The Departed

Distributed by: Warner Brothers Studio

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

     Last week I found myself in the annoying position of having four hours to kill in the city before school.  It didnít make any sense to go home just to have to head back into the city less than an hour later, so I decided to catch a movie.  I wish I could say that my choice to see Warner Brosí The Departed spoke of my keen eye for good movies, but the truth is, at two hours and change, it was the longest movie playing, hence watching it would eat up more time before school. 

     The Departed is another Martin Scorsese crime epic involving everything youíve come to expect from Martin Scorsese.  Needless to say, the movie is riddled with curses, violence and blood, so donít take your kid with the crush on Matt Damon or Leo DiCaprio to see this movie.  The movie is littered with a host of big named stars, but the focal point is mostly divided evenly between Colin Sullivan (Damon, The Bourne Identity, Good Will Hunting) and Billy Costigan (DiCaprio, Titanic, Gangs of New York).  Colin Sullivan is an Irish cop, recruited as a child by Frank Costello (Jack NicholsonÖyou know who he is), a mob boss, to eventually infiltrate the police and keep him appraised of their every move.  Sullivan is a model officer and no one suspects his involvement with the mob.  He quickly rises through the ranks, eventually landing a job in the State Police, a specific branch working with the FBI to take down mob bosses like Costello. 

     On the other side of the tracks, Billy Costigan, nephew to another famous mob boss, is trying desperately to step out from under the dark cloud that is his familyís reputation.  He joins the police force and is up for the same promotion that Sullivan receives.  Only Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg, Invincible) and Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen), feel that Billyís history and his temper will best suit him undercover.  They erase his record, put him in jail for several months and have him infiltrate Costelloís organization from the ground up.  Only Dignam and Queenan know who Billy really is.  It isnít long before both sides find out that theyíve been infiltrated, and both Billy and Colin scramble to uncover the otherís identity. 

     Thatís about as much as I can say without giving away the entire story.  But I will say this: This movie was great.  The two and a half hours flew right by and I loved every minute of it.  The action was intense, the plot carefully spun, and the acting brilliant.  On a personal note, Iíll admit that Iíd never liked DiCaprio, not one bit, but I could never deny his acting ability and he really shines in this film.  Unlike such movies like Donnie Brasco where the main character looks cool and almost aloof throughout their undercover experience, DiCaprio did an excellent job of conveying his constant fear of being found out and killed.  I found myself feeling genuinely sorry for the guy and had to remind myself that it was just a movie.  Matt Damon, as always, did a great job, but the prize in this film has to go to Mark Wahlberg, whose portrayal of the smartass Dignam had me laughing every time. 

     Overall, the movie was great.  It started a little slow, but thatís what good movies do, pull you in, get you invested and keep you there.  And I must now say that Iíve never seen a movie, in my life with so many headshot deaths.  I was shocked at every, single one, partially because they looked so real, and partially because of the unexpectedness of most of them.  If youíre a fan of Scorsese or of the mob film genre, you must see this film.  You will not regret it. 


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at