Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. A ferociously entertaining film.
  2. 100
    A new American crime classic from the legendary Martin Scorsese, whose talent shines here on its highest beams.
  3. 100
    It is intriguing to wonder what Scorsese saw in the Hong Kong movie that inspired him to make the second remake of his career (after "Cape Fear"). I think he instantly recognized that this story, at a buried level, brought two sides of his art and psyche into equal focus.
  4. 100
    This is the most vibrant, exciting and invigorating movie-movie of the year.
  5. A movie-movie of the first rank.
  6. 100
    The original film was gritty and entertaining ("Infernal Affairs"); the new version is a masterpiece - the best effort Scorsese has brought to the screen since "Goodfellas."
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    A triumphant revisiting of territory in which Scorsese is an unchallenged master -- the crime drama.
  8. 100
    A thrilling return to form.
  9. 100
    Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
  10. 100
    DiCaprio harnesses a terrific, buggy intensity reminiscent of "GoodFellas'" hopped-up Henry Hill (Ray Liotta).
  11. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    The Departed is Scorsese's most purely enjoyable movie in years. But it's not for the faint of heart. It's rude, bleak, violent and defiantly un-PC. But if you doubt that it's also OK to laugh throughout this rat's nest of paranoia, deceit and bloodshed, keep your eyes on the final frames. Scorsese's parting shot is an uncharacteristic, but well-earned, wink.
  12. The screenplay, by William Monahan, is simply sensational. Scenes play brilliantly. Feelings flow like molten lava. The dialogue overflows with edgy wit and acidulous arias of imprecation.
  13. 100
    When a director of Scorsese's caliber is working at the top of his game, it's a reminder of why we go to the movies in the first place.
  14. The very title The Departed suggests a James Joycean take on Irish-Catholic sentiment when, of course, this story is anything but: It's Scorsesean, and he's in full bloom.
  15. DiCaprio's performance is a revelation only for those who have underestimated him. In Scorsese's previous films, "The Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator," he seemed callow and miscast, but here he has the presence of a full-bodied adult. He's grown into his emotions.
  16. 91
    It isn't in the same league as the director's best work, chiefly because it lacks the bravura flourishes of cinematic craft that helped make his name. But it's so vital and bloody and funny and wicked and tense and unapologetic that it feels kin to those films, which little of the director's work of the past decade has managed to pull off.
  17. Whatever it is, the film is the first major release of the fall worth talking about: a fast-paced, visually slick, psychologically fascinating Boston-set cops-and-crooks saga.
  18. 90
    Scorsese didn't need to remake "Infernal Affairs," but what he has done with it is a compliment rather than an affront to the original: The Departed reimagines its source material rather than just leeching off it, preserving the bone structure of the first movie while finding new curves in it. The story has been clarified; the ellipses of the original have been filled in with just the right amount of exploratory shading. This is a picture of grand gestures and subtle intricacies, a movie that, even at more than two hours long, feels miraculously lean. It's a smart shot of lucid storytelling.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    This reworking of a popular Hong Kong picture pulses with energy, tangy dialogue and crackling performances from a fine cast.
  20. 89
    This is a dream cast for both Scorsese and the viewer, and everyone is working at the peak of their craft. Nicholson's flawless performance as the increasingly unhinged crime boss is a marvel of manic, paranoid ruination.
  21. 88
    The profanity-laced but witty and literate dialogue by William Monahan ("Kingdom of Heaven") is delivered by a brilliantly chosen cast, almost all of whom are operating at the very top of their game.
  22. It's a movie with a pulse. Sometimes, it flies off the chart.
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    The film's score and editing brilliantly heighten the film's energy, keeping the audience somewhat off-kilter and unsure where things are headed.
  24. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    When The Departed roars to life, as it does in so many of its scenes, you feel like nobody understands movies -- the delirious highs, the unforgiving moral depths -- as well as this man does. Welcome back, Marty.
