REVIEW: ORPHAN

CAST

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Peter Sarsgaard (Lovelace)
Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Jimmy Bennett (No Ordinary Family)
Margo Martindale (Mike & Molly)
Karel Roden (Hellboy)
Aryana Engineer (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Rosemary Dunsmore (Total Recall)
Genelle Williams (The Incredible Hulk)
Leni Parker (Earth: Final Conmflict)

Isabelle Fuhrman and Aryana Engineer in Orphan (2009)Kate and John Coleman’s marriage is strained after their third child was stillborn. The loss is particularly hard on Kate, who is also recovering from alcoholism. They decide to adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl, Esther, from the local orphanage. While Kate and John’s deaf-mute daughter Maxine “Max” embraces Esther almost immediately, their 12-year-old son Daniel is less welcoming.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Kate becomes suspicious when Esther expresses far more knowledge of sex than expected of a child her age. When Esther seriously injures another girl at a local park, Kate initially believes that the event was an accident but becomes alarmed when Sister Abigail, the head of the orphanage, visits with the warning that bad things frequently happen in Esther’s vicinity. Esther overhears this and uses Max as a distraction so that she can kill Sister Abigail with a hammer, which she hides in the children’s treehouse. Kate is convinced that something is wrong with Esther but John does not believe her. Esther is allowed by John to play hooky from school. During conversation, Esther tells him that she doesn’t think Kate likes her very much. He says that’s not true and that she should do something nice for her. Esther then presents Kate with roses from the grave of their passed child. Kate grabs Esther by the arm, frantic with the fact that she cut the roses. During the night, Esther breaks her arm and presents it to John. He kicks Kate from their bedroom due to Esther’s request for safety. Kate then buys wine which she refrains from drinking. The next day Esther causes Kate’s car to roll into on coming traffic with Max inside. Esther points out the wine to John, who tells Kate to go to rehab or he will leave with the kids. Kate finds Esther’s hidden Bible and discovers that it came from the Saarne Institute in Estonia, which she eventually learns is a mental hospital. She e-mails a picture and asks for more information.Peter Sarsgaard and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)When Daniel learns about Sister Abigail’s death from Max, he plans to retrieve the hammer and prove Esther’s guilt. Esther overhears their conversation and confronts Daniel as he searches the treehouse, setting it on fire and locking Daniel inside. Daniel falls to the ground trying to escape and is knocked unconscious with a major neck injury. Esther attempts to kill him with a rock but Max stops her. While Daniel is hospitalized, Esther slips into his room and smothers him with a pillow but doctors quickly revive him. Kate realizes what Esther did to Daniel and attacks Esther but orderlies help John to restrain her. As John takes Esther and Max home, doctors sedate Kate.Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)That night, Esther tries to seduce a drunken John, who finally believes Kate was right and threatens to send Esther back to the orphanage. Meanwhile, as Kate is coming out of sedation, she receives a call from Doctor Värava at the Saarne Institute, who reveals that Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer. She has hypopituitarism, a condition that stunted her physical growth, and has spent most of her life posing as a little girl. Värava tells Kate that Leena is extremely violent and has murdered at least seven people, including a family who adopted her in Estonia, whom she killed because the father rejected her sexual advances.Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Leena flies into a rage after being spurned by John and ransacks her room. She removes the makeup, false teeth, and body wrappings, revealing wrinkles and dark spots on her face, as well as fully developed breasts and a fully developed body figure. Leena then shuts the power in the whole house and stabs John to death. Max witnesses this and hides. Kate cannot reach John on the phone, so she calls the police and rushes home to find him dead. Leena gets a gun from John’s safe and shoots Kate in the arm, then goes searching for Max, finding her in the greenhouse. While Leena shoots at Max, Kate crawls onto the greenhouse roof, breaks through the glass above Leena, and lands on her, knocking her out. Kate takes the gun and leaves the greenhouse with Max.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Leena regains consciousness and finds Kate and Max outside near a frozen pond. Leena lunges at Kate, knocking the gun out of Kate’s hand and hurling them both onto the ice. Max watches from a hill above, picks up the gun and tries to shoot Leena, but shatters the ice instead, causing Kate and Leena to drop into the water. After a brief struggle, Kate climbs partially out of the pond with Leena clinging to her legs. Leena, hiding a knife behind her back and reverting to her little-girl persona, begs Kate not to let her die, calling her “mommy.” Kate angrily responds that she is not her mother and kicks Leena in the face, breaking her neck. Max and Kate are met by the police moments after.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Overall, if you are tired of bad horror films, and want to see a very intelligent and well made film, i would suggest this. Or if you just want to see a great movie see this! I was very surprised at how excellent this movie turned out, and everyone else will be too! Seriously, if you want great, check it out!

