For this viewer, the ending couldn’t have come sooner. “The Departed” is ultra-violent, and despite memorable performances from the iconic Nicholson and the scene-stealing Alec Baldwin, the end result is less than thrilling.

Scorcese has gone to this well too many times. That well is not yet empty, but “The Departed” is far from refreshing. It is, rather, soul-deadening. Better for Scorcese to make different films, even if flawed, than to rehash the bloodletting and tough talk he’s already proven he can do so well.



  • Language/Profanity: Possibly the most profane movie I have ever sat through; racial epithets; verbal references to oral and anal sex.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Several scenes of drinking; drug deals; a cocaine binge; a cop uses prescription drugs.
  • Sex/Nudity:  An unmarried woman and man move in together; a conversation implies a failed attempt at sex; a man grabs his crotch; characters attend a porn movie, where one man engages in faux masturbation with a sex toy; a secretary shows cleavage; an unmarried woman gets pregnant.
  • Violence:  Ever-present but exploding at times with fury; gunfire; execution-style killings; beatings; a framed picture of Christ is broken over a man’s head; a character wields another man’s severed hand; a man facing impending death chooses to commit suicide.
  • Ethics:  Lacking all around, and perhaps best summed up by Costello when he says, “No one gives [anything] to you. You have to take it.”
  • Religion:  Catholic imagery; priests are referred to as pedophiles; a cop crosses himself.