The Departed

– Walker Rise

The Departed (2006) is the film that finally won legendary director Martin Scorsese an Oscar. Many believe that he had been snubbed many times before for many of his now classic films such as Raging Bull (1980), Taxi Driver (1976), and Goodfellas (1990). He is one of my favorite directors ever and The Departed may be my favorite film of his. The film has an incredible cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin. They all give fantastic performances that make you like their characters no matter what side they are on. The story is great, but it is really the acting that makes this film stand out.

The film tells the story of Billy Costington (DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Damon). Billy comes from a family of crime and poverty, but he desires to be a police officer. He is recruited to go undercover and infiltrate the mob led by Frank Costello (Nicholson). Costello though has recruited Sullivan from a young age. Sullivan joins the police department as a mole for Costello. Billy and Colin spend the rest of the film trying to keep their secret while attempting to identify and stop the other. Like many of Scorsese’s other films there is a lot of violent crime. If you are a fan of crime films though you will absolutely love this film.


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One of the best parts about this film is how at times it is easy to root for either side to win because of the incredible performances. Nicholson’s Costello does some seriously horrible things, but because of his great dialogue, I actually find myself laughing with him or rooting for him to succeed and avoid the police. Mark Wahlberg’s officer Dignam is probably the most entertaining character in the film though. He is in charge of the undercover unit at the police department. His unbelievably funny insults and banter makes it so he steals every scene he is in. Wahlberg was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, which is incredibly impressive considering how many talented actors are in this film. I watched this film with a few friends, and it was interesting that we all had different favorite characters and were rooting for different sides.


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This is one of those films that I will happily watch anytime. I think all of the characters are all so interesting that even after multiple viewings I can still fully immerse myself in the story. I would recommend this movie to anyone, but especially anyone who like crime films.

Interestingly enough this film is actually a remake of a Chinese film called Infernal Affairs (2002). I haven’t seen this film, but this review gives a good description of the similarities and differences between the two.


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5 Responses to The Departed

  1. mediaphiles says:

    The Departed is one of my favorite movies and Wahlberg’s performance is intense and hilarious at the same time. There are so many great actors and this was one of the films that he was finally taken seriously as an actor. Great film.

    -Jordan Hansgen

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Interestingly enough, this is one of Scorsese’s films that I have yet to see. I’ll definitely check it out now that you’ve given us such a good description of the characters. It sounds like it has a really interesting plot.

    – Russell

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Walker! What an amazing film! It is riveting until the very last gun shot! I have to tell you, your description of Matt Damon’s role, reminded me of Joel Edgerton in “Black Mass.” There is a strong possibility that I will re-watch “The Departed” again soon, as I was reminded how much I love it!

    Luke Dellorso

  4. mediaphiles says:

    The Departed is one more amazing project from Scorsese that blows my mind. Each performance is real and intense, and it captivates me from beginning to end. Jack Nicholson alone is enough of a reason to see this movie.


  5. mediaphiles says:

    I would recommend the original Hong Kong film! The original one is also considered a classic. Though many people I know are strongly biased, they would the agree that the original one is way better. Again, they are biased, so don’t take it word for word, but just consider the potential of the original movie to be good!

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