Ensemble Films Fill the Screen with Cameos

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Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Departed.' i

Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio are just two of the many high-profile stars in Martin Scorsese's 'The Departed.' Warner Bros. hide caption

itoggle caption Warner Bros.
Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Departed.'

Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio are just two of the many high-profile stars in Martin Scorsese's 'The Departed.'

Warner Bros.
Heather Graham, Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt in 'Bobby' i

Heather Graham, Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt are part of a big cast in 'Bobby,' directed by Sheen's son, Emilio Estevez. Weinstein Company hide caption

itoggle caption Weinstein Company
Heather Graham, Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt in 'Bobby'

Heather Graham, Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt are part of a big cast in 'Bobby,' directed by Sheen's son, Emilio Estevez.

Weinstein Company

Movie theaters feature an abundance of ensemble films this season, including Bobby and The Departed. With so many stars in supporting roles, Oscar nominations might be a little tricky.

The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese, features Jack Nicholson as crime boss Frank Costello. The rest of the cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Ray Winstone. But film critic Elvis Mitchell tells Scott Simon that he thinks another performer really stands out: Mark Wahlberg, playing a cop from his native South Boston.

Scorsese knows how to handle big casts and big themes, Mitchell says. Emilio Estevez is not as successful with Bobby, which seeks to capture a moment in the lives of many people leading to the fateful night in the summer of 1968 on which Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot to death at a Los Angeles hotel.

Estevez joins a cast that includes his father — Martin Sheen — and a truly astonishing collection of notable actors: Anthony Hopkins, William H. Macy, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Hunt, Heather Graham and Demi Moore share screen time with younger talents such as Shia LeBouef, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher and Lindsay Lohan.

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