Martin Scorsese finally won his Oscar for this crime classic that some felt was too old-school to be profound. Watch it again, doubters, and this time pay attention. By casting Leonardo DiCaprio as a cop pretending to be a hood and Matt Damon doing the opposite, Scorsese hit us with harsh glimpses of how corruption starts in childhood. Damon's character was hooked at 12 when a local hood (Jack Nicholson in full Jack glory) bought him off with groceries. This uncompromised vision of a society rotting from inside remains a triumphant bruiser of a film. Even in a decade when Scorsese scored with Gangs of New York and The Aviator, The Departed was his personal best.
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