The Departed - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Departed Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 22, 2007
This was a great movie from beginning tp the final minutes and than i felt rushed. Very rushed, Im not sure why but the final 30 minutes or so just were overdone. But in the end still a great movie.
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2009
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2011
This is just too awesome.
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2014
There are lots of things I didn't like about this movie, namely the entire cat-and-mouse plotline. How could neither Billy Costigan nor Collin Sullivan nor anyone else not figure out that those two are the double agents? It seemed pretty common knowledge that Collin grew up under the wing of Frank Costello and that bad shit keeps happening after Billy joins Costello's mob. Is Costello really that trustworthy and critical a thinker to believe correlation doesn't equal causation? The alliterative names are also confusing.

I'm not a fan of early-aughts Marty or Leo, but Leo isn't bad in this role. Matt Damon's face and voice are too boring to play a villain, Martin Sheen's character is pretty thankless and dies easily, and Marky Mark's character is just a dick for the sake of being a dick - hardly enough meat to develop an Oscar-worthy performance. The only female character is just there to form a slapdash love triangle, and the script doesn't even write her as a realistic psychologist.
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2007
Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are two cops; one is honest and taking part in appalling crimes while working undercover, the other corrupt acting under the facade of respectability. Soon it becomes necessary for them to discover each other's identity in a cat and mouse game against the clock. Scorsese's pedigree as a director shines through as this is far from the usual clunky Hollywood remake we've all come to revile. In fact, the spirit of the original is so apparent that it feels far more like the kind of Asian cinema influenced picture you'd expect from Tarantino than a Scorsese and for that reason, anyone expecting the kind of intensity and provocativeness of Goodfellas or Taxi Driver may be disappointed. The cast are uniformly solid (although the kind of heavyweight performance you'd expect from a DeNiro is glaringly absent) and it's perfectly paced, never dragging for a minute of it's not inconsiderable length. The bleak tone, constant foul language and brutally realistic violence may offend those with delicate sensibilities, but it's hugely entertaining and although the screenwriter cheated a little by including character and plot elements from all three Infernal Affairs films, it surpasses the film it was based upon.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2012
Scorcese brings back his gangster-crime roots in a modern day thriller in the mean streets of Boston. With its New England-based ensemble consisting of Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon and the captivating Mark Wahlberg, the film is a mind-bent crime film that catches your eye every single time. 4/5
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2011
Easily the best movie of 2006 that finally earned Scorsese an Oscar. You couldn't ask for a better cast that fires on all cylinders the whole movie.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
I have watched this movie over 20 times. I never tire of it. Gripping action thriller with many lives on the line. Great cast - Leo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Ray Winstone, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Mark Walhberg. Martin Scorsese directs his second movie starring Leo. The movie's premise is based on a Hong Kong movie called Infernal Affairs, but The Departed is about Boston mobsters and cops. Leo plays Billy, an undercover cop who becomes a mole in a FBI wanted gang. He comes from a family not on the right side of the law, but he trains to be a police officer. Jack plays the mobster who also has a mole (Matt) in the police. It's strange seeing Matt as a bad guy. The two police men's lives run in parallel, looking for each other - the moles. But there are further twists and turns when a woman and loyalties are at stake. It will have you on the edge of your seat. No matter what Leo does you want him to pull through. Leo is brilliant. There are so many great lines. My fave line is Leo's as Billy - "You want him to chop me up and feed me to the poor? Is that what you want?" My fave scene is when Leo sees Queenan's phone ring. He says nothing but the anguish on his face tells us everything. Another great performance!
paul o.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2012
This was the first Scorcese film I saw and in my opinion my personal favorite. The all star cast and raw story makes this movie a perfect choice for Best picture. The falling scene with Martin Sheen will definitely be in your top 20 death scenes of all time. A cinematic treat!
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2011
Colin Sullivan: I can't wait to see you explain this one to a fucking Suffolk County jury you fucking cocksucker. This is gonna be fucking fun! 

