Martin Scorsese is one of the most acclaimed and successful directors of all time and has brought a series of fantastic - and now iconic movies - to the big screen over the years.

The Departed

The Departed

Given all that success, it is hard to believe that he had to wait until the mid-noughties before he finally got his hands on a Best Director Oscar... and that gong came courtesy of The Departed.

The Departed hit the big screen back in 2006 and was an American remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs. This was the first feature film for Scorsese since the success of The Aviator two years earlier and saw William Monahan pen the film's screenplay.

The movie saw Scorsese reunite with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, for what was their third feature together. They duo had already enjoyed success with Gangs of New York and The Aviator and Scorsese was the driving force in taking Leo's career in a very different direction.

DiCaprio was joined by a stellar supporting cast as Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alex Baldwin also starred.

The Departed is set in South Boston where the state police force is waging an all-out war to take down the city's top organized crime ring. The key is to end the reign of powerful mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson) from the inside. A young rookie, Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate Costello's mob.

While Billy is working to gain Costello's trust, another young cop, Colin Sullivan (Damon) is among a handful of elite officers whose mission is to bring Costello down. But what his superiors don't know is that Colin is working for Costello, keeping the crime boss one step ahead of the police.

It becomes a cat and mouse game between the police and the mob and Billy and Colin as they both become consumed by their double lives.

For me, The Departed was one of the best films to hit the big screen in 2006 and is one of my favourite Scorsese movies of all time.

Yes, there's some great action moments and everything that you would expect from a gangster film by Scorsese, but it is driven by a script that is as gritty as it is witty.

Some of the dialogue is just fantastic; Mark Wahlberg has some of the best lines and delivers some of the film's most unforgettable moments.

Scorsese builds up the tension scene by scene and moment by moment as Billy struggles to keep a handle on reality and not get totally sucked into this violent life that he is being forced to lead. DiCaprio gives a wonderful central performance as a man who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done.

The director has delivered some wonderful crime thrillers over the years and The Departed truly is up there as one of the best. From the opening scene to the closing credits, this is a movie that is as engaging as it is entertaining and it is driven forward by some wonderfully crafted characters.

The Departed is a movie about good vs evil, betrayal and redemption and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Departed enjoyed both critical and commercial success upon release and went on to be nominated for five Oscars; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Wahlberg), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

It was the toast of the Oscars that night as it won four of the five awards - Wahlberg missing out on the Best Supporting Actor gong. Scorsese finally getting his hands on the Best Director prize that had eluded him for so long.


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