Films to See Before You Die: #29 The Departed

the departed

The Departed (2006)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Jack Nicholson

Synopsis: In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime leader Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), is recruited by an elite undercover task force led by Captain Queenan and Staff Sgt. Dignam (Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg), to infiltrate Costello’s gang. Costello has an ace up his sleeve in Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he is involved with. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there’s a mole in their midst. Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy-and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself. It isn’t until both are cleared of suspicion and Sullivan is put in charge of finding the mole in the department that their lives truly begin to unravel.

Trivia: Leonardo DiCaprio was cast in the title role in The Good Shepherd, but he dropped out to play Billy Costigan in this movie. Matt Damon then took the role. Robert De Niro turned down the role of Queenan to appear in The Good Shepherd. This is the movie with the most uses of the word “fuck” and its derivatives (237) to win the Best Picture Oscar. Mark Wahlberg based his performance on the police officers who’d arrested him about two dozen times in his youth, and the reactions of his parents who had to come bail him out with their grocery money.

Why I think you should see this: Martin Scorsese has continuously been making some of the best movies over the last 40 years and the Departed is no exception. There are no real standouts in the cast because this is a true ensemble film to its core but I have to say Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg delivered some pretty entertaining performances. While this is not Scorsese’s best films it has the distinction of being the only one he made thayt won him a Best Director Oscar. Check this one out its a real gritty cops and robbers film with an interesting twist.