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The Departed (2006)

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

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Top Rated Movies #43 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 90 wins & 125 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Fitzy (as David Patrick O'Hara)
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Lazio - FBI
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Storyline

In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy quickly gains Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by their double lives, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations they have penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there is a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy - and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save themselves. But is either willing to turn on their friends and comrades they've made during their long stints... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cops or Criminals. When you're facing a loaded gun what's the difference? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los infiltrados  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,298,313 (UK) (6 October 2006)

Gross:

$132,373,442 (USA) (16 March 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was Jack Nicholson's idea to film the scene when Frank Costello attends the opera. It was also Nicholson's idea to have one black woman and one white woman in the scene with him. See more »

Goofs

At the early police briefing on the Chinese threats of getting chips for their long distance rockets, the missiles on the screen are Russian SAM anti-aircraft rockets. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Ed: [in a hospital hallway] What's this I hear from Stephanie about you becoming a policeman?
Billy Costigan: You mean Stephanie, who was the only one who came to my father's funeral? That Stephanie?
Uncle Ed: Yeah, *that* Stepanie.
Billy Costigan: Nothing much to it, Uncle Edward.
Uncle Ed: Are you trying to prove something to the family?
Billy Costigan: When you say "the family," who do you mean exactly? You?
Uncle Ed: You always have to question everything, don't you?
Billy Costigan: Maybe it would have done you some good to have some *questions* from time to time, you know? "Am I an ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The title doesn't appear on screen until nearly 20 minutes into the movie. See more »


Soundtracks

Bang Bang
(1966)
Written by Joe Cuba and Jimmy Sabater
Performed by Joe Cuba
Courtesy of Emusica Records, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Scorsese's best since Goodfellas!
31 October 2006 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

He has made good musicals (New York, New York), surreal comedies (After Hours), satires (The King of Comedy) and biopics (The Aviator), but Martin Scorsese has never done better than the times he's dealt with life on the streets and gangsters. Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino (and, to some degree, Taxi Driver) are proof of that. It doesn't seem strange, then, that his finest film in over a decade (Goodfellas was released in 1990) sees him return to that familiar ground. With a few changes.

The Departed, based on Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs (2002), is Scorsese's first gangster film not to feature Italian-American criminals. In fact, this film is set in Boston, where the Irish rule. One of these "godfathers" is Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), the man the State Police want the most. After years of investigation, they're finally getting close, thanks to undercover agent Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio). Because of his family (all Irish, all bad), becoming a member of Costello's crew isn't that difficult. Now all Costigan has to do is report to his superiors, Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg), who will pass on the information to Ellerby's (Alec Baldwin) Special Investigations Unit. What they don't know is that Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), the most promising element of said unit, has been on Costello's payroll since he was 12. Soon enough, both cops and crooks become aware of the situation, beginning a manhunt that's gonna make the already fragile Billy even more nervous and Costello increasingly crazier.

By moving from Hong Kong to Boston, Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan have made the first step in ensuring this film will be quite different from its Chinese inspiration. Another significant factor is the running time: a mere 97 minutes for Infernal Affairs, 150 for The Departed. This is due to new characters (Dignam and Costello's henchman Mr French, played by Ray Winstone, were missing in the original) and subplots, such as the one concerning Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), a psychiatrist who gets emotionally involved with both of the moles. But the most crucial difference is in the depiction of the underworld: whereas IA was stylish without being excessive, Scorsese's vision comprises very colorful language (some insults are so creative one might expect Joe Pesci to show up) and, of course, buckets of blood, the last part of the movie proving to be particularly shocking. None of the scenes ever reach the gross-out level of Casino's head-in-the-vice scene, but in pure Scorsese tradition it remains unflinchingly violent (also notable is the music, perfectly setting the mood, scene after scene, alongside Thelma Schoonmaker's impeccable editing).

Amidst these brutal surroundings, the director handles a spot-on cast: Baldwin, Sheen and Wahlberg (the latter finally back on form) make good use of their little screen time, Damon fine-tunes the edgier side he showed in The Talented Mr Ripley and the Bourne movies, and Nicholson, playing the villain again at last, delivers another OTT but classy turn (original choice Robert De Niro would probably have played the part with more calm and subtlety). A special mention is needed for Di Caprio: working with Scorsese for the third consecutive time, he has finally found a way to shake off his Titanic image, thanks to a vulnerable, gripping (and arguably career-best) performance.

With its clever plot, excellent acting and expert direction, The Departed is without doubt the year's best film so far. If this really is going to be his last gangster film (he has said so), as well as his last studio-endorsed picture, Scorsese can be proud, given the masterpiece he has given us. If only they gave him the Oscar in return...


160 of 261 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How the hell is this 8.5?! JustinJackFlash
Trooper Brown didn't recognise Billy! !?? gazmorgan
End scene dashrip99
Are we sure that the baby is Sullivan's? fredwhite-87744
Wouldn't a reluctance to do murder be a red flag that a guy's a cop? TrouserArmadillo
Why did Costigan do that??? brandonjohnson7
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