AskDefine | Define departed

Dictionary Definition

departed adj
1 not present; having left; "he's away right now"; "you must not allow a stranger into the house when your mother is away"; "everyone is gone now"; "the departed guests" [syn: away(p), gone(p), departed(a)]
2 well in the past; former; "bygone days"; "dreams of foregone times"; "sweet memories of gone summers"; "relics of a departed era" [syn: bygone, bypast, foregone, gone]
3 dead; "he is deceased"; "our dear departed friend" [syn: asleep(p), at peace(p), at rest(p), deceased, gone] n : someone who is no longer alive; "I wonder what the dead person would have done" [syn: dead person, dead soul, deceased person, deceased, decedent]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. dead



  1. past of depart

Extensive Definition

The Departed is a 2006 crime thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. It is an American remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs. The film won four Academy Awards at the 79th Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
This film takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, where notorious Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Nicholson) plants his protégé Colin Sullivan (Damon) as an informant within the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the police assign undercover cop William Costigan, Jr. (DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's crew. When both sides of the law realize the situation, each man attempts to discover the other's true identity before being found out.


The film begins in South Boston and Charlestown, featuring a montage of riot footage with voice-over narration by Irish mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Nicholson), who expresses his belief that "a man makes his own way" in the world, and that "no one gives it to you... you have to take it." He is able to beguile a young neighborhood boy named Colin Sullivan (Conor Donovan), who enters into Costello's criminal underground at a young age.
Years later, Colin Sullivan (now played by Damon) is finishing his training for the Massachusetts State Police, as, in a separate class, is William "Billy" Costigan, Jr. (DiCaprio); both eventually graduate to become state troopers. Sullivan, who quickly distinguishes himself, is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit ("SIU") of the State Police by SIU's Captain Queenan (Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Wahlberg). Queenan and Dignam also interview Costigan, but are convinced that Costigan's family ties with the Boston underworld make Costigan unsuitable for anything other than undercover work. Costigan agrees to work for Queenan and Dignam's undercover division of SIU and become a mole in Costello's crime family. To make his new identity believable, SIU creates a false assault conviction for Costigan, who serves a jail sentence to comply with the sham conviction. The "conviction" also requires Costigan to be placed on probation upon release, and to attend mandatory psychiatry sessions with staff psychiatrist Dr. Madolyn Madden (Farmiga), who will later become Costigan's love interest. Costigan's police academy record and file are concealed from the department, leaving only Queenan and Dignam with any knowledge of his true identity.
Sullivan is assigned to the organized-crime division of SIU, an "elite unit" headed by Captain Ellerby (Baldwin). The unit's only target is Costello, whom the unit attempts to apprehend in cooperation with the FBI. Although Dignam agrees to assist Ellerby's unit, he refuses to reveal any information about undercover informants to the organized-crime division of SIU. Costigan, in the meantime, infiltrates Costello's crew using his family connections and a "nothing to lose" character he fashions for himself while in Costello's presence (Costigan beats up two of Costello's rival Italian-American gang members, as well as one of Costello's own underlings). Although suspicious of Costigan's motives, Costello adopts Costigan into his crime family after Costigan withstands a physically torturous inquisition into his police background by Costello.
Sullivan, in the meantime, works to tip-off Costello to police activity while moving his way up the ranks in SIU. Sullivan also attempts to work his way up the social strata, by initiating a romantic relationship with Dr. Madden. Shortly afterward, Madden begins seeing Costigan under the terms of his probation, and begins a simultaneous romantic relationship with Costigan of which Sullivan is unaware. Until the end of the relationship, Madden remains unaware that Costigan is actually a State police officer, instead falling in love with Costigan's concocted criminal persona.
After one of Costello's illegal transactions is nearly thwarted by SIU, Costello becomes convinced that there is a rat in his crew. Likewise, Costello's elegant evasion of SIU's heavy surveillance during the transaction tips Queenan and Dignam to the presence of an informer in SIU.
To catch the "rat" in his gang, Costello agrees to obtain the biographical information of his enforcers and transmit it to Sullivan in SIU for a records check. The information, including social security numbers, is collected on paper and placed in a distinctive envelope to be transmitted to Sullivan. Costigan, predicting that the envelope will be transmitted to the mole in SIU, follows the envelope and Costello, where Costigan observes the inter-change between Costello and his mole in a porno house (the film being played is an actual scene from Debbie Does Dallas - The Revenge). Costigan, however, cannot directly identify Costello's mole because of his vantage point. Attempting to discover Sullivan's identity, Costigan follows him through the streets, where Sullivan becomes alerted to Costigan's presence. Costigan eventually loses track of Sullivan in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood; and neither party becomes able to positively identify the other.
