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Movie Review: The Departed

Alternate Title: No Way Out

Story: Director Martin Scorsese has hit a home run with this remake of the Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs by Alan Mak and Felix Chong. The brilliant screenplay by William Monahan adds to this thoroughly entertaining and thrilling movie.

This time out the film takes place in Boston with the basic storyline retained but greatly enhanced. Two of Boston's Irish youths go to the Police Academy. One ends up a mole for the police department by infiltrating the gang of wanted mobster, Frank Costello. The other, a member of the Costello family, becomes a mole inside the police department. How these two men live their lives of deception with all of the tension of being caught is the meat of the film. And I do mean tense. It is suspenseful, fast paced and fully engaging.

Everything is done right. The editing is solid, the acting is terrific, the score works magically and the cinematography all consuming.

If you like films about loyalty, family, betrayal with a whole lot of violence check out this must see film.

Acting: Leonardo DiCaprio does fine work under the deft hand of Martin Scorsese. He is an actor with soul and heart. Matt Damon gets better with each film that he makes. Jack Nicholson is over the top - but that is pretty much what we get when we see Jack these days. Mark Wahlberg is a treat to watch on his home turf of Boston. Martin Sheen (playing the role that was supposed to go to Robert de Niro) is always good. Ray Winstone is my favorite thug. Vera Farmiga adds a much needed level of estrogen to this high testosterone film. Alec Baldwin is always good and does not disappoint in this film either.

Predilection: I like Martin Scorsese and everyone in this film.

Critters: There is a mention of cats, but there are no critters in the film.

Food: Some seafood, delicious desserts, and a banana. There is also a scene where cranberry juice has an important cameo.

Blatant Product Placement: Dell, Wonder bread.

Soundtrack: Exceptionally fitting.

Opening Titles: The title of the film does not appear until fifteen glorious set up minutes into the film.

Visual Art: Not much art - just some family photos.

Theater Audience: There were more people than I expected for a Monday show. The we remembered it is a holiday.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: As I said before, there is violence that is a bit sudden and squirmy.

Drift Factor: If you drift during this film you will not know what is going on.

Predictability Level: Even though I had seen the original I was not exactly sure what Scorsese was going to do at the end.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: YES

Soap Box: The Academy Award voters should be pistol whipped for not yet giving Scorsese an Oscar.

Nit Picking: There were a few scenes that could have been left on the cutting room floor thereby shortening the film a bit.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen without a doubt. For some of my other favorite Martin Scorsese films, try renting: The Aviator, Gangs of New York ,Casino, The Age of Innocence, Goodfellas, New York Stories, The Color of Money, The King of Comedy, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Mean Streets

Length: 20 minutes over the two hour Lobo rule but the film is so good I was not going to hold it against them.