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REVIEW: SAFE HOUSE

CAST

Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Brendan Gleeson (Troy)
Sam Shepard (Swordfish)
Ruben Blades (Predator 2)
Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones)
Joel Kinnaman (Robocop 2014)
Stephen Rider (Daredevil)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
Sebastian Roche (The Originals)

In Cape Town, South Africa, ex-CIA NOC operative turned traitor and international criminal Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) acquires a data storage device from rogue MI6 agent Alec Wade (Liam Cunningham). After the pair is attacked by a team of mercenaries led by Vargas (Fares Fares), Wade is killed and Frost is cornered by the gunmen, leaving him no choice but to surrender to the American consulate.

Frost is transferred to a local safe house maintained by “housekeeper” Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a young agent on his first low-level CIA posting and then the CIA sends in a team led by veteran agent Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick) to interrogate Frost and bring him back to the US. Weston watches uneasily as Kiefer and his men waterboard Frost. When the power to the safe house is cut, the CIA team realize that they are in grave danger. Vargas and a heavily armed group attack the safe house, killing Kiefer and his team. Weston escapes, taking Frost as his charge. When Weston makes contact with his superior, David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson), at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga), another CIA operative, orders Weston to lie low and await further instructions.

Weston hides out with Frost and calls his girlfriend Ana Moreau (Nora Arnezeder), a French medical resident who does not know that he works for the CIA, and tells her to leave the house. Barlow later tells Weston to go to Cape Town Stadium to retrieve a GPS device with the location of another nearby safe house. He retrieves the GPS at the stadium, but Frost creates a diversion and gets away by disguising himself as a policeman. Weston, detained by the police, escapes but is unable to catch Frost. Weston goes to recapture Frost but Frost ambushes him and aims a gun at him as if to shoot him, but then tells him “I only kill professionals”.

Weston is ordered to visit the nearest American embassy for debriefing. Instead he meets with Ana and reveals that he is a CIA agent. He tells her to return to Paris for her safety. Weston tracks Frost to a shantytown in Langa, where Frost is meeting Nicaraguan national Carlos Villar (Rubén Blades), an old contact and document forger. Vargas and his team attack again, killing Villar along with his wife, but Frost eludes him and his men with Weston’s help. Weston brutally interrogates one of Vargas’ wounded mercenaries, who reveals that Vargas is working for the CIA, which is seeking to retrieve the storage device Frost received from Wade. The device contains Israeli intelligence which contain details of corrupt officials and secret money transfers involving American CIA, British MI6, and other intelligence agencies; Weston recognizes the reference to the Mossad because the CIA accused Frost of selling secrets to them before he became a rogue agent. Weston’s own superiors may be implicated. Weston takes Frost to the new safe house, where Weston keeps the housekeeper, Keller (Joel Kinnaman) at gunpoint, because he no longer knows if he can trust the CIA.

