Metascore
86

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

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 986 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. VictoriaS.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    An absolutely wonderful, completely enthralling, movie-movie, "The Departed" is by far the most purely enjoyable Scorcese movie since "Raging Bull." With delightfully crackling and often extremely funny dialogue, beautifully realized details and superb acting, it creates a fascinating world, gripping until the last, deservedly silly, moment. Included is the best Jack Nicholson performance in years, and the absolute best work ever from Mark Wahlberg, far from his usual diffidence in a dynamic supporting role. Too long, by at least a half-hour, this is still the type of movie that reminds you of how magical movies can be. Expand
  2. JohnnyC.
    Sep 1, 2008
    10
    The envelope contained the tapes that showed how Matt Damon's character had connections with the mob.
  3. 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
  4. FilazaferX.
    Feb 26, 2007
    9
    The movie is highly entertaining, but the ending was terrible. It's that simple. I was a prime example of writing a movie, but not knowing how to end it. It was just plan silly and very disappointing. Expand
  5. MatthewR.
    Dec 18, 2006
    8
    A great film but only a good Scorsese picture. Not along the lines of lets say Mean Streets and Goodfellas but the film has blood and guts and the acting is great, though Jack does some hamming from time to time, I kinda felt like I was watching him in 'Anger Management' again but all in all this film deserves a few Oscar nobs especially for Leonardo DiCaprio who is nothing short of great and proves that he's outgrowing his celebrity boy toy status. Kudos all around for a great movie and one of the best of the year so far. Expand
  6. Rostokov
    Oct 19, 2006
    6
    I love Marty, I really do. He's one of our best. Increasingly, however, he and his excellent editor Thelma Schoonmaker are relying on a shorthand editing style to tell their stories. Whilst he elicits fine performances and his shot selection still impresses, the shortness of scenes doesn't allow for the sustaining of a palpable reality (stylized or not). Thus proper depth and suspense are not achieved and the viewer feels like they are watching events from a distance. In Taxi Driver he often lets the camera linger long enough to let the sleaze of the streets seep into your worldview. In Expand
  7. DavidS.
    Oct 9, 2006
    0
    A waste of film on every level. Scorsese is in bad need of a dominatrix.

See all 392 User Reviews

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