In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello. While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan, a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by their double lives, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations they have penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there is 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 themselves. But is either willing to turn on their friends and comrades they've made during their long stints undercover? Written by
(at around 13 mins) When Queenan and Dignam are interviewing Costigan, Costigan says "Families are always rising and falling in America." Queenan wants to know who said that, and it turns out to be Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dignam quips, "What's the matter smart ass, don't know any fuckin' Shakespeare?" Later (at around 1h 1 min), as Queenan hands the clipboard to Sullivan, it is Queenan who quotes William Shakespeare with "the readiness is all," from Hamlet's "Fall of a sparrow speech," Act V, scene ii. See more »
When Billy is at Queenan's house, sitting on the bench with photo frames and pictures on the wall behind him, a frame depicting "the Last Supper" appears and disappears when shown from different angles. See more »
[during a conference briefing about Costello and his crew]
This unit is new, and you are the newest members of it. You have been selected from the basis of intelligence and aptitude. This is an elite unit. Our job is to smash, or marginally disrupt, organized crime in the city by enhanced cooperation of the FBI, represented here today by Frank Lazio. And we will do it. By organized crime in the city, you know who we mean - that's Jackie Costigan, that's an old picture. Jackie met his demise. ...
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The title doesn't appear on screen until nearly 20 minutes into the movie. See more »
The performances: all-star cast delivering all-star performances
The music: perfect
The Directing: Martin Scorsese at his finest and that is saying something.
Once again Scorsese delivers a film that meets or exceeds the expectations of its audience in nearly every way. There are moments of incredible tension, violence, and drama, moments where characters reveal their vulnerabilities and weakness. Comedic moments and moments of sadness and through it all a multi layered and brilliant story is told by an American film maker who once again proves Harvey Keitel correct when he said, "Maybe he (Scorsese) got what he deserves--exclusion from the mediocre."
This film is Scorsese's finest work since Raging Bull, but it is not simply about Martin Scorsese or the amazing screen play by William Monahan, it is more than an amazing score, and great cinematography. While many of the accolades for this film belong to those behind the scenes people who envisioned and directed this film. One would be remiss to not point out the great performances of an all-star cast, many of whom deliver the finest performances of long and storied careers. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon deliver incredible performances.
However the performance that stood out for me was Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg's Sgt. Dignam stole every scene he was in, and he shared screen time with each of the afore mentioned actors. He gets to deliver some of the best lines, and with every scene he leaves the audience wanting more, and anticipating his next scene.
Since The Academy has had its collective heads stuck for so long, mentioning a Scorsese picture and Oscar in the same sentence seems to be a waste of time. That being said I can not say if he will finally win the Oscar that he has deserved for so long, as his major competition (Flags of our Fathers) has yet to be released, I will say that I expect to see Wahlberg nominated for best supporting, and Leo and Damon will be pitted against one another once more, this time for best actor, Monahan will be nominated for writing, and of course Scorsese will be nominated for director. Also, it goes without saying a best picture nomination will be in order for The Departed.
That was the long version; the short version is if you like a movie with incredible performances, direction, music and visuals. If you like a layered story that is not formulaic, in short if you appreciate film making and story telling at its finest then see this film. Even with the glowing reviews of myself and others, and the high expectations they will undoubtedly bring I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
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