Keller attacks Weston, and after a brutal struggle, Weston breaks Keller’s neck, but he is badly wounded in the fight. Frost leaves Weston, who passes out from his wounds. Meanwhile, Linklater arrives in South Africa with Barlow to collect Frost and Weston from the safe house, but on the way is shot and killed by Barlow, who goes to the safe house and reveals that he is Vargas’ employer. He confirms that the file contains incriminating evidence against him, and encourages Weston to lie about what has happened. Frost returns and kills Vargas and his men but is shot by Barlow. Weston then shoots Barlow in the chest, killing him. Frost gives Weston the file and tells Weston he is better than him before he dies from his injuries.
Image result for SAFE HOUSE 2012Back in the United States, Weston meets with CIA Deputy Director Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), who informs Weston that unflattering facts about the CIA must be removed from his report, but that he will be promoted. He asks Weston about the file’s location but Weston denies having been told about it by Frost. Whitford states that whoever has those files will have many enemies. Weston leaves, then leaks the files to the media, incriminating personnel from many intelligence agencies, including Whitford. Later on, Weston sees Ana across a street in Paris, France. She reads a note passed to her from him, looks up at Weston, and they both make eye contact and she smiles before Weston walks away.Image result for SAFE HOUSE 2012Safe House is a great action thriller with non-stop action. This is the first mainstream feature for Daniel Espinosa and he comes forth as promising due to his skillful camera work with the action scenes. One of the most impressive is the rooftop chase at night. The editing is pitch perfect as it allows the audience to feel the danger of the situation from each point of view. This film could have been bleak and predictable if the leads were miscast but Washington and Reynolds’ enigma make the film satisfyingly fun and fresh.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE CONJURING 2

CAST
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen)
Madison Wolfe (The Campaign)
Frances O’ Connor (Bedazzled)
Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity)
Simon McBurney (The Last King of Scotland)
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Sing Street)
Robin Atkins Downes (Suicide Squad)
Bonnie Aarons (The Princess Diaries)
In 1976, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren document the Amityville murders at the Amityville house, to determine if a demonic presence was truly responsible for Ronald DeFeo Jr. mass murdering his family on November 13, 1974 and the subsequent haunting incident involving the Lutz family. During a seance, Lorraine is drawn into a vision where she relives the murders and discovers a demonic nun figure, before seeing Ed being fatally impaled. After a struggle, Lorraine is able to break out of the vision.
One year later, in 1977, the Hodgson family begins to discover strange occurrences within their home in London. Janet, the second oldest of four children, is seen sleepwalking and conversing in her dreams with an entity who insists that the house is his. Eventually, all siblings of the house and their mother Peggy witness paranormal events occurring right before their eyes, forcing them to seek refuge with their neighbors. When the media attempts to interview the Hodgsons, Janet is possessed by the spirit of Bill Wilkins, an older man who previously lived and died in the house, and who wants to claim his territory. As Janet begins to show more signs of demonic possession, the story eventually reaches the Warrens, who are requested to assist the local church in the investigation. Lorraine, in fear of her vision of Ed’s death becoming reality, warns him not to get too involved in the case, and reluctantly agrees to travel to London. She has yet another vision of the demonic nun in the collection room wherein the demon says its name, which Lorraine scribbles in her Bible.
While staying at the Hodgson residence, Ed and Lorraine consult with other paranormal investigators, including Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory, on the legitimacy of the case. They also attempt to communicate with Wilkins’ spirit, hoping to talk him out of harassing the family. One night, after the Hodgsons witness Janet being possessed, Gregory presents video evidence of Janet purposely wrecking the kitchen as if for a prank. Ed and Lorraine are then convinced to leave the family on their own, but soon they discover that the spirit of Wilkins is only a pawn, being manipulated to haunt Janet, while the true mastermind is the demonic spirit that has been haunting Lorraine in her visions.
Ed and Lorraine return to the Hodgson residence, only to find Janet being possessed once more and the rest of the Hodgsons locked outside the house. A lightning strike hits a tree near the house, leaving a jagged stump resembling the object that impaled Ed in Lorraine’s vision. Ed ventures inside the house alone, and finds Janet standing near the window, ready to leap onto the stump and commit suicide. He manages to grab Janet in time, but finds himself holding onto a curtain that is being torn from its rings by his and Janet’s weight. Lorraine remembers that she wrote the demon’s name – Valak – in her Bible. She enters the house and confronts Valak, addressing it by name and successfully condemning it back to Hell. Janet is freed of her possession, and Lorraine pulls her and Ed to safety.
A text epilogue reveals that Peggy lived the rest of her life in that house and died in 2003, sitting in the same spot in which Wilkins had died 40 years earlier. Upon returning home, Ed adds an item to his and Lorraine’s collection – “The Crooked Man” zoetrope toy owned by Peggy’s youngest child – placing it near April’s music box and the Annabelle doll. The couple then dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.
The Conjuring 2 is as strong as the first. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first, or indeed likes haunting films.

