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The Departed - ITV4

Leonardo DiCaprio talks things over with Jack Nicholson

Cop Leonardo DiCaprio is posing as a mobster and gangster Matt Damon is posing as a cop in this electrifying thriller. 4/5 stars

Deep undercover with the gang of Massachusetts crime boss Jack Nicholson, DiCaprio is supposed to give his colleagues Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg advance warning of Nicholson's plans. However, Nicholson's man Damon is in the very heart of the police HQ - and their lives depend on uncovering each other¿s identities...

This is a truly stupendous game of cat and mouse, based on the 2002 Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, and director Martin Scorsese wrings every drop of suspense from the plot.

Damon's cold-eyed calculation and DiCaprio's shattered nerves are a dynamic combination, the several twists in the tale are stunning and Nicholson's deliciously ripe turn as the villain (Ray Winstone plays his right-hand man) is a black comic tour-de-force.

With its seamless succession of nail-biting sequences, the attention-grabbing acting and the sudden scary bursts of action and bloody violence, this film's a total blast.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.