The Departed

Rated 4.0

The Departed It’s a remake of a much-admired Hong Kong action film (Infernal Affairs, 2002), and it’s directed by Martin Scorsese. The onscreen results are moderately fascinating on both counts, but what ends up mattering most is that The Departed is a tough-guy slugfest for six or seven male movie stars. The central concept of Infernal Affairs, the parallel maneuvers and misadventures of a gangster working as a cop and cop posing as a gangster, sparks a good deal of interest here, too, with Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio in the respective roles (here, in modern-day Boston). Scorsese’s sprawling remake also has Jack Nicholson flexing his diabolical starpower in the central mob-boss role, and that sets a tone of baroque flamboyance for much of the film. Nicholson gets to do some of his most amusingly theatrical mugging here, which adds a peculiar layer of tragicomedy to what is often a bloody and violent tale. But with Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and Ray Winstone also in the cast, The Departed has a veritable overload of hard-case smart-mouth types.