REVIEW: BATES MOTEL – SEASON 5

MAIN CAST

Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring)
Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor)
Max Thieriot (House At The End og The Street)
Olivia Cooke (Ouija)
Nestor Carbonell (Lost)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kenny Johnson (Cold Case)
Ryan Hurst (Taken)
Brooke Smith (The Silence of The Lambs)
Isabelle McNally (Before I Disappear)
Austin Nichols (The Day After Tomorrow)
Jillian Fargey (Protection)
Damon Gupton (Whiplash)
Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Agents of SHIELD)
Rihanna (Battleship)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time)
Aliyah O’Brien (If I Stay)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)

Bates Motel, which was always plotted to be a five-season story, closed its doors for business this year with a 10-episode run full of stunning tragedy, deft surprises, and a nice sense of closure. Overall, with Seasons 4 and 5 being representing the very best of the series, Doing the Marion Crane Psycho-arc midseason (with a fun bit of stunt casting in Bates super-fan Rihanna) allowed the series to officially state, before the end, that things would be playing out differently than the classic film it was adapting. If you still, for whatever reason, were under the assumption that Psycho was the endgame, you’d have to adjust your expectations and get ready for the show to take you to a brand new place. Freddie Highmore was exemplary throughout this saga, as Norman often underwent massive mental meltdowns and changes that caused him further bury himself in delusion. He had a good few years, between seasons, of living within his demented fantasy life, but he was always on borrowed time. It could never hold. By the end, all that was left of him was a beat up boy who just longed for everything to be different. I loved how, during this final this season, the show got to explore, more in depth, the Mother persona and how she reacted to Norman’s rejection. She’d actually take over, black Norman out, and hit up bars to hook up with strangers — men, in fact — using Norman’s body. It was a fascinating discovery. Especially since Norman would never allow himself (because Mother was watching) to get close to any other woman. His nagging subconscious would always interrupt and disapprove. All of this meant that when Marion showed up at the motel, Norman wasn’t “Hitchcock Norman.” He knew more about himself, and knew enough to spare her life.He also came to realize all the horrors he’d committed as “Mother,” which then caused him to commit his first — I suppose — enlightened murder. Oh, he was still in a fever, or haze, when he stabbed Sam in the shower, but he also wasn’t Mother. He was Norman and he was stabbing away. Because of this clumsy clarity, Dylan managed to live through the series because Norman held back. He controlled Mother. In fact, looking back, Dylan and Emma, along with their child, were the intended survivors. Everyone else had to drop away in order for them to emerge as something new and, hopefully, happy.Caleb, Chick, Romero and, finally, Norman had to pass so that Dylan and Emma could, presumedly, rise up from the ashes. I guess you can count Emma’s mother as part of this cleansing fire too. Everyone who complicated their past, separately, could now do so as one collective ghost. And Dylan’s final “handling” of Norman — which he didn’t want to do but got tricked into doing by Norman himself — was laced with the show’s permeating theme regarding the harmful effects of denial and inaction. Norma let Norman’s illness progress too far. Dylan left them both behind even though he knew Norman was dangerous, and even suspected foul play. In the end, guilt played a huge factor in informing Dylan’s sense of responsibility toward his bother.The one thing, story-wise, that Romero’s rage did, was allow us to see Norman once last time. If Norman has remained incarcerated, and assumedly sentenced to death or life in a hospital, Mother may have been all that was left of him. Norman’s insane life of illusion was a noble feat and an understandable ideal for the young man, so to have the final season begin and end with that concept — though the final version was a truly and desperately warped version of the already twisted idea — felt right. And this final season was thoughtful and provocative end to a complex multi-year tragedy.

