Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Departed (****)

Finally. And I mean that on so many different levels. Finally, there's a film this year that commands attention. The Departed is absolutely unmissable. As pure entertainment, it's a knockout. As Oscar bait, it's entirely deserving of any awards that could be heaped upon it. And as an actor's showcase, it's top notch. DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg, Baldwin, Sheen, Nicholson - they're all as good as they've ever been. Personally, I was blown away by DiCaprio. I've always thought he was a good actor, but this is a true adult role for him, and he was utterly convincing in it. His is probably the most complex, difficult role in the film, and he just nails it.
And finally, Scorsese has a film that ranks right up there with Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Raging Bull. After Gangs of New York and The Aviator, where it felt like he was trying to win an Oscar, here he's just relaxed and in complete command of his craft. It's a thing of beauty to watch, even when the blood and gunshots to the head reach a fever pitch. This is adult entertainment in the best sense of the word. It's violent and tense, but it's also quite funny at times, with some terrific tough guy dialogue. An instant classic.


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