YMMV / The Departed

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: In the "Catholic priests are pedophiles" mold. One is mocked by Costello while another is mentioned as being a member of the Costigan family by Dignam early in the film.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The Departed was based on the Hong Kong film The Infernal Affairs Trilogy which was commercially successful in the Sinophone and is very well known and popular among aficionados of Hong Kong cinema. Yet on account of Global Ignorance and language inaccessibility, most viewers outside of Hong Kong and Mandarin-speaking nations, are unaware of it. Likewise, thanks to the fact The Departed has a much higher-profile director and cast, the original has been Overshadowed by Awesome. Having said that, the two films do have major distinctions that separate them despite sharing the same basic plot and dramatis personae. Big Bad Frank Costello is based on real-life Boston mob figure Whitey Bulger and the film's plot also takes advantage of the unique multiple jurisdiction nature of American law enforcement as a Conflict Ballnote , the uniquely changed characters of Madolyn and Dignam, mean that the films feel very different.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Costello knows Costigan is a rat. The question is whether he's too old and psychotic to care or he believes that, as he's an FBI informant and has Sullivan's help, he is untouchable anyway.
    • We briefly see Sullivan as an Altar Boy in the opening montage and hints about his sexual trouble as well as the frequent jokes about "Catholic priest as pedophiles" suggest that maybe he was molested as a child. In an interview with the French magazine, Positifnote , Scorsese implied that he was molested by Costello as well. The character is in fact The Woobie who is trying to make it out of the ghetto, go to Harvard and become a good guy and overcome his childhood, which means he's as much of a Tragic Hero as Costigan. Think of his final line to Costello, who Scorsese said might also have been a pedophile himself:
      "Oh is that what you think this is about? All that fucking and no kids!"
    • In the DVD commentary, Scorsese treats the notion that Delahunt is a cop as a completely new idea to him and acknowledges it as a secondary interpretation of the actual events of the film.
  • Awesome Music: "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys, and the Live In Berlin version of "Comfortably Numb" featuring Van Morrison.
  • Consolation Award: Despite its 91% Rotten Tomatoes rating, 86/100 Metacritic rating, and placing second of Scorsese's films on the IMDb Top 250 (actually Top 50; it currently ranks at #46, with an average rating of 8.5/10), as well as being the highest ranked film of 2006, there are critics who believe the Academy Awards it received for Best Picture and Best Director were make-up calls for Scorsese's previous more deserving work having been snubbed at the Oscars. Oddly, it's rare to find a comment suggesting this that specifically advocates any of the other nominees (with the arguable exception of The Prestige, which failed to get a Best Picture nomination, though even that film's director, Christopher Nolan said that Scorsese would have been a deserving winner whether or not The Prestige was nominated). A handful of commenters posited that Babel was a worthier candidate.
  • Counterpart Comparison: It's easier to list down the characters in the film who can be compared to the ones in The Infernal Affairs Trilogy.
  • He Really Can Act: The movie often serves as a reminder that Mark Wahlberg really can, particularly after some memetic line deliveries in The Fighter and The Happening.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Matt Damon is currently attached to star in a Whitey Bulger Biopic that will be directed by Ben Affleck.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: The last time a gangster movie or crime drama won Best Picture was in 1974 for The Godfather Part II, and that film was a hybrid of gangster movie with period drama/family drama and Historical Fiction, as opposed to a violent contemporary set film with several times the amount of profanity in all three Godfather films combined. Scorsese noted that he was surprised that this film won Best Picture.
  • Memetic Mutation: Thanks to this film, many people's first response to hearing someone ask for cranberry juice is "What is it, your period?"
  • Narm Charm:
    • Alec Baldwin is tremendously over the top in his usual way but is all the more funny and enjoyable because of it.
    • Nicholson's performance. His unbelievable acting is completely hilarious, but it serves to make him so entertaining that the audience is forced to root for both him and the police.
  • Older Than They Think: The song "I'm Shipping up to Boston" is actually a cover of an unrecorded lyric by Woody Guthrie.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: There's really no reason for both male leads to hook up with the psychiatrist, other than to have some kissing in the movie. It's distractingly-pointless towards the movie as a whole. Unless you read into the scene where she tells Sullivan she's pregnant and Costigan is actually the father, especially since she and the baby lives while Sullivan and Costigan don't.
  • Stylistic Suck: The ending with the obvious symbolism of the rat has provoked much criticism and head shaking. However, it's likely that Scorsese, being The Movie Buff, is parodying the Executive Meddling endings of old gangster films where Karmic Death was enforced lest The Bad Guy Wins. The ending is a reference to the end of the film with All That Heaven Allows where a deer moves into the background frame for obvious symbolic effect, which the director of that film, Douglas Sirk admitted to the audience was him admitting to the audience not to take it seriously. The parody of the film in The Simpsons Lamphshaded the same.
    "The rat symbolizes obviousness!"
  • Values Dissonance: The constant use of homophobic slurs characters use so casually, like "cocksucker", would never be able to be taken lightly in present times.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Ray Winstone's utterly bizarre and geographically schizophrenic attempt at mimicking his co-stars Bostonian accent. In the words of Esquire UK; "[Winston's] accent does an accent that manages to switch violently between Louisiana, via Boston, back to Essex, stopping in briefly at some unknown corner of Ireland." One seriously wonders if his character is even meant to be from North America.
  • Writer-Induced Fanon: The idea that Sullivan was molested as a child by Pedophile Priest and possibly Costello is one Scorsese has discussed in interviews. The film does suggest and imply it but it's not stated overtly.