Cops and Bad Guys in Boston
The Departed
Review by Ross Anthony

Scorcese mightily succeeds at keeping his audience at the edge of the seat. The suspense in this film is as taut as piano wire around the neck of a snitch. There are good guys acting like bad guys and bad guys acting like good guys and then there are the dead guys -- a.k.a. the departed. Make no mistake, it is also violent.

It's standard tough guy fair, but with strong dialogue, intrigue and great music. Plus, the acting is top notch; it's right up there with the crisp direction and editing. Unfortunately, a contrived love triangle greatly compromises the film's integrity. The coincidences in this weak romance game might easily have been played on us in much lesser scripts. I cringed.

I also cringed at the climax. Audiences deserve much more for staying with this film for two and a half hours. Interestingly enough, DiCaprio's role is quite similar to that in Gangs of New York. He cons the big bad guy into befriending him in a fatherly way. Then lays low and waits for the right time to pounce. Both films, both Scorcese, both DiCaprio.

Without its faults, such a robust rocking picture would easily make it into the A range, but those faults knock it down between a B and B+. As I'm left feeling a bit empty, I'm going to give it a B.

Baldwin and Wahlberg are both hilarious as cops with "in your face" language. Wahlberg has this to say of his hometown. "There is only one Boston. It has a reputation as this amazing school town, but there are also those neighborhoods where you are either going to become a crook or a cop or a construction worker. There's not too much in-between. My being raised there has an effect on everything I do, whether it's obvious or not. I didn't have to do much homework for this movie -- I've known a lot of these guys -- the only difference is I was playing one of the cops who used to arrest me all the time."

"The Departed" is based on the thriller "Infernal Affairs," a 2002 flick out of Hong Kong.

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  • The Departed. Copyright © 2006.
  • Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Gerard McSorley, David O'Hara, James Badge Dale, Kristen Dalton.
  • Directed by Martin Scorcese.
  • Screenplay by William Monahan.
  • Produced by Graham King, Brad Grey at Warner Bros/Media Asia.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Sunday, 22-Oct-2006 15:19:42 PDT