The middle part of the last decade was astonishingly good film wise and there were a good number of high quality pictures that deserve to feature in a Top Fifty of All Time, Munich, Crash, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and A History of Violence deserve the highest accolades and are now current staples on TV.
There were a lot of other strong films such as Walk the Line, Pierrepoint, Kidulthood, V is for Vendetta, the Constant Gardener and The Road to Guantanamo around that time.
The Departed continued in this rich recent vein and was deserving of all the hype that came it’s way as it is the crime thriller genre at its absolute best.
Matt Damon and Leonardo Di Caprio are under cover cops on different sides of the law dealing with the Boston Irish Mafia and it’s sociopath Boss played brilliantly by a rejuvenated Jack Nicholson who is trying to outwit his Police Department opposite number portrayed by Martin Sheen.
One real strength of this film is it’s stellar cast which ensures top notch, believable performances throughout the picture as we see the likes of Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg in supporting roles to the Big Four meaning no scenes are stolen by any one actor as they are all so good. The only let down is Ray Winstone’s appalling accent. He must have a bloody good agent, that’s all I can say.
The pacing of the film is the key to it’s success as it marries plot management and character development to give you a rounded view of things before introducing some wicked twists and turns. It is strong film and certainly worth it’s 18 rating, one scene involving Winstone and Di Caprio actually had me looking away, which is rare.
The plot builds in a tight and taught manner to an astonishing crescendo and saw Scorcese finally break his Best Directors duck at the Oscars in 2007.