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Top reviews from the United States
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This has to be the worst F****ing (see its contagious) movie you can find. Was looking for something like "City Heat" with C. Eastwood & B. Reynolds) - BUT boy was I disgustingly surprised. You got at least 1/2 dozen or more - (""actors"?) all trying to be the best rated at using the F*** word in their mono-syllabic dialog. Had to get hammer out after just over ten minutes of trying to watch with mute button turned off - but to no avail - ts was a futile effort - it just kept getting progressively nauseating. If you use (or tolerate this kind of trash mouth) talk at the dinner table - then this is THE movie for you. Movies as you knew them years ago are all over and gone. Be warned. Hope you're not in the 79% who think this 5**** material.... It must suit your vocabulary perfect.
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2017
Rewatching this award-winning film 11 years later is still every bit as enjoyable as when I first saw it in cinema in 2006. However the experience I had might be different to many American audiences for I watched and loved its original 4 years before The Departed was made.
The Departed is an adaptation from a Hongkong made original film, Infernal Affairs. The storyline, plot twists, characters and in some cases dialogues and scenes were extremely similar between the two films, with the exception of a few changes in The Departed towards the very end of the film - In the original, there were two different endings: Mainland China version ended with the arrest of the "police mole" (the girlfriend reported on him), while in the Hongkong version his true identity remained unrevealed and he continued in the police force after fabricating the report for the incident shown in the elevator scene, however the last scenes showed that he had a constant suffering from a great internal struggle of a confused identity.
I have to say I enjoyed both films equally. The Departed is on a darker, bloodier side with more quick-paced action and realism while the Infernal Affair continued some traditions of Hongkong police-triad themed and melodramatic storytelling. The Infernal Affairs' Chinese title, directly translated to "The Never-Ending Paths", refers to the lowest level of hell in Buddhism belief where one is trapped in eternal suffering. However despite the many use of distorted shots of Buddha statues in The Infernal Affairs to echo this theme, I did find the internal struggles of the two main characters weren't portrayed as much or as well as in its later adaptation The Departed. The use of Buddhism motifs, however, did lifted the Infernal Affairs a little above eye-level and as an audience one may in some cases feel empathetic to the sufferings of the characters from another perspective. It is interesting to me to think that many Hongkong and Mainland China's directors were influenced by Martin Scorsese over the past decades, who in turn won his Oscar with this adaptation. I am happy a film of this quality came out of this symbiosis relationship.
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2019
Painfully breathtaken, I'm almost taken out of the movie because the acting is SO TRUE. This is a perfect cast, perfect chemistry, perfect story. Ironically, I abhor violent and gory movies, I can't stand cussing and especially taking God's Name in vain (including "Jesus Christ"), I don't like nudity and sex in films. It was because of the cast I was willing to "push play" just a few short months ago, and then it was the raw, intense veracity from beginning to...well, it's still playing at some level in me...that has drawn me in and refuses to spit me out. The story is beautifully layered with tensions: brilliance and simplicity, clever and uneducated, avenge and revenge, right and wrong. And I, the intruder into all this - the closer representation of a social construction as compared to the vivid reality before me - am left to struggle with my own moral compass, with holding these tensions in paradox. Who am I 'rooting for' and why? Sans emotion - that of the actors, the director, the music, the writers, the cinematography, the percussionist - would the story still hold me hostage months after I had been 'released'? I, for one, have identified too closely to my captor and want to remain captive. I have found unique bonds in Costigan, Costello, and Sullivan - with those whose every waking moment is to live a lie, yet in it so deep we have forgotten what the truth and non-truth is of ourselves. And for whatever reason, we're still willing to die for it.
5.0 out of 5 starsGANGSTER/UNDERCOVER AT IT'S BEST
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2017
This 151 min crime, drama, adventure REGION B/2 DVD is one of the best films I have seen for quite a while. For a gangster/undercover film it seemed to have everything, a good story line, action, suspense, drama and more twists and turns than the Swiss Alps road system. The film did include bad language, violence and the odd adult scene but in my opinion was part and parcel of the film. The DVD is a two disc set with disc one the main feature and disc two the bonus feature that includes - additional scenes with introductions by Martin Scorsese - Stranger than fiction: The story of the Boston Mob: The real life gangster behind Jack Nicholson's character - Crossing criminal cultures: How little Italy's crime and violence influence Scorsese's work - Theatrical trailer. Rookie cop Billy Castigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) grew up in crime. That makes him the perfect mole, the man on the inside of the mob run by boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). It's his job to win Costello's trust and help his detective handlers (Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen) bring Costello down. Meanwhile SIU officer Colin Sullivan (Matt Daman) has everyone's trust. No one suspects he's Costello's mole.
5.0 out of 5 starsScorsese & Nicolson? Twas obviously gonna work.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 15, 2017
Master director Martin Scorsese returns to familiar gangland territory, and the results are? Well obviously bloody good. A remake of Hong Kong's 'Internal Affairs', 2006's 'The Departed' is probably the jewel in his 21st century crown. The story follows the Boston police department and their attempts to both infiltrate the Irish mob, and to root out a malevolent informer within their own ranks. Leonardo DiCaprio was now firmly established as the director's number one guy, and his edgy, paranoid performance here shows exactly why. Jack Nicholson is cool as mob boss 'Frank Costello', and the perfect choice for the role. The actors presence just makes the movie feel all the more special. High quality cinema indeed.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2016
I found the beginning of this film a little muddled and it took me about twenty minutes to work out that it was about a police agent infiltrating the criminals and a criminal infiltrating the police, and who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Once I'd got my bearings, it was entertainment at its best with awesome acting from one of the best casts since the Godfather. Whilst it's invidious to single anyone out, my favourite was Jack Nicholson who managed to change his facial expression with almost every word - at times he bordered on self-parody yet he always managed to convey menace. Leonardo diCaprio's portrayal of a cop under stress was flawless.The ending of the film was somewhat nihilistic, but there was never going to be a happy ending. I loved the final screenshot of a rat running along a parapet - it summed up the whole film in a matter of seconds. Pure genius.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat film! Very violent, but outstanding performances from all actors
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2019
I don't enjoy gangster movies normally, but the game of cat and mouse in this Scorsese film is very well played. All actors put in an outstanding performance and as always Jack Nickolson is a very scary baddie - his Boston accent is hit and miss (Leonardo di Caprio does a much better job at it) and I loved seeing all the Boston outtakes. The special features disk is worth watching too.
4.0 out of 5 starsThey do depart after some time on screen
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2018
A better Scorsese film, but I can't make my mind up about DiCaprio or not, some-times he's goodish other not so. It's a story (if your my age) you have seen before done loads of times. There's not a lot that is new to the film but length and Scorsese's film making, and quite good acting.