REVIEW: NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Alan Alda (M*A*S*H)
Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
David Schwimmer (Freinds)
Courtney B. Vance (Flashforward)
Noah Wyle (Donnie Darko)
Julie Ann Emery (Masters of Sex)
Michael O’Neill (Transformers)
Jamey Sheridan (Arrow)

Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) is an ambitious reporter for the Capital Sun-Times. When she discovers a fellow mother at her son’s school, Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga) is working as a covert operative for the CIA and recently returned from Venezuela, where she was investigating an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, she confronts her and requests confirmation. Erica refuses to cooperate, but Rachel has no doubts about the veracity of the report, and her story becomes front-page news with the support of editor Bonnie Benjamin (Angela Bassett) and Avril Aaronson (Noah Wyle), who serves as the newspaper’s legal counsellor. Because revealing a covert operative’s identity is a treasonous offence and because the individual who leaked the information to Rachel is a potential threat to national security, special Federal prosecutor Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon) convenes a grand jury and demands to know who her source is, information she refuses to divulge. High-profile attorney Albert Burnside (Alan Alda), hired by the newspaper to defend Rachel, is certain his personal friendship with Judge Hall will facilitate matters and is shocked when his client is jailed for contempt of court.Days become weeks, and then months, during the course of which Van Doren is murdered in a politically motivated attack. Yet Rachel steadfastly defends the principle of confidentiality, a position that eventually estranges her husband Ray (David Schwimmer), alienates her young son Timmy (Preston Bailey), and costs her embattled newspaper millions of dollars in fines and legal fees. However, Dubois is only interested in Armstrong’s original source. Armstrong pleads to Dubois that she could never give up her source as they would have to deal with the consequential ramifications of the death of Van Doren. Burnside even argues her case before the Supreme Court, but they decide against him 5–4, citing the overriding concern of national security.Eventually, Judge Hall decides to release Armstrong from jail, as he is convinced she will never divulge her source and, therefore, cannot be pressured through continued incarceration. On the day she is released, Dubois has the U.S. Marshals arrest her for obstruction of justice and convinces her to take a deal for a shortened sentence rather than go to trial. She agrees to two years in prison, with the possibility of early parole for good behavior. As Armstrong is taken to the facility, she reminisces about her time as a volunteer at Timmy’s school, and when she spoke to Van Doren’s daughter, Alison, who revealed to her on a school field trip that her mother worked for the government and recently went to Venezuela on “business”, thus revealing Alison as the original source.Excellent thought provoking film, such a shame it did not get a wider release. Well acted by whole cast.

 

REVIEW: SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS

CAST

Eric Bana (Hulk)
Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Vera Margia (Bates Motel)
Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting)
Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange)
Kevin Pollak (Willow)
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Raúl Castillo (Looking)
Ari Cohen (Brusier)
Meghan Heffern (The Fog)

