Movie Reviews: The Departed
Critics are in general agreement that Martin Scorsese has returned to top form with the thriller The Departed. It's his "sharpest film in a decade -- and the most entertaining major studio release this year," writes Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times calls it "an instant gangster classic, a gritty, intense and electrifying work from a master who knows this turf better than any director who ever lived." Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, "Martin Scorsese in The Departed gets to riff and rock. And the audience gets a huge, bloody, profane entertainment in the bargain." The "star-studded" cast, which includes Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alec Baldwin, and Mark Wahlberg, also receives much praise. Marking his third with Scorsese (after Gangs of New York and The Aviator) Leonardo DiCaprio is particularly singled out. Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun comments that "in The Departed he continues to grow as a divided personality balancing on an existential tightrope." Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post writes that although DiCaprio "did not have the physical presence to pull off his previous roles for Scorsese," he is "totally convincing" in this one. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times says that DiCaprio reveals in his character "a vulnerability that seems animal-like in its unknowing." Nevertheless, several critics suggest the film has numerous flaws. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe writes that "what begins as a blood-soaked tragicomedy about our fair town's tribal warfare turns into merely a brilliant B movie." And Jack Nicholson, who receives mostly splendid reviews from other critics, is taken to task by Gene Seymour in Newsday, who writes: "Every time you watch Nicholson doing his Daffy-Duck-as-Roman-Emperor routine, you can feel the performance drifting away from the rest of the movie; almost as if it were a gaudy sideshow instead of the core of the movie's tension."