The Departed 2006 Review Film Movie

Movie Bunker Score:

Nobody Does Crime Drama Quite Like Martin Scorsese

When it comes to crime dramas, there is no filmmaker quite like Martin Scorsese. From his early career to the present day, Scorsese has established himself as the undisputed king of the genre. In the 1980s and 1990s, he captivated audiences with classic films such as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino. While some may argue that Scorsese’s movies follow a similar formula, he consistently reinvents his style, exploring into a multitude of complex themes and commentaries. The Departed (2006) is a prime example of Scorsese’s prowess, combining the best elements of his previous successes while still bringing something fresh and unique to the table.

A Tale of Two Protagonists

At the center of The Departed are two main characters: Colin Sullivan, a corrupt police officer played by Matt Damon, and Billy Costigan, an undercover state trooper portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. Both men are hidden behind false identities, and yet their paths become irrevocably intertwined as they hunt for each other, each determined to expose the other’s secrets. Meanwhile, the powerful mob boss, Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, works tirelessly to ensure the survival of his criminal empire while keeping his mole within the police force hidden. As Costigan infiltrates Costello’s ranks, the film becomes a thrilling game of secrecy and deception, told from multiple perspectives where information is scarce. While the concept of undercover cops is not new, The Departed’s sharp screenplay maintains an intense level of mystery and unpredictability, making it feel fresh and unprecedented.

An Entertaining Rollercoaster Ride

The Departed may not be Scorsese’s magnum opus, but it is undoubtedly one of his most captivating and entertaining films. Every scene is filled with twists and turns, each building towards a larger puzzle that the audience can piece together alongside the characters. The high stakes keep the tension palpable, and the performances from DiCaprio, Nicholson, and Damon bring charisma and intensity to even the simplest moments. Scorsese’s mastery of tension and suspense shines through, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. It’s no wonder that both audiences and critics fell in love with this film upon its release nearly two decades ago. The film’s success was also recognized at the Academy Awards, where Scorsese received his first-ever Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.

A Deeper Exploration of Crime and Justice

While The Departed offers plenty of thrills on the surface, it also delves into complex ideas and philosophies. Scorsese places concepts such as crime, justice, and authority on trial, inviting the audience to question their own beliefs. By utilizing characters who exist in the gray area between good and evil, he challenges the notion of clear-cut morality. The film highlights the moral ambiguity that permeates the world and suggests that our persistent need to categorize everything as good or evil may be what corrupts our justice system beyond repair.

A Perfect Blend of Familiarity and Freshness

Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-pumping crime drama or a richly thought-provoking narrative, The Departed delivers on both fronts. Scorsese manages to strike a delicate balance between familiarity and innovation. He pays homage to the crime genre while still offering a wholly original story. The film provides audiences with the style and substance they crave, all while presenting them with something entirely fresh and unexpected.


The Departed is a testament to Martin Scorsese’s unparalleled talent in crafting gripping crime dramas. With its intricate plot, outstanding performances, and thought-provoking themes, the film stands as a true masterpiece. It exemplifies Scorsese’s ability to simultaneously captivate and challenge his audience, creating a viewing experience that is both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. Whether you’re a devoted Scorsese fan or simply appreciate a well-crafted film, The Departed is a must-watch.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is The Departed based on a true story?

No, The Departed is not based on a true story. It is a fictional narrative conceived by screenwriter William Monahan.

2. How did The Departed differ from the original Hong Kong film, “Infernal Affairs”?

The Departed is a remake of the critically acclaimed Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs.” While the overall premise remains consistent, Scorsese made several changes to adapt the story to a Western audience and give it his unique touch.

3. How did The Departed impact Martin Scorsese’s career?

The Departed marked a significant milestone in Scorsese’s career. It earned him his first-ever Best Director and Best Picture Oscars at the Academy Awards, solidifying his status as one of cinema’s greatest directors.

4. What other films should I watch if I enjoyed The Departed?

If you enjoyed The Departed, you might also appreciate other crime dramas by Martin Scorsese, such as Goodfellas and Casino. Additionally, films like Heat, The Town, and Donnie Brasco explore similar themes of crime and undercover operations.

5. Where can I watch The Departed?

The Departed is available to watch on various streaming platforms, such as digital and on-demand services. Check your favorite streaming service to see if it is currently available.