  25. Reviewed by: Roberto Sadovski
    80
    Back to the streets and with a stellar cast, Martin Scorsese proves once again that he's the master of urban storytelling -- and of thrillingly violent filmmaking.
  26. The movie works smashingly, especially if you haven't seen its Hong Kong counterpart and haven't a clue what's coming. But for all its snap, crackle, and pop, it's nowhere near as galvanic emotionally.
  27. Frequently excessive but never dull, The Departed is a little too much of a lot of the things that define Martin Scorsese films but it's also almost impossible to resist. 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.
  28. What helps make The Departed at once a success and a relief isn't that the director of "Kundun," Mr. Scorsese's deeply felt film about the Dalai Lama, is back on the mean streets where he belongs; what's at stake here is the film and the filmmaking, not the director's epic importance.
  29. 80
    Crackles right along, stopping only long enough for Scorsese's signature bursts of explosive violence. Those brawls feel a bit rote, but what's different here is a newfound playful humor.
  30. 80
    Not one of Scorsese's greatest films; it doesn't use the camera to reveal the psychological and aesthetic dimensions of an entire world, as "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas" did. But it's a viciously merry, violent, high-wattage entertainment, and speech is the most brazenly flamboyant element in it.
  31. The Departed exists in a movie-place about as far from personal statements as a storied director can get. Maybe those days for Scorsese are long gone. But Scorsese's sense of craft remains sure.
  32. There's no attempt at greatness here, just a fabulously successful attempt at a good crime movie. The Oscar-bait self-consciousness of "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator" is gone. In its place is a buoyancy, an impish delight in telling a harsh urban story in the most effective terms possible.
  33. 70
    This isn't to say The Departed is a bad movie, far from it, but knowing who's directing it and the amount of talent he had to work with, it's hard not to be disappointed that Scorsese didn't knock us on our asses. Is it his best movie since "Goodfellas?" Sure, but it falls shy of that film's excellence.
  34. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    It's nice to see Scorsese back in the saddle and a treat to find a cops-and-robbers thriller with some energy and wit. But even so, 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.
  35. 70
    The Departed is completely engrossing, a master class in suspense. But in moral terms it may be the least involving story that Scorsese -- an artist much preoccupied with morality -- has ever taken on.
  36. Rarely has a star's look-at-me turn so completely torpedoed a project. Whenever the picture threatens to gain some momentum, up pops Jack to stop it dead in its tracks. The loyal few may be laughing with him, but the rest of us are definitely laughing at him.
  37. 60
    Neither a debacle nor a bore, The Departed works but only up to a point, and never emotionally--even if the director does contrive to supply his version of a happy ending.
  38. Scorsese in his prime might've made better use of this hamming, but this picture feels like an exercise by a Scorsese clone who has tackled the master's themes - without his energy and economy of style.
  39. Is Scorsese desperate? This screenplay has the scent of it, as if he is scraping for material to feed his basic filmic interests. But the risk in this case--not evaded--was that his need led him close to painful strain. I can't remember another Scorsese moment as shockingly banal as the finishing touch here.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 933 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 385
  1. Mar 19, 2012
    10
    The film is not a film like taxi driver or Raging bull but, it is instead a regular crime thriller film with scorcesse's special touch. This film would have been just an average film if it werent for 2 things. Scorcesse's direction and the acting ensemble. The films writting is also masterful but, it works extremely well because of the acting. Overall a great film. Full Review »
  2. May 21, 2013
    9
    An excellent film with an outstanding cast brilliant direction and genius writing and a spectacular ending. This is one of the finest films of Scorsese since Goodfellas & Taxi Driver. Full Review »
  3. Sep 22, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Martin Scorsese's translation of "Internal Affairs" offers nothing new or shocking except for a surprisingly well performed Wahlberg. He ends the movie with his own american twist (everybody dies) and boom, before you know it the movie is barely done. Overall its good, but he barely makes his point in "The Departed" with his overaggressive 'American' translation of the stunning original. I recommend Martin Scorsese to try better, like the time where he had the spirit to direct "Taxi Driver". Full Review »