The Departed Reviews

Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
January 25, 2015
Not only is The Departed not among the best of Scorsese's films; it's not even the best version of this film.
Top Critic
January 25, 2015
This crime thriller is a profane, blood-drenched joy to watch.
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Joel Siegel
Good Morning America
January 23, 2015
It's one of the year's best pictures. It's also one of Martin Scorsese's best. And when you think of some other films he's made, that's saying something.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 24, 2013
[A] very entertaining, densely layered, just-short-of-fabulous melodrama.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 6, 2007
What makes this a Scorsese film, and not merely a retread, is the director's use of actors, locations and energy, and its buried theme. I am fond of saying that a movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
You'll have to go back to GoodFellas to find a Marty movie this fun, this enamored of language, of ethnic slurs, of "Gimme Shelter," of explosive violence. Scorsese's return to form is the year's most dynamic film. Really, how could it not be?
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 6, 2007
The Departed has enough tension to keep you engrossed, and enough color for ten crime pictures. Scorsese obviously adores his expensive, expansive ensemble.
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
October 26, 2006
Is Scorsese desperate? This screenplay has the scent of it, as if he is scraping for material to feed his basic filmic interests.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 14, 2006
[A] glorious mess of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
October 9, 2006
This merrily vicious and violent Martin Scorsese film about cops and gangsters in Boston will never haunt your sleep, as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull do, but it will keep you excited and amused for well over two hours.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 7, 2006
Scorsese has put together a fantastic ensemble of actors: Some of the movie's best performances are the ones tucked into the corners, like Alec Baldwin's beefy, arrogant state police honcho.
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 7, 2006
The storytelling here is a model of smooth precision.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 6, 2006
That Scorsese can hit this kind of material out of the park isn't surprising, and much of The Departed gleams with a certain well-honed perfection.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 6, 2006
As The Departed wears on, it becomes more exciting, more grimly funny and more nihilistic -- and that nihilism has a lasting impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 6, 2006
Freed from iconic figures and weighty themes, Martin Scorsese, in The Departed, gets to riff and rock. And the audience gets a huge, bloody, profane entertainment in the bargain.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 6, 2006
The Departed is Scorsese's most entertaining picture in years, dense, violent (more of his screen sadism played for laughs), and satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 6, 2006
The Departed remains a rousing film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 6, 2006
After a pair of flawed Oscar-hunting epics, Martin Scorsese has returned to the gritty, violent mob drama that has always been his strong suit, and the result -- The Departed -- is his best film since 1990's Goodfellas.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 6, 2006
A great, resonant, psychologically complex popcorn movie made by a cast and crew of filmmakers at the top of their game. Welcome back, Marty.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 6, 2006
For all its bloodletting, The Departed is an intoxicating film. It's a film that'll have your hands over your face with one eye peeking: The violence sickens, but the movie seduces.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 6, 2006
As so often before, the body count is high in a Martin Scorsese movie. But where once the bodies pulsated with life in all its vainglorious furor, here they drop like wooden ducks in an artificial pond.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 6, 2006
If this one doesn't win Scorsese an Oscar, then there's something seriously wrong with Oscar.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 6, 2006
It's a thinking fan's thriller, a movie involving multiple fully dimensional characters, multiple story lines and edge-of-your-seat twists and swerves, stylized to just the edge of believability.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 6, 2006
Steeped in testosterone and laced with inventively used profanity, The Departed plunges us into a corrupt Boston world for parallel stories about two cops, played by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
| Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 6, 2006
The Departed exhibits a rough-hewn, deft intelligence. Monahan has written some razor-sharp lines, and Scorsese's latest crew knows how to wield the quips.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 6, 2006
Rude, crafty, funny and richly profane, it's the work of an artist unmistakably in his element.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
October 6, 2006
It is funny, shocking and brutal, and it's filled with brilliant performances, with some of our best actors sinking their teeth into a great screenplay from William Monahan.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 6, 2006
Right from the pungent opening line, The Departed has that Goodfellas pop, from the first-rate cast to the sharp black comedy to the startling incidents of violence.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 6, 2006
A relentlessly violent, breathtakingly assured piece of mean-streets filmmaking, the film shows the legendary director dropping the bids for industry respectability that have preoccupied him over the past decade and doing what he does best.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 5, 2006
Two and a half hours race by as this twisting, turning tale blazes its exciting, funny, brutal path.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2006
Martin Scorsese's The Departed, a crime drama of thrilling breadth and intensity, takes place within Boston's city limits, seems to have been made in a state of exultation, and holds you captive in a state of delight.