Meanwhile, SIU initiates its own measures to capture the mole(s) in its division. Captain Ellerby, beguiled by Sullivan's "immaculate record", assigns him to investigate SIU officers and locate the mole(s). Sullivan uses his new authority to instead target the mole in Costello's crew. He orders SIU officers to follow Captain Queenan, which eventually leads them to a building where Costigan has scheduled a meeting with Queenan. Sullivan quickly realizes that Queenan is meeting the informant in Costello's crew, and calls Costello to alert him. Costello orders his crew to the scene; and they arrive before the two officers can make their escape. Queenan orders Costigan to flee, and stays behind to confront Costello's crew alone, resulting in him being thrown out of a window to his death. Costigan encounters the crew on their way out of the building, feigning his late arrival on the scene to help catch Costello's "rat."
The SIU, which is still present at the scene, opens fire on Costello's crew, wounding one of Costello's lieutenants, Timothy Delahunt (Mark Rolston). After a narrow escape, the crew gathers in one of Costello's hideouts where Delahunt lies dying. Delahunt, out of earshot of the others, reveals to Costigan his certainty that Costigan is the mole, but states he has not informed any of the others. Delahunt then expires, and a news report (watched by Costello and his men) states that he was a police informant, but Costello assures the others that "the cops are saying he's a cop, so I won't look for the cop."
In the aftermath of Queenan's death, Sullivan orders Dignam to "unlock" the files on undercover officers for him; Dignam replies by punching Sullivan in the face and airing suspicions that Sullivan had a hidden motive for following Queenan. Ellerby steps in and places Dignam on a 2 week probation.
Sullivan then opens the box of evidence retrieved from Queenan's murder scene, and finds Queenan's cell phone with a stored number to his undercover in Costello's crew. Sullivan calls Costigan and attempts to lure him out of hiding by pretending to be Queenan's replacement. While rifling through the other recovered articles of evidence, Sullivan finds a notation in Queenan's personal notebook indicating that Costello might be an informant for the FBI.
Costello is later tailed by SIU to a warehouse where he is to acquire packages of cocaine for distribution. Sullivan, disturbed by the possibility of Costello's informant identity, stages a police ambush at the warehouse. Costigan, who has communicated with Sullivan to set up the ambush, slips away from the scene before the two sides engage in a shoot-out. Costello is badly wounded in the fray, but manages to slip away and contacts Sullivan for aid. Sullivan, however, confronts Costello about his status as an informant in the FBI, and demands to know whether Costello has alerted the FBI to Sullivan's criminal activities. Costello attempts to kill Sullivan with a concealed pistol, but Sullivan manages to kill Costello first.
At the station, Sullivan is showered with praise from his co-workers, who remain unaware of his identity and relationship with Costello. Costigan, who has come in after Costello's death to regain his identity, meets with Sullivan for the first time. While Sullivan leaves the room to retrieve Costigan's file, Costigan notices the distinctive envelope containing the crew's personal information sitting on Sullivan's desk and leaves the station. Sullivan erases Costigan's police record and file from the department database. Costigan locates Madden and gives her an envelope, without disclosing its contents, only telling her to open it if anything should happen to him in the next few weeks.
Madden, at the apartment she shares with Sullivan, is tipped to the true identity of each when a piece of mail arrives, addressed from "WM Costigan" to Sullivan. It contains sound recordings of Sullivan and Costello's private conversations, along with Costigan's phone number. Madden plays the recordings for Sullivan, who dismisses them, but who nervously calls Costigan for an explanation. Costigan explains that the tapes, which Costello kept for self-protection reasons, had all been released to him by Costello's lawyer upon Costello's death. Using the tapes as leverage, Costigan orders Sullivan to meet him later that day at the building where Queenan was killed.
On the building's rooftop, Costigan confronts and handcuffs Sullivan, intending to arrest him and reveal his part in Costello's organization. Sullivan's SIU colleague, Officer Brown, (Anthony Anderson) (who attended M.S.P. training with Costigan) arrives shortly afterward and orders Costigan to stand down. Costigan backs Sullivan into an elevator at gunpoint. When the elevator doors open on the ground floor, Costigan is shot through the head by Officer Barrigan, (who attended M.S.P. training with Sullivan) who then kills Brown when Brown reaches the ground floor. Barrigan explains that he too was in Costello's employ, and appeals to Sullivan with solidarity, stating that they "must stick together" to survive. Instead, Sullivan kills Barrigan to keep his involvement with Costello a secret. In his official report, Sullivan tells investigators that Barrigan, as Costello's lone mole, entered the building and shot both Costigan and Brown, whom Sullivan was unable to save. Sullivan closes by recommending William Costigan, Jr. for the department's Medal of Merit.
At Costigan's funeral, Madden rebuffs Sullivan's attempts to reconcile their relationship. Following the funeral, Sullivan returns home with groceries to find Dignam (apparently tipped off by Madden) waiting in his apartment. Dignam shoots Sullivan through the head with a suppressed pistol, and then exits the apartment. The camera pans up from Sullivan's body to show a lone rat crawling on the apartment's balcony railing, which frames the gold dome of the Massachusetts State House in the background.


