The Departed

The Departed
The Departed

“The Departed” is a gripping crime thriller directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 2006. Set in the gritty underbelly of Boston, the film explores the complex and dangerous world of organized crime and the blurred lines between law enforcement and the criminals they pursue. With its stellar cast, intense storytelling, and masterful direction, “The Departed” is a cinematic masterpiece that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

The film follows the intertwined stories of two men: Colin Sullivan (played by Matt Damon) and Billy Costigan (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Colin is a rising star in the Massachusetts State Police and a mole working for Irish mob boss Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson). On the other hand, Billy is an undercover cop assigned to infiltrate Costello’s organization. Both men find themselves caught in a dangerous game of cat and mouse as they try to expose the other’s true identity.

One of the film’s greatest strengths is its exceptional ensemble cast. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a powerhouse performance as Billy Costigan, showcasing his versatility and ability to portray a character haunted by his double life. His portrayal is raw, intense, and emotionally charged, capturing the internal struggles and conflicts that arise from being undercover.

Matt Damon is equally impressive as Colin Sullivan, effortlessly embodying the charm and duplicity of his character. Damon’s nuanced performance captures the essence of a man torn between loyalty to his criminal mentor and the fear of being exposed. His chemistry with DiCaprio creates a palpable tension as their characters unknowingly cross paths.

Jack Nicholson steals the show as Frank Costello, infusing the character with a menacing charisma. Nicholson brings a sense of unpredictability to Costello, making him a force to be reckoned with. The film benefits greatly from his larger-than-life presence, adding an extra layer of danger and intrigue.

The supporting cast is equally stellar. Mark Wahlberg delivers a standout performance as the foul-mouthed, no-nonsense Sergeant Dignam, providing the film with moments of sharp wit and dark humor. Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and Vera Farmiga round out the cast, each delivering strong performances that add depth and complexity to the narrative.

Scorsese’s direction is masterful, capturing the gritty atmosphere of Boston’s criminal underworld. His signature style, with its dynamic camera work, intense close-ups, and expertly choreographed sequences, elevates the tension and suspense throughout the film. Scorsese skillfully navigates the intricate web of plot twists and moral ambiguity, keeping audiences engrossed and guessing until the final moments.

“The Departed” is a meticulously crafted film that thrives on its intricate storytelling. The screenplay, written by William Monahan, is a brilliant adaptation of the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs.” It weaves together a complex narrative of deception, loyalty, and betrayal. The dialogue crackles with sharp wit and dark humor, serving as a reflection of the morally gray world the characters inhabit.

The film’s pacing is relentless, with tension steadily building as the stakes continue to rise. Scorsese effectively balances moments of explosive violence with quieter, introspective scenes, allowing the audience to catch their breath while deepening the emotional resonance of the characters’ journeys.

The thematic exploration of duality and identity is a central theme in “The Departed.” The film delves into the complexities of human nature and the notion that everyone has a hidden side. It poses thought-provoking questions about the nature of loyalty, the choices we make, and the consequences of those choices.

Another notable aspect of the film is its exceptional soundtrack. Scorsese’s masterful use of music enhances the atmosphere and heightens the emotional impact of key scenes. From the haunting opening sequence set to the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” to the electrifying montage accompanied by Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” the soundtrack perfectly complements the film’s tone and enhances the viewing experience.

“The Departed” is also known for its gritty and atmospheric visuals. The cinematography by Michael Ballhaus captures the dark and moody essence of Boston, immersing the audience in its grimy streets and shadowy corners. The film’s color palette, dominated by cool blues and desaturated tones, adds to the sense of foreboding and unease.

One of the film’s defining moments comes in its shocking and brutal climax. As the tension reaches its peak, the consequences of the characters’ actions collide in a series of shocking events that leave a lasting impact. Scorsese’s masterful direction and the performances of the cast come together to create an emotionally charged and unforgettable finale.

“The Departed” was a critical and commercial success, earning widespread acclaim upon its release. It received numerous accolades, including four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. The film’s success further solidified Scorsese’s reputation as one of the greatest directors of his generation and demonstrated his ability to craft compelling and visceral narratives.

