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The Departed - Blu-ray DVD / drama DVD / suspense DVD review
THE DEPARTED Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Featuring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg
Director: Martin Scorsese   Studio: Warner
DVD release: 13 February 2007   Runtime: 151 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features:Audio tracks (PCM 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), 1080p/VC-1 480i/MPEG-2 - supplements only), Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer

2006 Academy Award voters knew what they were doing when they awarded The Departed with the Best Picture Oscar. Martin Scorsese does what he does best in this movie: gets us to truly care about people on both sides of the law yet allows us a sense of satisfaction when the "bad guy" gets what he deserves in the end.

Boston crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) rules the world. Years ago, he befriended a child named Colin Sullivan (played by Matt Damon as an adult). Taking young Colin under his wing, Frank became the father that Colin never had. Years later, we see Sullivan as an adult attending the police academy, along with shots of another recruit, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio). Sullivan quickly gains rank in the police force, becoming a detective and finally being tapped to join a special task force on organized crime - its main function to take down Frank Costello. On the flip side, Costigan gets a reputation as a ne'er-do-well and is taken under deep cover to infiltrate Costello's gang.

It soon becomes clear that Sullivan has not left behind his "father" or his roots - he's a mole in the police force helping Costello from the inside. Neither Sullivan nor Costigan know each other's identity, and neither knows that the other is working for the other side. As Costello becomes more and more suspicious that there is a rat in his ranks, Sullivan gets bolder to uncover that rat's identity and Costigan becomes determined to flush out the police leak. It all explodes in a tumultuous climax.

The Departed is quite long (over 2 and a half hours) but each minute is packed with action, intrigue and drama. One never bores of the twists and turns, and the acting is superb. Nicholson, Damon, and DiCaprio play their parts so realistically that you can believe their characters will do exactly what they threaten to do. The side love story seems superfluous at first but actually adds another dimension to the plot and the rivalry between Costigan and Sullivan.

The second disc of special features has something to appeal to everyone. There are nine deleted scenes, narrated by Scorsese, so that viewers know why they were left out of the final cut. A 20-minute movie introduces the viewer to Whitey Bulger, a real Boston man who served as the inspiration for Frank Costello.

Two other featurettes are also included: "Crossing Criminal Cultures," which talks about crime and its influence on Scorsese, and "Scorsese on Scorsese," an 86-minute movie that will help the viewer get to know Martin Scorsese and the breadth and depth of his work.

The cinematography, characterization, and plot all come together to create a gritty, realistic, vividly watchable movie. Rated R for strong violence, language, sexual content, and drug use.

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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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