The Departed

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The Departed is a 2006 American crime-thriller film and remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs.

The Departed was directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. The film won four Academy Awards at the 79th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It was the first Best Director win for Scorsese.

This film takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, where notorious Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello plants Colin Sullivan as an informant within the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the police assign undercover cop Billy Costigan, Jr. to infiltrate Costello's crew. When both sides of the law realize the situation, each man attempts to discover the others' true identity before being found out.

Tropes used in The Departed include:

Chinese Mob Boss: What is wrong with you?! I've been waiting and waiting. This guy's from the government, man! If he gets caught he'll have to kill himself.
Costello's Translator: The boss doesn't think it's wise to bring automatic weapons. Are you crazy? Put your weapons away! Quick! Come on!
Chinese Mob Boss: Put the guns down.... I'm ordering you, check the goods.

  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Blast Out: At one point a squad of cops follow Costello's men, with Sullivan ordering them to stay back and watch. Eventually they get fed up with this, ignore Sullivan's orders and charge in with guns blazing. The result is multiple casualties on both sides.
  • California Doubling: New York stands in for Boston in some scenes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The envelope.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Barrigan, literally.
    • Dignam arguably, who walks out of the film 40 minutes before the end seemingly for good, letting Costigan and Sullivan face off uninterrupted, before coming back in at the very end to wrap up the plot.
  • Chewing the Scenery: "I smell a rat." Nicholson almost literally chews the scenery when doing his bizarre imitation of a "gnawing, cheese-eating fucking rat".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: 237 times total throughout the film.
  • Country Matters: This gem:

Oliver Queenan: Do you know what we do here? My section?
Billy Costigan: Sir, yes, sir. I have an idea...
Dignam: [interrupting] Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's say you have no idea and leave it at that, okay? No idea. Zip. None. If you had an idea of what we do, we would not be good at what we do, now would we? We would be cunts. Are you calling us cunts?
Oliver Queenan: Staff Sergeant Dignam has a style of his own. I'm afraid we all have to get used to it.

Billy: You're seventy fucking years old. One of these guys is going to pop you. As for running drugs, what the fuck. You don't need the pain in the ass, and they're going to catch you. And you don't need the money.
Costello: I haven't "needed the money" since I took Archie's milk money in the third grade. Tell you the truth, I don't need pussy any more either... but I like it.

Ellerby: Go fuck yourself.
Dignam: I'm tired from fucking your wife.
Ellerby: How is your mother?
Dignam: Good, she's tired from fucking my father.