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 5, 2006
It took a while, but Martin Scorsese has returned to the Mean Streets.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 5, 2006
It's a stylish head rush of a movie that flies by, even at two-and-a-half hours, and keeps turning the knife (and your stomach) up to the final scene.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
October 5, 2006
Martin Scorsese's cubistic entertainment about men divided by power, loyalty and their own selves finds the director back on the mean streets where he belongs.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2006
Too operatic at times, too in love with violence and macho posturing at others, it's a potboiler dressed up in upscale designer clothes, but oh how that pot does boil.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 5, 2006
If the story suffers initially from a slight lack of focus, hang in there, because you will soon become immersed in a mesmerizing, expertly plotted cat-and-mouse game.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 5, 2006
With its welter of double crosses, The Departed is completely engrossing, a master class in suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 5, 2006
The Departed, which screenwriter William Monahan cleverly adapted from the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, crackles right along, stopping only long enough for Scorsese's signature bursts of explosive violence.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 5, 2006
Scorsese's sharpest film in a decade and the most entertaining major studio release this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 5, 2006
After the dolled-up theatrics of his last few features, from Casino (1995) up through The Aviator (2004), it's a kick to find director Martin Scorsese back in prime form, at least in the terrific first half of The Departed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 5, 2006
Comparisons to Goodfellas and Casino notwithstanding, it has a verve and texture all its own. It also has, courtesy of William Monahan, some of the best dialogue that Scorsese has ever worked with.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
October 5, 2006
In Martin Scorsese's thrilling, throbbing reinterpretation of [Infernal Affairs], it is the war that rages within all of us -- between our better and our badder selves -- that transforms this tale of treachery into one of the year's best movies.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
October 5, 2006
The Departed, which situates the Lau-Mak storyline in contemporary Boston, matches expectations for roughly two-thirds of its somewhat distended 2 1/2-hour running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
October 5, 2006
An exhilarating pulp entertainment.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 5, 2006
Dazzlingly done, with a welcome gloss of comic panache, it's the sort of thing Scorsese does better than any other major director in Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
October 5, 2006
few directors can compose a movie with the power, grace and assurance that Scorsese brings to each shot and scene, and The Departed is more fun, and certainly more funny, than his last few films.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 4, 2006
The argot of New York's Little Italy is Martin Scorsese's first language, but the filmmaker speaks fluent, pungent Bostonese in the terrific cops-and-mobsters tale The Departed.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
October 3, 2006
Neither a debacle nor a bore, The Departed works but only up to a point, and never emotionally.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 3, 2006
The veteran director has made two-thirds of a great film about Boston cops and mobsters, with dazzlingly rich performances from a dizzyingly stellar cast and an ambience that screams Scorsese's typical cultural authenticity.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
October 2, 2006
The Departed is Scorsese's most purely enjoyable movie in years.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 2, 2006
The original film was gritty and entertaining; the new version is a masterpiece -- the best effort Scorsese has brought to the screen since Goodfellas.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 29, 2006
This reworking of a popular Hong Kong picture pulses with energy, tangy dialogue and crackling performances from a fine cast.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 29, 2006
Scorsese's relaxed energy infuses the film with excitement in every frame, thus elevating a gangster story to the level of tragedy.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 28, 2006
A new American crime classic from the legendary Martin Scorsese, whose talent shines here on its highest beams.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
September 27, 2006
Mr. Scorsese and his associates have assembled a remarkably charismatic cast to impart coherence and conviction to a narrative that could have easily dwindled into an affectless succession of gratuitous intrigues.