The Departed is a perfect example of why remakes shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan have taken the B-grade Hong Kong crime flick Infernal Affairs and re-imagined it as an American epic tragedy. The original film was gritty and entertaining; the new version is a masterpiece - the best effort Scorsese has brought to the screen since Goodfellas (ending a decade-long drought of disappointments and near-misses). In making The Departed, Scorsese has retained the essential plot structure of Infernal Affairs but has transformed the movie into something truly his own. Characters are better defined and situations are given an opportunity to breathe. None of this is done at the cost of pacing; The Departed is as suspenseful as anything the director has previously achieved. This movie deserves mention alongside Scorsese's most celebrated movies: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Age of Innocence.
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