No one likes a mole, especially mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson), and he is sure he has one in his inner circle. But he is not the only "boss" having a mole issue. It seems that Captain Queenan (Sheen), along with Sergeant Digman (Wahlberg), who have been building a fail-proof case against Costello, have someone on their team who's not loyal to Boston's finest. But who? There is plenty of blood, bullets, and backstabbing to keep you immersed in this twist-for-turn tale. The Departed is based on the motion picture Internal Affairs. (Jack Kelley)
Special features are almost the same as on the DVD and include the theatrical trailer, the 21-minute "Stranger Than Fiction: The True Story Of Whitey Bulger, Southie And The Departed," "Crossing Criminal Cultures" in 24 minutes; and 19 minutes of deleted scenes with director introduction.
While details are generally captured well in the anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD picture, pixel breakup can distract from many shots. Black levels are deep, and shadow delineation is decent, which can make for a pleasantly deep image. Colors and fleshtones generally look natural. Source element artifacts, such as dirt and a heavy grain structure, are easily noticeable, and strong edge enhancement can become a distraction. It's a shame, because there are times (although rare) when the picture can look very good. The Blu-ray Disc and VC-1-encoded HD DVD versions are bright and vibrant, with solid black levels and good shadow delineation. In general, though, details are rather soft, and the image looks rather flat. Differences between the two high-definition versions are difficult to recognize. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is articulate, with all the subtleties in the recording delivered well. A high-pitched ringing can be heard at times, which can be distracting, but is not present throughout the entire presentation. Dialogue can sound very good at times, but is entirely inconsistent; it can be full and flat, while other times it can sound overly bright, and still others it can sound spatially incoherent. The mix is nothing too exciting either, with surround channels that are rarely used with much vigor. The HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus and lossless Dolby TrueHD encodings and the Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed PCM encoding all sound very similar to each other. All three intensify the brightness, almost becoming unbearable in the louder scenes. If anything, the Blu-ray Disc version has a slight advantage in overall fluidity over the Dolby Digital Plus encoding, but it is splitting hairs choosing between it and the TrueHD versions. (Danny Richelieu)