Scorsese's Back Where He Belongs
The Departed is great for so many reasons. Jack Nicholson fantastic as a Boston crime boss, and for the first time in ages doesn't seem like a parody of himself. The cat-and-mouse interplay between law enforcement and the Irish Mob, each trying to uncover a mole within their ranks, is extremely compelling. The Boston atmosphere is so real that you can almost smell the Fenway Franks. There are great supporting roles from Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg (who's rapid fire, profanity-laced New England accent is by far the most spot-on in the film). Even Leonardo DeCaprio impressed me, and that's saying a lot since he usually makes me want to throw things at the screen. Plus, the soundtrack prominently features Dropkick Murphys, and there's nothing bad about that:
The movie will get a lot of award nominations, particularly for Jack (Jaaaack!), but it probably won't actually win much. First of all, it's not perfect; the Boston accents are a little shaky at times, and the film is probably about twenty minutes too long. Second, it's total lack of even a hint of feel-good sentimentality basically eliminates it from being a real threat to take Best Picture, since Oscar and most of the other major awards usually reward end up rewarding "pretty good but safe" over "artistically challenging work of genius." Forrest Gump will always win over Pulp Fiction, Crash will always beat Brokeback Mountain, and that's just the way it goes.
But if you're just interested in seeing maybe America's greatest living filmmaker at the top of his game, go see this movie. In the interests of balancing opinion, I will tell you that Melissa didn't think much of this movie (although keep in mind that her favorite movie is probably Center Stage), and my mom, who saw it separately back in Alabama last week, thought it was great but was turned off by the over-the-top violence. As for me, I'd say this is one of the best movie I've seen this year.