Beyond its critical acclaim and box office success, “The Departed” has become a cultural touchstone. Its memorable characters, quotable dialogue, and gripping storyline have firmly etched the film into the annals of cinematic history. The film’s exploration of loyalty, identity, and the blurred lines between good and evil resonates with audiences, making it a timeless and thought-provoking piece of cinema.

In conclusion, “The Departed” is an outstanding crime thriller that showcases Martin Scorsese’s mastery of storytelling and direction. With its exceptional cast, gripping narrative, and atmospheric setting, the film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. It delves into themes of duality and morality, expertly navigating complex character dynamics and delivering a shocking and memorable conclusion. “The Departed” is a must-see film that continues to captivate audiences with its powerful performances, tense atmosphere, and profound exploration of the human psyche.

“The Departed” boasts an exceptional cast and crew, with some of the industry’s finest talents coming together to create this gripping crime thriller.

At the helm of the film is director Martin Scorsese, known for his masterful storytelling and contributions to American cinema. Scorsese’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to create immersive and atmospheric narratives make him a true cinematic maestro. With “The Departed,” Scorsese expertly guides the film’s complex plot and delves into the dark and morally ambiguous world of organized crime.

The film features a stellar ensemble cast, led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a powerful and emotionally charged performance as Billy Costigan, an undercover cop who finds himself caught between the law and the criminal underworld. DiCaprio’s ability to convey the internal struggles and conflicting loyalties of his character adds depth and authenticity to the film.

Matt Damon portrays Colin Sullivan, a charismatic rising star in the Massachusetts State Police who is secretly working as a mole for the Irish mob. Damon effortlessly captures the duality of his character, portraying both the charming public persona and the underlying menace hidden beneath the surface.

Jack Nicholson steals the show with his unforgettable portrayal of Frank Costello, the ruthless and unpredictable mob boss. Nicholson’s larger-than-life presence and his ability to command the screen make Costello a truly memorable and formidable antagonist.

Supporting the leads is a talented ensemble cast that includes Mark Wahlberg as Sergeant Dignam, a foul-mouthed and relentless police officer; Martin Sheen as Captain Queenan, Costigan’s superior; and Vera Farmiga as Madolyn, a psychiatrist caught between the two men. Each actor brings depth and complexity to their roles, further enriching the film’s narrative.

Behind the scenes, “The Departed” benefits from the collaboration of skilled and experienced professionals. The screenplay, written by William Monahan, is a brilliant adaptation of the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs.” Monahan’s screenplay expertly captures the gritty atmosphere of Boston and delves into the complexities of the characters’ dual lives, loyalty, and betrayal.

Michael Ballhaus, the film’s cinematographer, brings Scorsese’s vision to life with his exceptional camerawork. Ballhaus effectively captures the grit and tension of the film’s setting, using a combination of handheld shots, dynamic camera movements, and carefully composed frames to enhance the storytelling.

Thelma Schoonmaker, a long-time collaborator of Scorsese, serves as the film’s editor. Her editing expertise shines through in the film’s seamless pacing and rhythm, ensuring that the tension remains taut and the narrative flows smoothly.

The production design by Kristi Zea and the costume design by Sandy Powell also contribute to the film’s immersive atmosphere. The sets and costumes capture the essence of the characters and the world they inhabit, adding authenticity and depth to the storytelling.

Finally, the musical score by Howard Shore complements the film’s tone and enhances its emotional impact. Shore’s evocative and suspenseful score weaves seamlessly into the narrative, heightening the tension and adding another layer of depth to the film.

In summary, “The Departed” brings together an exceptional cast and crew, led by Martin Scorsese’s visionary direction. The talented ensemble cast delivers powerhouse performances, while the behind-the-scenes professionals bring their expertise to every aspect of the film’s production. The combined efforts of the cast and crew make “The Departed” a true cinematic gem, captivating audiences with its gripping storytelling, intense performances, and immersive atmosphere.

Commercial and Critical Acclaim

“The Departed” achieved remarkable success both critically and commercially, solidifying its place as one of the most acclaimed films of 2006. It garnered widespread recognition for its exceptional storytelling, stellar performances, and gripping narrative.

