Top Twenty of the Decade#19

Dignam: I’m the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

#19. The Departed (2006) – Dir. Martin Scorsese

But it’s not Scorsese’s best movie, and the original is better, and the end is over the top, and there’s plot holes, and Scorsese steals from himself and blah blah blah blah.

Not only do I disagree with all the negative comments about this movie, but they don’t matter.  They don’t matter because this film is so watchable.  It is of that select group of films I can watch anytime, anywhere.  If it comes on FX, I get stuck watching it.

First time seeing it I loved Wahlberg.  He has all the best lines.

Second time, I loved Leo.  He really grows up in this movie and I loved watching him lose his identity as things fall apart.

Third time, I loved Damon.  So subtle, it took three viewings to realize how great he is in this movie.

It is not Scorsese’s best movie, but it is one of his best.  Hell, in this decade I kind of think The Aviator is better than this, and that Leo is better in The Aviator, but this movie is more fun and therefore on my list. I think it takes all the best bits from Infernal Affairs and makes them better.

I love that the end is over the top.  How many times does a Hollywood picture surprise you like the elevator scene does?  More please.

I agree Scorsese steals from some of his own work, but there are also some sneaky, new, and artistic things in this movie he hasn’t done before.  For example, the crazy flash cutting of the gunfight at the end, or the sudden cut out of the background music.

I haven’t even mentioned how much fun it is to watch Nicholson ham it up for 2½ hours.  His is the performance I went back and forth on, until I realized that playing it so outlandish was a purposeful choice that actually suits the character’s madness and understanding of the futility of his entire enterprise.

You still might be able to find some faults in this movie, but it’s a lot more fun to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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7 responses to “Top Twenty of the Decade#19

  1. I have nothing bad to say about The Departed. I’m a little surprised it’s so low on your list, but at least it’s there.

  2. I like how it skipped the philosophical ended ala No Country. Nicholson tries to get deep near the end and gets shot in the head for it. It’s a strict crime drama begining to end. No apologies. Anyone else would have muddled it with greater theme.

  3. I’m going to consider this your #20 best of the decade. For every bullshit movie you put on I’ll act like you didn’t add it and repace it with all the Pixar movies you didn’t add. Or the Lord of the Rings movies you’re bound to rope in as one. Bitch.

  4. And what would be your number 20 oh wise kaufman hater?

  5. Pingback: Mulligans – My Favorite Remakes « Shooting the Script.

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