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, yet both because many Westerners weren't aware of it and Frank being based on real-life Boston mob figure Whitey Bulger, many viewers even today don't know this.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Costello knows Costigan is a rat, but is too old and psychotic to care - and 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, Positif, 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!"
  • 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 #45, 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.
  • Narm Charm: Alec Baldwin is tremendously over the top in his usual way but is all the more funny and enjoyable because of it.
    • Also, 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.
  • 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!"
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Very Subtle. It's noted during the film Sullivan is having dysfunction problems. However Madolyn and Billy spend a night together. She also walks past Sullivan at the end and indeed looks at him with contempt. Indeed upon finding out that Sullivan was a rat for the mafia, she tells him, "I thought I was the liar!"