Departed, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

FILM SYNOPSIS: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg star in Martin Scorsese's new crime drama The Departed. The film is set in South Boston, where the state police is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob run by gangland chief Costello (Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan (Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for Costello, 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 gangsters 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.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Youve got to see this film. Nicholson is incredible! How many times have you heard that? Well, Nicholson has been doing this for forty years, he should be incredible. But is that reason enough to see this film?

To be fair, Mr. Nicholson has the most enigmatic screen presence since Brando. And in this film hes at his best, along with award-worthy performances by each and every other cast member. Whats more, director Martin Scorsese mesmerizes with pacing, camera movement and brutal form and emotional design. But while the stylist filmmaker reveals once again that he is technically an auteur in the ranks of Ford and Welles, he still prefers to delve into the darkest caverns of human nature. Since each of his films tends to go in that direction, one senses that is where he feels most comfortable. Why is that?

Though masterfully made, I find no moral compass to this script that is somehow both convoluted and superficial. Whatever ideas Mr. Scorsese has included are so masked with pulp revelry that the purpose is defeated. The director and his cast wallow in evil, seeming to enjoy the dark side rather than be repulsed by it. His film spotlights soulless men on the take who find little value to their own lives, and none in anyone elses. We can often learn by viewing man's folly, but there is no redemptive message in this movie. Its just a concept of a world not only overcome with vice, but one lacking any true goodness. We leave the theater having been brutalized with harsh language (155 f-words alone) and violent deeds (at least eight people are killed execution style).

Youll see this one spotlighted at the Oscar ceremonies this year, but keep in mind that it is brutal, profane and darker than night. It's like spending two and a half hours with people who glorify being lost.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Crude language throughout

Obscene Language: 155 f-words, around 20 s-words, and several other crude words referring to female body parts. A couple of racists use the N-word a couple of times.

Profanity: 4 GDs, Christs name is taken in vain at least 10 times, once it is used blasphemously.

Violence: Even when no one is getting punched, strangled with wire, shot, run down, blown up or shot point blank, there is an air of violence. Nicholson occasionally dives off the deep end to show his character is totally whack, holds a severed hand during a conversation, pulling off the ring and throwing the hand away; in another scene, he enters the room blood drenched the reason never given; it is implied that he is doing something dastardly in the other room. Blood: Blood sprays on walls and other characters when men are gunned down.

Sex: One sex scene. Men are watching a movie in a porno theater, one pretending to masturbate. We see an erect penis.

Nudity: A private male body part is briefly seen.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of sexually charged conversations.

Drugs: Lots of drinking and nearly everyone smokes. The bad guys deal in drugs. At one point, Nicholson has two prostitutes partaking of a huge bowl of cocaine.

Other: Im sure there are other graphic crudities, but thankfully Ive forgotten them.

Running Time: 148 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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