Surprisingly maligned on its release as merely ‘excellent’, such is the expectation of the work of Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas, The Irishman), The Departed finally saw him collect a long-overdue best director Oscar in 2007 (Scorsese is the most-nominated living director (nine) but still only has one win to his name).
Set in Boston and the Irish-American organised crime world, all Scorsese’s trademarks – psychological drama, violence, profanity, corruption – are in abundance that, whilst convoluted, is one of his most accessible narratives. Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chinatown) has ruled South Boston for years, placing Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, Bourne) inside the Boston Police Force and ensuring he is fast-tracked to promotion. That same police force has placed Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant, Titanic) so far undercover only two people know of his identity. When it becomes clear there’s a mole in each organistion, the two need to find a way to do their job and save themselves.
Full of energy with twists and turns aplenty, The Departed is a thrilling ride with a stellar cast (DiCaprio a standout) and cracking script delivering a hugely entertaining crime story. But, like most Scorese films, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Nominated for 5 Oscars in 2007 including best supporting actor (Mark Wahlberg), won 4 – best film, director, adapted screenplay, editing.