Classic Film Review: The Departed (2006)

And the Oscar Goes to:

The Departed, 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin


A remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film Internal Affairs, The Departed, an American crime drama film, sports an A-list cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, (Titanic) (Billy), Matt Damon (Downsizing) (Staff Sgt. Colin) and Jack Nicholson (Terms of Endearment) (Frank Costello). Set in Detroit, Billy fails to make the police force but agrees to go undercover to help get Frank Costello. Frank, meanwhile, has moles inside the police force, including Staff Sgt. Colin, who is leading the team (but hindering them in doing so) in catching Costello. Colin and Billy are unaware of each other’s involvement, and each are worried about their secrecy being discovered.

Not surprising from an all star cast, the acting in The Departed was brilliant; with Damon, DiCaprio and Nicholson especially excelled in the leads. The pacing of the film was also very good, which is impressive considering its 150-minute running time. Getting sufficient back-story of each member and their relation, as well as carefully inserting all the pieces of the crime together brought on well-rounded characters and a plot without a dull moment.

One slight issue with this film was its soundtrack. While many times it was effective, there were scenes where it seemed the music was hindering the action, or that it simply wasn’t needed. It took away from some scenes slightly. The ending, as well, wasn’t incredibly strong. Without spoiling it certain parts of the film were made redundant by certain actions at the end, but it still brought along surprises with it, so it was still effective despite.

Overall, though, The Departed was a very strong film with an impressive cast and an action-packed plot which drove the film along at a great speed. Interesting characters with their own arcs, and a brilliant chase to find each mole within the others’ department meant there was always something to keep an eye on. No surprise to see it win the Best Picture Oscar.


Plot: * * * *     Acting: * * * * *     Writing: * * * *     Presentation: * * * *

Overall Rating: * * * * ¼

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