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The Departed Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… Mark Wahlberg is the coolest … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It is intriguing to wonder what Scorsese saw in the Hong Kong movie that inspired him to make the second remake of his career (after "Cape Fear"). I think he instantly recognized that this story, at a buried level, brought two sides of his art and psyche into equal focus.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The screenplay, by William Monahan, is simply sensational. Scenes play brilliantly. Feelings flow like molten lava. The dialogue overflows with edgy wit and acidulous arias of imprecation.

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A ferociously entertaining film.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film's score and editing brilliantly heighten the film's energy, keeping the audience somewhat off-kilter and unsure where things are headed.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The very title The Departed suggests a James Joycean take on Irish-Catholic sentiment when, of course, this story is anything but: It's Scorsesean, and he's in full bloom.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Departed reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Violent, well-done thriller. Not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film is not for kids -- but many will want to see it due to the incredibly heavy promotion during TV shows popular with kids. It's far too graphically violent for those under 17, including images of heads being shot and spurting blood, limbs being broken, bodies sprawled and bloody, and expressions of pain by victims of shootings and beatings. Sexual imagery includes a scene in a porn theater that cuts to the screen (the actors are engaged in sexual activity, but no X-rated shots are visible) and frequent sexual slang (some of which is homophobic). Characters smoke in almost every scene, and drink occasionally, and Billy takes pills throughout the film, indicating his increasing paranoia and depression.

  • Families can talk about the difficulties posed by loyalties and lies. In order to do their job, the two moles have to lie to their friends, associates, and family. What emotional difficulties does that situation create?
  • What kind of stress would that put on your life over a long period of time?
  • How would you feel if you found out someone you cared about was living a double life?
  • Also, what function does Madolyn serve as the protagonists' therapist and lover? And how are both moles' "father figures" -- Frank the gangster and Captain Queenan -- similar?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Both cops and criminals lie and abuse one another as a matter of course; men's bonding and competing are similarly violent.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Everybody seems to be working for someone else and it's hard to distinguish who is really the good guy.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Explicit, bloody, frequent violence: shooting (blood sprayed on surfaces), stabbing, head-bashing, shoot-out, suicide, car crash, kicking, exploding; a body thrown off a roof bleeds on impact; cops joke about bloody corpse/crime scenes and photos; a thug pounds on Billy's broken arm to ensure that there's no listening device in the cast; Frank fiddles with a bloody hand in a plastic bag while discussing plans; crooks burn down their hideout to avoid discovery; Billy worries about his coolness while working with a "mass murderer."

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple of sex scenes show nudity (bodies in bed); Frank's girlfriend appears in underwear and they share sexual banter; recurrent sexual slang ("d--k," "c-nt," "screw," "whore," etc.); scene in porn theater includes brief shots of nude bodies and moaning sounds; Frank accuses priests of sexual abuse (using explicit language, like "p--ker"); Madolyn alludes to Colin's inabilty to perform sexually ("Do you want to talk about last night?"); Frank harasses teenager by asking if she's "started [her] period yet."

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent use of "f--k" (200+ instances); derogatory uses of "queen," "homo," "guinea," "mick" other profanity ("douchebag," "ass," "s--t," "hell," etc.).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Background imagery in bars (for example, Coca Cola or beer logos).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Frequent cigarette-smoking; drinking in bars (sometimes leading to drunkenness); Billy asks for Valium, then takes prescription anti-depressants repeatedly.