Review – The Departed (2006)


the-departed-52f9631087322Welcome to the third day of DiCaprio week, and I have now finally realized that every single DiCaprio movie is either 2.5 or 3 hours long! That man loves to make a long film…oy! So when it comes to his career, we know he’s made quite a bit of films that stand out, but one of the movies that really stand out is The Departed, and it is a movie I’ve never watched before…until last night. I knew a few famous names popped up in this film, but I never knew to what extent…boy, that’s a lot of people. But what about the film? Is it as good as people state? Let’s get into that.

This film ultimately focuses on the lives of two people at the same time. One man is a man that grew up in a known crime family, wanted to set himself apart by becoming a police officer, and was told to instead infiltrate that family as an undercover cop. The other man grew up mostly innocent, but was told to infiltrate the police force as an undercover criminal. Throughout the film, they have to use their detective skills to unveil each other’s identities for each other’s respective bosses.

Overall, this movie is supremely unique. It uses mirroring in a really intelligent light, as they are both living an incredibly similar life, just in different positions, which ultimately defines the direction of the film. Imagine a game of chess where one side is using the other person’s moves against them. It’s not the most ideal way to play chess, but it can be something else watching that kind of game. It’s all about perception and vantage points – and Martin Scorsese absolutely pulled something off in this film that’s never been done before. This may be his best film as far as direction and storytelling is concerned.

As a general rule, I’m never the biggest fan of gangster or crime boss films. I guess you could say the “crime” genre isn’t something I’m always a fan of watching. Even in my own category section, I’ve never created a “crime” genre because I’ve always seen crime as a subcategory at most. So, I do see this as a drama thriller with a subcategory of crime…though the whole crime aspect does shine above the rest. Take that as you will.

This week, however, is all about DiCaprio. So this is a good movie, sure…but how about his work in this movie? In general, he did a very good job, even though I think more focus was put on Matt Damon’s role. Between the two of them, I feel like DiCaprio felt more memorable than Damon, but the both did a great job. So, let’s get into the nitty gritty and break this thing down.


Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2

Alright, so let’s talk about the people in this film, which got a perfect score. Every subcategory here got a perfect score as this was a people-oriented film. Everyone’s acting was fantastic, there are so many memorable characters that all have their own roles that add to the plot, and I doubt I’d cast anyone else in these roles, because yes, they all work really well together.

Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 1|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

Next up is the writing score, which also resulted in a nearly perfect score. The only thing that didn’t get a perfect score was, naturally, the balance of the hing. While you can comprehend everything that’s going on, you can’t ignore the fact that there is a lot going on, which immediately gets a little docking in the points, but not much. The dialogue is definitely memorable, I mean, they have Nicholson in this movie. The depth in the story is evidently clear, as I’ve mentioned above, thanks to the director. I’ve never seen a film like this, and yes, it was definitely interesting.

BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

When it comes to things going on behind-the-scenes, the only thing I have to say here is that the visuals and music was mostly just typical. There were some good moments when it came to the soundtrack, but not enough for me to want to buy any soundtrack. Everything else, though, was spot on perfect. Scorsese did a great job, as mentioned above, the editing was extremely unique in certain parts, and I consider this as-advertised.

Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2

The narrative arc score was NEARLY perfect, it just could’ve been better when it came to the climax. This is one of those films where it feels like it has two endings. They’re both amazing, by the way, but I prefer a movie to have one ending. Everything else was good. Introduction showed us almost everyone when they were kids and how they got to the police academy, the inciting incident is when they are separated in the police academy. One goes undercover, one goes on top of everything. The obstacles was just trying not to get caught on both of their sides. The falling action was also really weird, but it was definitely a returning to the new norm.

Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impusle/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 1

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a truly entertaining movie, though. It got a lot of points perfectly right, but entertainment is something else entirely. I might rewatch this, but I don’t see myself looking for it specifically to rewatch again. It is fun in parts, it sucks the audience in at parts, and I wouldn’t mind talking to people about the film…but none of this was NEEDED. Plus, I don’t really see me buying the movie, either. Take that as you will.

DiCaprio – 10|Matt Damon – 5|Drama – 10|Crime – 10|Halfway Decent – 10

Now, we’ll talk about the specialty questions I wrote before seeing the movie. First of all, as a DiCaprio movie, how was it? It definitely stands out as one of his best films. As a Matt Damon film, how does it do? Personally, I think he did great, but I think he’s done better in other films like Bourne Identity. How about the Drama aspect? It’s definitely dramatic. How about the crime genre? This is one of the most prominent uses of the crime genre that I’ve ever seen. As for it being halfway decent…of course!

Rating – 85/100


8 thoughts on “Review – The Departed (2006)

  1. No comments on The Departed since I’m definitely in the minority. While I see the merit, I agree completely with the entertainment value..It was way too long. I’d probably chop the first 2 thirds a lot. Either way, I’m in the original camp so Infernal Affairs all the way. Will you review that one? 😉


  2. Infernal Affairs is one of my all-time favourite films, but The Departed is a pretty original take. It is definitely how remakes should be done. The brilliant cast is a big reason, as you mentioned. Also, it’s one of very few films where Mark Wahlberg doesn’t get on my nerves. Haha!


    1. That’s just the thing, I try to keep bias out of it. I’ve gotten my ratings down to basically an advanced checklist, as to if a movie has something or doesn’t. It’s as close to an exact science as possible, and 85 isn’t bad.


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