Leung)) in the mafia gang had a great bond with the head guy of the entire case. He gave him a watch for his birthday. At that moment you could see how those two has a bond with each other. That would explain the grief that he showed in the movie when the head guy got killed.

    The American re-film: Billy and Queenan totally had NO connection in my eyes. All Dignam could do was bash him with the f words. Why the hell would Billy give a crap that Queenan died? They had no bond.

    I think supposedly in both movies the death of the head guy was the twist in the cases. The both moles (mafia side aswel the police side) realized this cannot continue anymore. Afterwards they had to take strong measurements to the case. That all cause of the death of that head guy.

    So yeah, I advice everybody to watch the original one first. I think this movie is too overrated. I sure hope they won't re-film part II and III of Infernal Affairs (it is possible you know...).
  • martinitaly17 March 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    The title clearly refers to Scorsese's talent, which vanished in a squirt of stage blood about 15 years back. He wasn't talented, he was brilliant -- but that was then. Today he should be making intelligent independent movies, elder statesmanly flourishes of wit and humanity, inspiring a younger generation. Instead, he's humiliating himself with overblown junk. His love affair with hoodlums is tiresome, his critique of Catholicism is ignorant and stupid -- I mean, I dislike Catholicism as an institution, and God knows it doesn't need me to defend it -- but any sociological or spiritual phenomenon with the history and complexity of Catholicism deserves better treatment than the head-kickings Scorsese metes out. And ironically, Scorsese has made his own Faustian pact with the Devil -- he had his years in the Hollywood wilderness and feels he won't get anything thoughtful financed -- so it's better to team up with a bankable but untalented actor and produce these lumbering, brainless sub-epics.

    Many people in their comments here have struggled to express quite how deeply bad this film is. I too am at a loss. It's intriguing for a while, then downhill races into one of the worst supposedly classy films EVER MADE. Jack does his Jack Show, because he is vain and because no one has the guts to tell him that it was already self-parody 20 years ago. Supposed hard man Leonardo looks as enraged as a poodle when the canine beautician has gone a bit to close to his ear with the electric clippers. Matt is actually OK in the light comedy bits, which makes one wonder why he has become Hollywood's current Brooding One. Wahlburg -- rubbish. Sheen looks like he's focusing all his energies on trying to deliver his lines without spitting out his dentures. By the way, I reckon the script originally developed the sexual thing a bit more -- as it implies that Damon is not as groovy between the sheets as Leo, and his homophobia and other things seem to hint at his being a gay in denial -- but they decided that audiences wouldn't buy a gay hero, or it scared Damon, or God knows what -- just another loose end in this spaghetti-plate of a movie.

    Overall, hardly anyone in this movie (Winstone is an exception) act-ually ACTS. They are all oh so boringly themselves. Consider Olivier in Marathon Man, how his characterisation of an ageing Nazi suggested all sorts of undercurrents of twisted psychotic nastiness -- and then look at Nicholson's leering, over-the-top gurning. Chortling as you pull the trigger on someone is not really quite enough to convince us we are witnessing evil, Jackie baby.

    By the way, the film shows cutting-edge developments in cinematic blood-squirting technology. Instead of the wounds exploding using charges that produce a small cloud of smoke, they sort of vaporize -- it looks like it's done with compressed air. A great advance Scorsese can be proud of.

    This film has been larded with praise -- by gaga members of the Hollywood money machine. Every year people say Scorsese deserves an Oscar, and it's usually because we remember his early films. Well, they have Lifetime Achievement Oscars if we want to reward a body of work. Now he has to go to his grave knowing he got the Oscar for a Turkey. Only he probably doesn't know. And do any of the egos involved in this mess care? Hollywood cynicism, parodied in Scorsese's last film, The Aviator! What a joke.

    Right -- my last word, if you're still reading. We are currently being told by our masters to hate Iran. It has one of the few cinemas in the world that sometimes try to show something true about the human condition. Whereas our civilization produces, as one of the top-billing cultural manifestations of the year, expensive to make, heaped with praise and awards, exported around the world and seen by multiple millions--something about as edifying as watching lions tortured or Christians having limbs lopped off at the Roman Colisseum two millennia ago. What does this say about us?
  • rhargett323 October 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lets start with a very slow intro to an amazing story. Then lets compile a dream cast of characters to act out this amazing story. So amazing in fact that it very well could be the best movie of the year. Then once this character had given up everything and risked his life in nearly every scene, lets FINALLY give him the opportunity to hand over the dirty cop and set things straight. Well, we don't have time to finish the story with a great ending, so lets just kill him. Then at the end, lets kill the dirty cop so he can be decorated as a hero instead of turning over evidence so he can be convicted. This could have been the best movie of the year, and the story could have been told in well under 2 hours. They should have just opened and closed with a firing squad and I could have been in and out in 10 minutes with the same results.
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