McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...
Bruce Willis makes Broadway debut...
Entertainment industry modifies plans after Paris trage...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
The Departed Combo DVD and HD-DVD (2006)

Billy: What are you waiting for? Do you want him to chop me up and feed me to the poor? Is that what you want?
Dignam: Yeah, well, that might stick.

- Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg

Review By: Mark Zimmer  
Published: February 20, 2007

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg
Other Stars: Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Famiga, Alec Baldwin
Director: Martin Scorsese

MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content, drug material
Run Time: 02h:31m:33s
Release Date: February 13, 2007
UPC: 085391117285
Genre: crime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Martin Scorsese has become indelibly linked with the organized crime film, even though it doesn't represent the greater portion of his total output. This may be because he has truly reinvented the genre, giving it a gritty reality that hearkens back to the Warner pictures of the 1930s while also maintaining a thoroughly modern attitude that is unflinching in its depiction of the brutality of the lifestyle. That trend continues with his latest work, The Departed, which also ranks among the grimmest of his pictures to date.

In South Boston, everything is run by Irish mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). The story follows two young policemen and how their fates intertwine with Costello's. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes deep undercover, serving a jail term and slowly gaining Costello's trust, in order to report back to Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and staff sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg), as they try to build a case against Costello. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) takes the more direct route, becoming a respected detective, but actually working for Costello and determined to root out the informant within the gang. The intrigues grow increasingly complex, with few people being what they seem.

As violent as pictures such as Goodfellas are, the brutality ante is significantly upped here. Costello's reign of terror includes casual violence and murder, with savage beatings the norm. A number of particularly gory homicides pass by with little ceremony, and the multiple finales are literal bloodbaths. The effect is both visceral and chilling as the viewer experiences the guilt and anguish that Costigan feels as he takes part in ever worse atrocities for what appears to be the good motive.

Few pictures from Hollywood manage to be as bleak and nihilistic as The Departed; the result is a tormented portrait of the police as thoroughly corrupt, with deception the order of the day. The criminal elements are so thoroughly infiltrated by various competing police agencies that by the end one wonders if there would be any mob at all if not for its perpetuation by thuggish cops taking part in these activities. Since the uniformed police are owned by Costello through and through—with very few exceptions—there doesn't appear to be any hope for the city or any escape for the ordinary people who are being worked over by both criminals and the cops, who are hardly distinguishable. That is, unless and until every single one of them ends up dead—and very few characters survive, leaving the stage at the end credits looking like the leftovers in Hamlet.

Nonetheless, it's compelling, if difficult viewing. DiCaprio turns in a magnificent performance that's full of surprises. It's one of the most thoroughly nuanced roles he's ever had, with equal parts arrogant braggadocio and queasy terror. He's particularly interesting as it becomes less clear that the police are going to back him up, leaving him in his moral morass without much of a lifeline. Matt Damon doesn't get quite as much opportunity to shine, though his smug natural attitude fits quite appropriately. Nicholson is in full-on lunatic Joker mode, making him nearly as memorable as Joe Pesci's turn in Goodfellas. Sheen and Wahlberg are enjoyable as they play good cop/bad cop with DiCaprio, testing his loyalties and dedication far beyond the breaking point. Alec Baldwin's part ends up being fairly pedestrian, with all of his interesting character bits relegated to the deleted scenes.

Although it's nearly as ambitious in scope, unlike Gangs of New York the story keeps a tighter focus on its central twosome. A romantic triangle between Colin, Billy and police psychiatrist Madolyn (Vera Famiga) is the one false note that feels too Hollywood. Although she ends up being important to the plot rather than just window dressing, Madolyn just seems too convenient a linking device. The dialogue is crisp and snappy (though pervasively blue). Loosely based on a combination of the Hong Kong actioner Infernal Affairs and the real-life mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, it's a grim and unrelenting movie that carries as big a punch as anything Scorsese has ever done.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.40:1 - Widescreen2.40:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes

Image Transfer Review: The disc features a 1080p HD transfer on one side, and an anamorphic widescreen version on the other. The HD picture seems somewhat filtered; it's a bit soft and lacking in fine detail. However, texture is reasonably well brought across. There are numerous grainy sequences that are shrouded in darkness, but there's reasonably good definition amongst the blacks for the most part. The grain isn't sparkly or obnoxious on the HD side.

The standard DVD side is nearly on a par with the HD version during a good portion of the running time. The grainy sequences, however, are not nearly as attractive, with plenty of sparkle. Dot crawl and aliasing are also present at times, and there is some edge enhancement to boot (not visible on the HD version).

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
English, French, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The HD side features DD+ 5.1 tracks in English, French and Spanish, as well as a Dolby TrueHD English track. The latter is rather unremarkable, and the DD+ tracks are more than satisfactory for the most part. As one might expect, all tracks are clean and free of noise. Range is good, though directionality is somewhat limited.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 37 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
9 Deleted Scenes
2 Documentaries
Packaging: Elite
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Happily, Warner has finally seen fit to drop that HD DVD promo that has been plaguing all of its releases. We hope that omission will continue, since anyone playing an HD DVD will have already bought into the format

All of the extras are on the HD DVD side (except the anamorphic widescreen trailer, which is on both sides), which to some extent doesn't really support the combo format since they're not accessible if you only have a standard DVD player. Nine deleted scenes (totaling 19m:23s) are provided with brief intros by Scorsese. These are mostly little character bits that were just as well deleted for pacing purposes, but they're still interesting to see.

Stranger Than Fiction (21m:06s) examines the true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, and his stranglehold on South Boston, running a reign of terror while also being an FBI informant. Still on the loose (No. 2 on the FBI's Most Wanted list), he's an intriguing character some of whose characteristics were adopted for Costello in the feature. Crossing Criminal Cultures is an examination of Scorsese and the mobster film (24m:02s) that contains numerous clips from influential films, and also points out some subtle references to Scarface (1932) in The Departed.

None of the extras are in HD, and most of them aren't even in anamorphic widescreen. The documentaries are not subtitled. The combo has all of the extras from the standard DVD special edition except for the 85-minute documentary on Scorsese.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

Scorsese takes on the Irish mob in this grimly unforgettable tale of deception, violence and brutality that features some terrific lead performances. The HD transfer is somewhat soft and lacking in detail.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, music, adele, hello, 19, 21, 25, television, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas, comedy, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store