At the box office, “The Departed” proved to be a major success. With a production budget of approximately $90 million, the film went on to gross over $289 million worldwide. Its strong financial performance not only reflected the film’s appeal to a wide audience but also solidified its commercial viability.

The critical reception of “The Departed” was overwhelmingly positive. The film received universal acclaim, earning praise for its direction, performances, screenplay, and intense storytelling. Critics lauded Martin Scorsese for his masterful craftsmanship, highlighting his ability to create a tense and atmospheric crime thriller that resonated with audiences.

The film’s ensemble cast was also widely praised for their outstanding performances. Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Billy Costigan received particular acclaim, with many noting the depth and emotional complexity he brought to the character. Matt Damon’s performance as Colin Sullivan was also highly praised, showcasing his ability to navigate the intricate layers of his character. Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Frank Costello, characterized by his charismatic yet menacing presence, garnered critical acclaim and added another layer of brilliance to the film.

“The Departed” was honored with several prestigious awards, including four Academy Awards. The film won Best Picture, marking Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited first Oscar win for directing. It also received awards for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (William Monahan), and Best Film Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker). The film’s success at the Oscars was a significant achievement, recognizing the film’s exceptional quality and solidifying its status as a cinematic masterpiece.

In addition to the Academy Awards, “The Departed” received numerous accolades from other industry bodies and film festivals. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama and earned BAFTA Awards for Best Film and Best Director. The film also received recognition from critics’ associations, including the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and the American Film Institute, among others.

Beyond awards, “The Departed” has cemented its place in popular culture. Its gripping storyline, memorable characters, and quotable dialogue have become iconic, ensuring its enduring legacy. The film continues to be celebrated as a defining work in the crime thriller genre and a testament to the mastery of Martin Scorsese.

Furthermore, “The Departed” contributed to the reinvigoration of Scorsese’s career. The film’s critical and commercial success reaffirmed his position as one of the most influential and respected directors in the industry. It demonstrated his ability to captivate audiences and deliver compelling narratives with a contemporary edge.

Overall, the success of “The Departed” can be attributed to its exceptional quality in all aspects of filmmaking. From its gripping storyline and masterful direction to its powerhouse performances and critical acclaim, the film captivated audiences and left a lasting impact on the cinematic landscape. It stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the talent of those involved in its creation.

Behind the Scenes

“The Departed” had several interesting behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes that added to the film’s production and legacy. Here are some notable aspects:

1. Martin Scorsese’s Dedication: As a director known for his meticulous attention to detail, Scorsese immersed himself in the world of Boston’s crime scene to ensure authenticity. He spent time with former criminals and law enforcement officials, absorbing their stories and experiences. This dedication to research and immersion contributed to the film’s realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld.

2. Adapting “Infernal Affairs”: “The Departed” is an adaptation of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs.” While the plot and central themes remained intact, the screenplay underwent significant changes to suit the Boston setting and the vision of Martin Scorsese. The process of adapting the film while preserving its essence presented an interesting challenge for the filmmakers.

3. Improvisation and Collaboration: Despite a meticulously crafted screenplay, “The Departed” allowed room for improvisation and collaboration on set. The talented cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson, often improvised lines or added their own touches to scenes, leading to some memorable moments that enhanced the authenticity and depth of the characters.

4. Jack Nicholson’s Unpredictability: Jack Nicholson, known for his eccentric and unpredictable nature, brought an element of surprise to his portrayal of Frank Costello. He often ad-libbed lines and actions, adding layers of unpredictability to the character. This spontaneity led to some of the most memorable and chilling moments in the film.

5. Filming in Boston: The film was shot on location in Boston, which provided an authentic backdrop for the story. Scorsese and his team captured the city’s unique atmosphere, incorporating iconic landmarks and gritty neighborhoods. Filming in the actual locations added an extra layer of realism to the film.

6. Intense Atmosphere on Set: The tense and high-stakes nature of the film’s plot translated into an intense atmosphere on set. The cast and crew had to maintain a level of secrecy and confidentiality regarding the film’s twists and turns. This atmosphere added to the heightened performances and contributed to the film’s overall sense of urgency.

