TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #24 The Departed

December 26, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Title: The Departed
Year: 2006
Genre: Crime Thriller
Main Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg
Ranked: Dave #14, Daft Funk #20, Chaim #20

In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello (Nicholson). While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan (Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. 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.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
First of all, it's got Scorsese directing it. Second of all, its full of pissed off and slightly racist Irish people. Add to that the fact that every role is perfectly cast (especially Baldwin and Wahlberg) and the action and suspense are top-notch, and you've got a near-perfect movie. The fact that this movie won for Best Picture makes me believe that the old farts on the Academy may actually have some sense left in them. Sure this movie got nominated for a ton of awards and subtly explores the racism and tension between classes in middle-lower class Boston, but when you get down to it, this is just a phenomenal movie. The acting kicks ass. The story kicks ass. Everything kicks ass. Plus, it had a great existing movie (Hong Kong's 2002 film Infernal Affairs) to base itself off of.

Monster Role
Mark Wahlberg hands down. Wahlberg plays Sgt. Dignam, a trash talking, insecure policeman that's got the perfect comeback for any situation. Whether he's putting down your mother or punching out a superior, Wahlberg steals every single scene he's in. Alec Baldwin's performance as Capt. George Ellerby is a very close second. When the cops are setting up surveillance on Costello's crew and Baldwin grabs the closest officer and excitedly yells "Patriot Act! PATRIOT ACT!!! I love it!!" I just about piss myself every time.

Knock Your Dick in the Dirt Moment
So many to choose from, but one of the things that makes this movie so great is the fact that the best moments come at the very end of the film. In this movie, the moment is actually 3-4 moments that make up the end of the movie. I don't want to give anything away, but if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. There are literally 5 or 6 moments in the last 10 minutes where you can't say anything but "What the fuck was that?" and "Holy shit! That did not just happen!" Runner up is the scene when Costello is selling microprocessors to a bunch of Asian terrorists and both double-agents are frantically trying to give out information without compromising their identities. Text messaging has never been so dangerous.

Or if you want to get technical, the scene where Jack Nicholson wags the giant fake penis at Matt Damon in the porno theater is a "Take Your Dick Out Of Your Pants" moment.

Watch this movie if you like.....
American remakes of Asian movies, Goodfellas, hot, easy therapists.