Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 984 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: This gritty crime drama from director Martin Scorsese takes us into the lives of two cops: Colin Sullivan (Damon), smart and unabashedly ambitious, appears to be on the fast track in the Massachusetts State Police Department's elite Special Investigations Unit, whose prime target is powerful Irish mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson). Billy Costigan (DiCaprio), street-smart and tough, is purported to have a violent temper that costs him his badge and eventually lands him back on the rough streets of South Boston, where he is recruited into Costello's ranks. But neither man is what he seems and, as they work at cross purposes, they are plunged into a dangerous game of cat and mouse in which the stakes could not be higher. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
  2. A movie-movie of the first rank.
  3. A ferociously entertaining film.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 392
  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. Expand
  2. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    Scorsese's The Departed is a new American crime classic. Every aspect of the film flows together so easily from the first frame to when the credits roll, making it compulsively watchable. Expand
  3. Aug 16, 2010
    10
    Not as good as Scorsese's transcendant "Goodfellas", but what film could be compared to that masterpiece other than "The Godfather"? It's pretty shocking to see that this is the only film directed by Scorsese that ever won Best Picture (not that it matters), because I can think of four or five films that I prefer of his over "The Departed". Maybe what this film does more than anything is show how illustrious and superb Scorsese's career has been. Expand
  4. Jul 11, 2013
    10
    Riveting suspense and brilliant storytelling describe this masterpiece. I watched this movie only for Leonardo DiCaprio but felt like Damon, Nicholson and Wahlberg acted on the same level if not better. The music was captivating. The psychiatrist subplot felt a bit contrived but it shed so much light on Costigan's character that I didn't really care. I would accept it as coincidence if the result is this brilliant. Expand
  5. Apr 14, 2013
    9
    The Departed is phenomenal to say the least. And I don't throw that word around lightly either. The story is great and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Scorsese is at his absolute finest with this film. DiCaprio gives a stellar performance as rookie "cop" Billy Costigan. Jack Nicholson was the perfect casting for Frank Costello and Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg are a great duo. Not to forget Matt Damon who is excellent as always. Writing: great. Casting: great. Dialogue: great. Acting: great. Cinematography: great. If you want to watch an all around solid film that will keep you guessing and waiting, this is the film to watch. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Fundamental Martin Scorsese. The film is tremendously well-written and casted. There should no comparisons to Goodfellas or The Godfather; The Departed is a new addition to the group. A worthy addition, at that. Expand
  7. Mar 31, 2012
    1
    Uninteresting. It is very overrated. It is too bad that Marty won for this film when he clearly had better work that was overlooked. The accents seem so forced and the storyline is just another gangster film. Expand

See all 392 User Reviews

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