7. Thelma Schoonmaker’s Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker, a long-time collaborator of Martin Scorsese, played a crucial role in shaping the film’s final cut. Her expertise in editing brought out the narrative’s tension and pacing, accentuating the emotional impact of key scenes. Schoonmaker’s work was essential in creating the film’s tight and gripping storytelling.

These behind-the-scenes elements, from Scorsese’s dedication to research and immersion to the improvisation and collaboration among the cast, contributed to the film’s authenticity, intensity, and ultimately its success. They showcase the creative process and the efforts of the cast and crew in bringing the story of “The Departed” to life.

Memorable soundtrack

“The Departed” features a memorable soundtrack that effectively enhances the film’s atmosphere and adds to its impact. Additionally, the film includes several unforgettable scenes and dialogues that have become iconic in popular culture.

The soundtrack of “The Departed” incorporates a diverse range of music that reflects the film’s tone and themes. The inclusion of well-known songs, as well as original compositions, creates a dynamic and evocative auditory experience. One of the most notable tracks is “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, which plays during a pivotal and intense sequence in the film. The combination of the song’s powerful lyrics and the on-screen action creates a gripping and memorable moment.

Another standout track is “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys. This energetic and rebellious song accompanies a montage that showcases the characters’ intense actions and the escalating tension of the narrative. The track has since become synonymous with the film and is often associated with its gritty atmosphere.

In addition to these standout tracks, the film’s original score, composed by Howard Shore, complements the on-screen action with its brooding and atmospheric melodies. The score effectively heightens the suspense and emotional impact of key scenes, further immersing the audience in the film’s world.

Alongside the music, “The Departed” boasts several unforgettable scenes that have become iconic in their own right. One such scene is the introduction of Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, during a meeting with young Colin Sullivan, portrayed by Matt Damon. Costello’s unpredictable and menacing presence, combined with his memorable dialogue, instantly establishes him as a formidable and captivating character.

The scene where Billy Costigan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is interrogated by Captain Queenan, portrayed by Martin Sheen, and Sergeant Dignam, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, is another standout moment. The tension and emotional intensity of this scene are palpable, with the dialogue reflecting the complex dynamics between the characters and the moral dilemmas they face.

Another notable scene is the rooftop encounter between Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan, where their true identities are revealed to each other. This pivotal moment showcases the high-stakes nature of their double lives and sets the stage for the film’s gripping climax. The dialogue and performances in this scene are particularly powerful, capturing the emotional turmoil and sense of betrayal.

Furthermore, the film’s final sequence, which culminates in a shocking and intense confrontation, leaves a lasting impact on viewers. The combination of Martin Scorsese’s masterful direction, the performances of the cast, and the expert editing creates an unforgettable climax that resonates long after the film ends.

In summary, “The Departed” features a standout soundtrack that includes memorable songs and a haunting original score. The music enhances the film’s atmosphere and adds to its emotional impact. The film is also renowned for its unforgettable scenes, including the introduction of Frank Costello, the interrogation sequence, the rooftop encounter, and the climactic finale. The dialogue in these scenes showcases the film’s exploration of loyalty, deception, and the blurred lines between good and evil. Collectively, these musical and cinematic elements contribute to the lasting legacy of “The Departed” and its status as a modern crime thriller classic.


The conclusion of “The Departed” is a climactic and emotionally charged sequence that brings the film’s intricate plotlines to a head, delivering a shocking and thought-provoking finale. As the tension reaches its peak, the destinies of the central characters intertwine, leading to a series of revelations and tragic consequences.

The scene opens with Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon, attending a meeting at the Massachusetts State Police headquarters. Unbeknownst to him, Sergeant Dignam, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, has discovered Sullivan’s true identity as the mole for Frank Costello’s crime organization. Dignam confronts Sullivan, revealing his knowledge and leaving him vulnerable and desperate.

Meanwhile, Billy Costigan, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has been tasked with gathering evidence against Costello, played by Jack Nicholson. Costigan’s identity as an undercover cop has been exposed to Costello, who plans to kill him. Costigan manages to record incriminating conversations between himself and Costello, evidence that can potentially bring down the criminal empire.

As the tension escalates, the narrative builds towards a gripping confrontation between the characters. Billy Costigan arranges a meeting with Sullivan, unaware that Sullivan is aware of his true identity. The scene takes place on the rooftop of a building, adding to the heightening suspense and the characters’ sense of vulnerability.