News radio journalist Frank Bonneville (Eric Bana) enters a murder scene posing as a cop. After getting the details of the crime, he is removed from the premises and, immediately after, reports the story live on the radio. When he returns to the station, Frank is applauded by colleagues on getting the story before any other press, but his boss Geoffrey Mallard (Kevin Pollak) warns that if he breaks the law one more time, he’ll be fired. That night, everyman Ian Finch (Ricky Gervais), who is also Frank’s sound technician, takes his wife Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) to the station’s annual ball, but has to leave for a stake-out with co-worker Claire Maddox (Kelly Macdonald). Eleanor then meets Frank, who sleeps with her, unaware she is married to Finch. The following day, Mallard puts Frank on a story about an uprising in Ecuador, and assigns Finch to accompany him. However, Finch tells Frank he can’t go as Eleanor has left him. He also says he’s written a letter, begging her not to end their marriage.Finch later changes his mind about Ecuador, and he and Frank pack for their trip. At the airport, the two realize Finch has accidentally thrown their passports and plane tickets in a garbage truck. Frank and Finch return to the city and hide out at a café owned by Spanish couple Brigida and Domingo (America Ferrera and Raúl Castillo), located across the street from the radio station. With Brigida and Domingo’s help, Frank and Finch fake their war reports in the couple’s spare room. After Finch and Frank decide they need to cover a bigger story, they invent a man named Emilio Santiago Alvarez, whom they claim is elusive and closely linked to the war. This report alerts the U.S. government, who now believe that Frank and Finch are targets for Alvarez’s men. Meanwhile, Frank and Finch watch as other media outlets report on Alvarez, including their TV rival John Baker (Benjamin Bratt). Mallard calls Frank, asking for the two men to go to the U.S. embassy in Quito, where they will then be flown home. Panicking that they’ll be found out, Frank and Finch destroy their SIM cards so they cannot be traced.The next morning, Frank fails to check in with Mallard, worrying the station. The media begins reporting about Finch and Frank’s disappearance. Claire visits Eleanor to offer her sympathy, but Eleanor seems more interested in getting her story out. Frank and Finch stage a hostage situation, and send out a message to the President, asking for a ransom or they will be executed. Later, Frank and Finch watch as Eleanor appears on TV. This prompts Frank to find out about her identity as Finch’s wife. She then performs a song, “Dollar for a Hero”, appealing for their safe return. Eleanor subsequently becomes a national sensation and sets up a charity for Finch and Frank. Mallard asks Claire to get to know Eleanor, who is using her husband’s plight so she can start a singing career. Finch accepts Eleanor’s selfishness in the situation and says he’s no longer upset that she left him. On Finch’s birthday, he admits he can’t keep up the charade any longer. Finch and Frank stop off at his apartment to take some of the donated money, but Eleanor catches them. The three decide to split the cash so they can all get what they want. Frank and Finch drive cross-country and sail illegally to Ecuador. They hitch a ride to Quito from a local, but first stop off at a rundown bar. There, they are held at gunpoint and taken to a small village, where they are locked up. Thinking they’re going to die, Frank admits to Finch that he slept with Eleanor.The next morning, the captors demand ransom from Eleanor but she refuses and tells them to kill Frank and Finch. When a captor returns, planning for them to fight to the death, Frank steals his gun and Finch ends up shooting him. They escape by stealing a car, make it to the U.S. embassy, and are flown home on a private jet. On returning home, they are greeted by the Secretary of State, press, friends and family. Frank makes a speech, and Finch bypasses Eleanor to greet Domingo and Brigida. Eleanor then speaks to press about her upcoming album, while Finch takes off his wedding ring. He approaches Claire, whom he realizes likes him for who he is. The pair happily walk off towards the city together.2016_05_26special-640x345-640x345Ignore the harsh reviews. The film isn’t hilarious but is quite funny in places, Ricky has tried his hand here at something else and I believe pulled it off well. Highly recommended if you like Ricky Gervais’s work and want to see him try something different then go for it.

