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 the beginning, when the main characters are in a police academy ballistics lecture, the large flip chart illustrations seen in the background are Warren Commission exhibits of President John F. Kennedy's head wounds, prepared by Medical Illustrator H.A. Rydberg under the direction of Dr. James Humes, the Chief Examiner of Kennedy's autopsy. Texas Governor John Connally was also riding in the car that day, and was also shot. John Connolly is also the name of the F.B.I. Agent who recruited Whitey Bulger as an informant, and ultimately protected him from investigation or prosecution for many years. See more »
The rank of "staff sergeant" no longer exists in the Massachusetts State Police after the 1992 consolidation of state controlled police forces. See more »
Excellent. A great, great movie. I saw it last night at a special screening and must say it was a tour de force. Even though Boston is not really a gritty town Scorsese was able to capture a darker side of the city. Coming from that area, I am always concerned when actors put on the local accent as it tends to be distracting rather than supportive. However, with local pros like Damon and Wahlberg they were able to really grab hold of it and not go overboard... most of the time. The true stand out performance has to go to DiCaprio. He has really come into his since hooking up with Scorsese, having scored a number of original performances all of which have expanded his range. He really snagged onto a deep and tragic character and created something that will hopefully be recognized come awards season. One of my favorite aspects was the friendly hostility the characters had for each other. It is a specific trademark that I have never noticed in any other city. In Boston, when you are really close with someone (or not really) it is, more or less, a requirement to bust their balls and shoot cruel insults back and forth in rhythmic banter. That detail was extensively realized in THE DEPARTED and I doubt anybody who was raised outside of the metro Boston area, or at least visited at some point, would find it nearly as hilarious as those who were. As for Scorsese's direction, I think he scored big with this one. While many have criticized that his movies have become more commercial I believe that he has just evolved. There were some classic Scorsese moments here, my favorite being a scene where DiCaprio is alone and packing his things in his apartment. Beautifully cut and stylistically directed. Is it his best effort? No. But it still is truly mesmerizing. He has created something truly special from a city that is highly underrated.
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