a quick take by Tony McRae

The Departed” is a violent crime film by Martin Scorsese who knows a thing or two about the subject.  “Mean Streets,” (1973) and “Goodfellas” (1990) come immediately to mind. “The Departed” is not as good as either of these, but it is good, at times very good. As always, a Scorsese picture is a treat to watch. Few know how to make the entire screen crackle. I’ll want to see this again just to absorb the richness of Scorsese’s canvas.

The story is taken from a Japanese film about two undercover men, one a Boston cop who infiltrates the mob, the other a mobster who becomes a cop. These roles are played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon who are so good I cannot imagine anyone else in the roles. No question, DiCaprio has overcome his teenage-idol looks and come of age, thanks in no small part to Scorsese who has given him complex roles which he has grown into. A few months ago I would have been dismayed to learn that he’d be playing the young Theodore Roosevelt in a Scorsese film, but now I’m looking forward to it. 

With the exception of a couple of over-the-top scenes, Nicholson is on his game. At 152 minutes, the movie is too long. This has been a fault of recent Scorsese movies: Gangs of NY 167m, The Aviator 170m. 

Rated R for violence.