Ad Code

Uncover the gritty underworld of crime and corruption in our compelling The Departed review


The Departed is an award-winning crime drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin. Released in 2006, it tells the story of two men on opposite sides of the law who become embroiled in a complex web of deceit and betrayal. Upon its release, the film received critical acclaim and was nominated for Best Picture at the 79th Academy Awards. It also won four awards including Best Director for Martin Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay for William Monahan and Best Film Editing for Thelma Schoonmaker. The movie has earned an impressive 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes with critics praising its gripping plotline as well as its phenomenal cast performances. Overall, The Departed stands out as one of Scorsese's most iconic films to date and is widely considered to be a classic tale of betrayal that will remain timeless in years to come


Plot Summary

The Departed follows the story of two men, Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio), a young undercover police officer from South Boston, and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), an ambitious mole for a powerful Irish mob. In order to infiltrate both sides of the law, each man must conceal his true identity from those closest to him.

The exposition sets up their conflicting goals and introduces them as they begin to live double lives in pursuit of justice or criminal gain. As the plot progresses, the rising action reveals more about both characters’ struggles with loyalty and trust as they try to outwit one another without being discovered by their respective organizations. The tension builds until it reaches its climax when Sullivan discovers he is Costigan’s target and vice versa.

In the falling action, Costigan attempts to bring down Sullivan while simultaneously trying not to be exposed himself – eventually leading up to a thrilling car chase through downtown Boston that ends in tragedy for both parties. Finally, after all secrets are revealed during this climactic scene, resolution is reached when Frank Jr., Collins' superior is arrested for aiding Sullivan's betrayal - thus restoring balance between good and evil within a society according to the film's moral code.

Characters & Performance

Jackie (Jack Nicholson) is a powerful mob boss and the patriarch of an Irish gang. He takes on Colin Sullivan as his protege, setting him up to work in law enforcement so he can provide information back to the organization. Jackie’s performance brings out both his cunning intelligence and ruthless ambition, making him an intimidating presence throughout the movie.

Frank Costigan Sr (Ray Winstone) acts as an important mentor figure for Billy Costigan, providing guidance and courage after he volunteers to be a mole for the police force. His strong connection with Billy gives his character depth and nuance that helps drive forward their story arc throughout The Departed.

Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio) plays a young undercover cop who infiltrates Boston’s criminal underworld in order to take down Jackie’s Irish mafia operation from within. Di Caprio captures Billy's internal struggle between loyalty and betrayal perfectly, giving audiences an emotional investment in his journey towards justice or corruption depending on how viewers interpret it.

Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is another key player in this thrilling game of cat-and-mouse between law enforcement and crime syndicates alike. As one of Jackie's most trusted men, Damon portrays Colin as a man who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants – even if it means crossing ethical boundaries along the way.

Barbara (Vera Farmiga), plays Frank Jr.'s girlfriend; her role serves more as background flavor than anything else but she still manages to leave an impression when we see her interact with Frank Jr., adding some much-needed human emotion into their tense situation


The Direction and Production

The Departed was directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers in history. His signature style of filmmaking is evident throughout the movie with his use of quick-cut editing and slow-motion shots to create a sense of tension and suspense. The film also features an impressive ensemble cast including Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin – all delivering powerful performances that elevate the material to another level.

The cinematography for The Departed was handled by Robert Richardson who did a masterful job capturing the gritty atmosphere of Boston’s criminal underworld through his lens. Each scene is framed beautifully and filled with shadows which enhances its overall dark tone while still managing to keep viewers engaged with its cleverly composed visuals.

The costume design for The Departed works hand in hand with its setting to bring out each character's personality without overpowering them or taking away from their individual story arcs. Whether it be Billy's leather jacket or Sullivan’s crisp suits - every outfit choice serves as an expression of their inner selves and helps further develop their characters within this complex world they inhabit.

Adding another layer onto this already intense atmosphere are some excellent musical choices scattered throughout the film ranging from old school hip hop classics like “Gimme Some Lovin'” to more traditional Celtic folk music such as “Danny Boy". This eclectic soundtrack perfectly captures both sides of the conflict: Costigan's Southie roots versus Sullivan's rise amongst Boston’s elite gangs; providing audiences with yet another way to immerse themselves into this captivating narrative.

Finally, we come across one last key element that makes The Departed so great - its exceptional editing done primarily by veteran editor Thelma Schoonmaker who has worked on many films under Scorsese over her long career in Hollywood (including Goodfellas). Her knowledge shines through as she seamlessly

Analysis and Critique

The Departed features a gripping storyline full of complex twists and turns that keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The dialogue is sharp and snappy, furthering each character’s development while simultaneously driving forward the plot. There are several themes present in The Departed such as loyalty and betrayal, good vs evil, justice vs corruption, as well as redemption - all of which give this film an extra layer of depth to its narrative.

When compared to other films by Martin Scorsese such as Goodfellas or Taxi Driver – it can be seen that many elements remain consistent throughout his work; including his use of dynamic camera angles, rapid-fire editing, and intense music selections. However, with The Departed, he was able to add something new by exploring themes from multiple perspectives instead of just one single point-of-view like his previous works had done before. This creative decision ultimately resulted in an even more captivating story than what we had seen from him previously – making it one of Scorsese’s most memorable films yet.



The Departed is an exemplary example of Martin Scorsese’s directorial prowess, showcasing his ability to craft a thrilling crime drama that blends complex storytelling with stunning visuals. The film masterfully captures the gritty atmosphere of Boston’s criminal underworld through its cleverly composed cinematography and costume design and its eclectic soundtrack featuring old-school hip-hop classics and traditional Celtic folk music.

Scorsese also proves himself to be a masterful storyteller once again with this gripping narrative full of themes such as loyalty and betrayal, justice vs corruption, good vs evil, and redemption – all blended together in perfect harmony within this captivating tale. His unique editing style keeps viewers engaged throughout the entire runtime by rapidly cutting between scenes while still managing to maintain a sense of tension until it reaches its climax at the finale.

Overall The Departed is one of Scorsese’s greatest works yet – serving up gripping entertainment without sacrificing any quality or depth along the way. It stands out from other films within its genre thanks to its creative direction and production values – making it a must-watch for any fan of dramatic cinema.

Post a Comment


Ad Code