"Cops or Criminals. When you're facing a loaded gun what's the difference?"

I'm having a tough time deciding what my favorite Scorsese movie is. Every time I have thought about it, my favorite shifts between this, Casino, Goodfellas, and Raging Bull. I'm  starting to lean towards this as my favorite film from him though, but it doesn't really matter when you have his filmography. This movie is an amazing piece of filmmaking by Scorsese. It's gritty and suspenseful from start to finish. 

The cast is excellent. Jack Nicholson gives what may end up being his last great performance. Mark Wahlberg gives his best performance and Matt Damon is excellent as always. Martin Sheen and Vera Farmiga are great in their supporting role as well. But let's talk about the true star of this film, Leonardo DiCaprio. The guy is the best actor going right now. He keeps starring in great movie after great movie. Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Shutter Island, Revolutionary Road, Body of Lies, Inception, and The Departed since 2002. There's no denying he's the best right now. 

The Departed has such an engrossing plot. Billy Costigan is undercover and is working for Frank Costello. He's trying to get something on him that will stick, but it's difficult because Costello has an informer who is also a cop in Colin Sullivan. Everyone knows that there's rats and informers but don't know who they are and it just adds to the suspense that we know and they don't. Like Hitchcock said if you tell us there's a bomb and let it play out, that's suspense if you just blow it up without telling us, that's a surprise. Like every Scorsese the soundtrack is really good as well. 

So yeah, I think this is my absolute favorite Scorsese movie. It's one of the best crime dramas you'll ever watch and is one of the true crime epics of the 21st century. It has just the right amount of everything. It's violent, it's funny, it's scary, it's everything that it needs to be. This is a must see movie in the same way Goodfellas or Taxi Driver is. It will leave you motionless the first time you watch it. I've seen it many times now and each and every time I revisit it, I find something new to love about it.

Colin Sullivan: Do you know what will happen if you shoot me? 
Billy Costigan: Yeah, this bullet will go right through your fucking head! 
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2011
I respect Leo a lot as an actor but have never liked him in any of his movies. He was too annoyingly bright-eyed in Titanic, too annoyingly smug in Catch Me If You Can, too annoyingly jaded in Inception... but in this movie he is perfect. He is vulnerable, tragic, and I maintain that any girl who watches this movie cannot stop herself from reaching out to the screen wanting to take his trembling head into her arms and soothe his fraught soul.