REVIEW: THE DEPARTED

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Jack Nicholson (Batman)
Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Ray Winstone (Elfie Hopkins)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Anthony Anderson (Transformrs)
Alec Baldwin (Mission Impossible 5)
Kevin Corrigan (Superbad)
James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3)
David O’Hara (Braveheart)
Mark Rolston (Eraser)
Kristen Dalton (Tango & Cash)
J.C. Mackenzie (Dark Angel)

As a child, Colin Sullivan (Damon) had been introduced to organized crime by Irish-American mobster Frank Costello (Nicholson) in the Irish neighborhood of South Boston. Over the years, Costello grooms him to become a mole inside the Massachusetts State Police, until Sullivan is accepted into the Special Investigations Unit, which focuses on organized crime. Before graduating from the police academy, Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is recruited by Captain Queenan (Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Wahlberg) to go undercover, as his family ties to organized crime make him a perfect infiltrator. He drops out of the academy and does time in prison on a fake assault charge to increase his credibility.

Each man infiltrates his respective organization, and Sullivan begins a romance with police psychiatrist Madolyn Madden (Farmiga). Costigan is seeing her under the terms of his probation, and they begin a relationship, too. After Costello escapes a sting operation, each mole becomes aware of the other’s existence. Sullivan is told to find the “rat” and asks Costello for information to identify the informer.

Costigan follows Costello into a porn theater, where Costello gives Sullivan an envelope containing personal information on his crew members. Costigan chases Sullivan through Chinatown. When it is over, neither man knows the other’s identity. Sullivan has Queenan tailed to a meeting with Costigan on the roof of a building. Queenan orders Costigan to flee while he confronts Costello’s men alone. The men then throw Queenan off the building to his death. When they exit, Costigan pretends he has come to join them. Television news reveals that crew member Delahunt (Rolston) has been an undercover cop, working for the Boston Police Department. Dignam resigns rather than work with Sullivan, who he suspects is the mole after he is asked why he had Queenan followed.

Using Queenan’s phone, Sullivan reaches Costigan, who refuses to abort his mission. Sullivan learns from Queenan’s diary of Costello’s role as an informant for the FBI, causing him to worry about his own identity being revealed. With Costigan’s help, Costello is traced to a cocaine drop-off, where a gunfight erupts between Costello’s crew and the police, which results in most of the crew being killed. Costello, confronted by Sullivan, admits he is an FBI informant. Costello tries to shoot Sullivan, but Sullivan shoots him multiple times. With Costello dead, Sullivan is applauded the next day by everyone on the force. In good faith, Costigan comes to Sullivan for restoration of his true identity and to be paid for his work, but notices the envelope from Costello on Sullivan’s desk and flees, finally realizing Sullivan is the enemy. Fearing retaliation, Sullivan erases Costigan’s records from the police computer system.

Sullivan is unaware that Madolyn had an affair with Costigan when she tells Sullivan that she is pregnant. Later, Sullivan finds her listening to a CD from Costigan containing incriminating recorded conversations between Costello and Sullivan. Sullivan unsuccessfully attempts to assuage her suspicions. He then contacts Costigan, who reveals that Costello recorded every one of their conversations, that Costello’s attorney left Costigan in possession of the recordings, and that Costigan intends to implicate Sullivan. The two agree to meet at the building where Queenan died.

On the roof, Costigan catches Sullivan off-guard and handcuffs him. As Costigan had secretly arranged, Trooper Brown (Anderson) appears on the roof as well. Shocked, Brown draws his gun on Costigan, who attempts to justify his actions by exposing Sullivan as Costello’s mole. Costigan asks Brown why Dignam did not accompany him as Costigan had requested, but Brown does not answer. Costigan leads Sullivan, his hostage, to the elevator. When it reaches the ground floor, Trooper Barrigan (Dale) shoots Costigan in the head, then shoots Brown, and afterward reveals to Sullivan that Costello had more than one mole in the police. Sullivan then shoots and kills Barrigan. At state police headquarters, Sullivan identifies Barrigan as the mole and has Costigan posthumously given the Medal of Merit. At Costigan’s funeral, Sullivan notices that Madolyn is tearful. As they leave the gravesite, Sullivan attempts to talk to her, but she ignores him. When Sullivan returns to his apartment, he is ambushed by Dignam, who shoots and kills him as he enters.With its clever plot, excellent acting and expert direction, The Departed is without doubt a brillaint film.