On the rooftop, Costigan reveals to Sullivan that he has incriminating evidence against Costello. The two engage in a heated exchange, both desperate to protect their own interests. The dialogue between DiCaprio and Damon is emotionally charged and showcases the conflicting loyalties and internal struggles of their characters.

Simultaneously, Captain Queenan, played by Martin Sheen, and several other police officers are monitoring the situation from a distance. They are determined to arrest Costello and expose the corruption within the police force. However, the situation quickly takes a tragic turn when Costello unexpectedly arrives on the scene.

In a shocking twist, it is revealed that one of the police officers, Barrigan, portrayed by James Badge Dale, is also working as a mole for Costello. Barrigan betrays Queenan, fatally shooting him, and reveals his allegiance to Costello. This revelation adds another layer of complexity and betrayal to the narrative.

Amidst the chaos, a shootout ensues on the rooftop. Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan engage in a desperate struggle for survival and to protect their respective secrets. The tension is palpable as gunfire erupts, creating a suspenseful and heart-pounding climax.

In a tragic turn of events, Costigan is mortally wounded by Barrigan, who mistakenly believes him to be an ally of Sullivan. As Costigan lies dying on the rooftop, Sullivan approaches him. The dialogue between the two characters is poignant and laden with regret and remorse.

In a final act of defiance and justice, Costigan reveals to Sullivan that he is an undercover cop, effectively exposing Sullivan’s true identity as the mole. Sullivan, realizing that his carefully constructed facade has crumbled, attempts to cover his tracks by shooting Costigan in the head.

The conclusion of “The Departed” leaves viewers with a sense of profound tragedy and moral ambiguity. The characters’ actions and their fates highlight the complex and blurred lines between good and evil. The film’s exploration of loyalty, deception, and the cost of living a double life resonates deeply as the credits roll.

As the film concludes, audiences are left to contemplate the consequences of the characters’ choices and the profound impact of their actions. The conclusion of “The Departed” serves as a powerful reminder of the destructive nature of corruption and the inescapable consequences that come with leading a life of deception and betrayal.

The aftermath of the rooftop confrontation reverberates throughout the film’s final moments. Colin Sullivan, realizing that his cover is blown and his criminal activities exposed, attempts to salvage his situation. He meticulously removes any traces of his involvement with Frank Costello and the criminal organization, erasing evidence and eliminating potential witnesses.

In a parallel storyline, Dignam confronts and kills Barrigan, the corrupt police officer who betrayed Queenan and Costigan. This act of retribution demonstrates the consequences of betrayal and highlights Dignam’s unwavering commitment to justice.

The film’s conclusion also brings closure to the character arcs of the central figures. Billy Costigan’s death serves as a tragic sacrifice for the greater good. His unwavering commitment to his duty as an undercover officer ultimately leads to his demise, but his actions expose the corruption and bring down the criminal empire.

Colin Sullivan, on the other hand, manages to escape the immediate consequences of his actions. He eludes capture and walks away seemingly unscathed. However, the weight of his guilt and the knowledge that he can never truly escape his past actions linger in his final moments. The film suggests that Sullivan’s life will forever be haunted by the choices he made and the lives he destroyed.

The conclusion of “The Departed” leaves audiences with a mix of emotions—shock, sadness, and contemplation. The film’s exploration of moral ambiguity and the price one pays for living a life of deception is powerfully conveyed in the final moments. It challenges viewers to question the boundaries of morality and the blurred lines between right and wrong.

Beyond the individual character arcs, the conclusion of “The Departed” underscores the pervasive nature of corruption and the devastating impact it has on society. The film’s portrayal of a corrupt police force and the entangled relationships between law enforcement and organized crime serves as a commentary on systemic issues and the erosion of trust in institutions.

In summary, the conclusion of “The Departed” is a powerful and poignant finale that ties together the film’s intricate plotlines. It delivers a shocking twist, tragic sacrifices, and a lasting reminder of the consequences of deception and betrayal. The film’s exploration of moral ambiguity and the destructive nature of corruption lingers in the minds of viewers, leaving them with a profound and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

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