What makes this movie so good is that it lavishly indulges its villains, building up this gross inequity as it coasts on, blithely ignoring all sense of justice and morality that we've come to expect from Hollywood. If you hate spoilers then stop reading now because here's a spoiler for you: it doesn't have a happy ending. And it kills me, it twists the knife deeper as we watch Billy sink further into paranoia and helplessness, needing his reality back and the movie holds it outstretched, denying him relief and denying him his reward for fighting the good fight. What a spectacular tease. Icing on the cake: Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, all the colourful language and the Boston accents.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2010
"The Departed" is brimming with style. First off, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson are incredible; they're extraordinary -- possible Leonardo's best performance. Though it isn't Martin Scorsese's greatest film, it is masterfully directed coupled with great dialogue. The pacing is great and the score was immersive. A must watch.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Great writing, great cast, great direction, all here, all accounted for, and everybody's workin' dere Baston acksents. Cellphones shoulda got an acting credit cause the story revolves around them. The only flaw is that the work has identity issues, compares itself to The Godfather and GoodFellas too much.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2011
Classic Scorsese. His late masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2011
Jack Nicholson made this movie for me. If you want a good action/drama with a good plot, here you go.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2011
The Departed is my favorite film by Martin Scorsese, its a complete masterpiece and is my favorite mob film ever made, and is my 10th favorite film ever. As the police force attempts to reign in the increasingly powerful Irish mafia, authorities are faced with the prospect of sending in an undercover agent or seeing their already frail grip on the criminal underworld slip even further. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young cop looking to make a name for himself in the world of law enforcement. Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a street-smart criminal who has successfully infiltrated the police department with the sole intention of reporting their every move to ruthless syndicate head Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). When Costigan is assigned the task of working his way into Costello's tightly guarded inner circle, Sullivan is faced with the responsibility of rooting out the informer before things get out of hand. With the stakes constantly rising and time quickly running out for the undercover cop and his criminal counterpart, each man must work feverishly to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other. The plot of The Departed is a wonder to behold, and is truly a true showing of how genius Scosese is, and it is mysterious, intense, and slowly gets closer and closer to a incredible and satisfactory and controversial end. The cats is perfectly picked and was completely perfect, Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing and i don't care what anyone say, his role was great and Oscar worthy. Matt damon is playing a great role, and the tension he feels about geting caught is nail biting. The show stealer however was probably Jack Nicholson, he play one of the roles he was born to, as a crazy and genius mob boss who everyone fears. The production of the film made it feel like watching Goodfellas for the first time, when everyone was just blown away at the genius. Martin Scorsese has created another masterpiece, and his directing is the only one that may have been able to make it perfect. This films is a genius work of art, every minute is awesome, every minute is intense, and every minute makes it one of the best films of all time.
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2006
The Departed not only proves that Martin Scorsese (at the time) still has/had it but vastly improved on the original, Infernal Affairs. Admittedly this shouldn't have been the one Scorsese got the Oscar for but better late than never. There's not a bad performance to be found and anyone who calls Scorsese a has-been after seeing this movie is a goddamn fool. Great writing, great acting, great casing and a great soundtrack with plenty of references to Scorsese's earlier work. Great, great stuff...
Super Reviewer
½ April 20, 2011
Martin Scorcese's 'The Departed' is vintage Scorcese, a film that will bring back memories of his past ventures while mixing it with a contemporary style that is bold and brilliant. The performances are all completely top notch, with Damon, DiCaprio, and Nicholson turning in brilliant performances. Whalberg, Sheen, Farmiga, Baldwin, and Winstone are also a delight to watch every time they are on screen. Scorcese clearly had fun choosing his ensemble cast. This movie is also made brilliant by its Editing, beautiful work that deserved to win the Oscar. Another great (classic?) from Scorcese!
shahmeer h.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
While I watched The Departed, I grew to like it more and more with every growing second. It was either the vigorous cast of DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholsan, and Whalburg, or the interesting "rat" storyline, or just the fact that people were just dropping dead for, actually, good reasons. The light humor was also very entertaining, as was the non-stop action. But I can truly tell you, this film is a must watch. The Departed takes place in the city of Boston. It follows to pure rivals; an Irish gang and the state police. During the coarse of the film, both the police and the gang have a "rat", or a mole, each coming from the other rival. It shows the police rat's side, (DiCaprio), to be the good guy. But then it also shows the gang rat's side (Dammon), to be the bad one, obviously. So the film just becomes a race to see who each other's rat is, and to get the Irish gang obilorated once and for all. You just have to see the rest to see what happens. The acting in this film just blew your mind, right from the very moment that you saw the freakin amazing casting of Damon, DiCaprio, and Nicholsan, you knew you were getting yourself into an action packed movie. I would personally say that DiCaprio and Nicholsan were tied as the best actors in the film, for there was just so much intensity coming from the two. It was as if they had perfect chemistry, but they were scared s**tless about each other. I wouldn't have been surprised if Nicholsan won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards, for this is the type of guy the Academy likes. Really, who doesnt like Nicholsan? And who doesnt like Scorsese? I can tell you that I freakin love him, and adore him for his work. It's extremely wrong that his previous films never won for Best Picture, but truly, if there had to be one film that would've won, it would've been this one. He gives a clear message at the end of the film, if you want a happy ending, sad things have GOT to happen. And that's what makes him the best director of 2006, and this the best film of 2006.
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