The part of Dignam, played by Mark Wahlberg was originally offered to Ray Liotta and then Denis Leary, who turned it down because of his commitment to the TV series Rescue Me. Robert De Niro was also offered the role of Queenan by Scorsese, but he turned it down due to filming The Good Shepherd.
Originally, William Monahan's script had Billy and Colin being childhood friends, who lost touch with each other after attending the police academy. Therefore, Costigan's discovery of Sullivan being Costello's informant would have been even more emotionally jarring for Costigan. Ultimately, Monahan dropped the idea, and Billy and Colin do not appear to know each other until their first meeting following Costello's death.
William Monahan's final script states that there is a four year gap between Colin's graduating from the police academy and Billy's entering the police academy. Thus, it can be inferred that Colin is at least four years older than Billy. Near the end of the film, Billy's personnel file is visible on a computer screen. According to the file, his birth date is November 7, 1984 making Billy 22 years old and Colin at least 26 years old during the events of the film.


Film critic Stanley Kauffman describes a major theme of The Departed as one of the oldest in drama—the concept of identity—and how it "affects one's actions, emotions, self-assurance, and even dreams."
The father-son relationship is a motif throughout the film. Costello acts as a father figure to both Sullivan and Costigan and Queenan acts as Costello's foil in the role of father-figure presenting both sides of the Irish-American father archetype. Sullivan also refers to Costello as 'Dad' whenever he calls him to inform him of police activities.
The film also explores a variety of masculine crises; from impotence to the emasculation of subjecting oneself to 'talk' therapy.
In Rolling Stone magazine, Scorsese linked the zero-sum feeling of the end of his movie to real-world feelings toward terrorism and the war on terrorism.
Additionally, class issues are a major theme throughout the film, Sullivan, a working-class Irish-Catholic who desires to rise in the department, even as a mole, and moves into upper-class apartments and considers leaving the state, and Costigan, who comes from a working-class section of Boston but was raised in, and ultimately rejects, an upper-class environment.


  • In homage to the 1932 film Scarface (a film by Howard Hughes, directed by Howard Hawks), Scorsese inserted the X (a symbol of death, or departure) in various shots to signify those who would become "the departed". In several cases, the "X" appears multiple times for a character. This is most prevalent after the title "The Departed" first appears on screen, as a wave of Xs can be seen layered over Sullivan at his apartment, and through a fence over Costigan while he walks the prison halls. Other instances include Xs in the windows at the moment of Queenan's death, and on the bridge above the construction yard at the time of Costello's death. There are also X's in the structure outside the window of the Terminal where Bill Costigan is contemplating flying away, a very obvious placing of one on the envelope of the note with social security numbers, and on the floor outside of Sullivan's apartment. Though it is considered that the most prevalent of all is when Costigan has Sullivan handcuffed in the elevator just prior to his death. A black X can be seen in duct tape on the wall behind them. Also before Officer Brown is killed, you can see a white X in his elevator wall which his head passes by in the same spot where Barrigan shoots him in the head.
  • After Sullivan leaves the porn theater, the chase through Chinatown is a tribute to Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai, with the shot of the glass mobile recalling the famous house-of-mirrors scene.
  • The funeral scene, where Madden walks away from Sullivan without speaking to him, pays homage to The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed, where Anna walks away from Holly Martins.

Soundtrack music

There were two albums released for The Departed, one presenting the original score composed for the movie by Howard Shore, and the other featuring earlier recordings, mostly pop/rock songs, which were used on the soundtrack.

Music from the Motion Picture album

The movie opens with "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones and prominently plays "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys with lyrics written by Woody Guthrie, which gained the band some popularity. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" was also used in the CBS News radio brief the morning following the Oscars, with the intro of "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" playing in the background as the awards were announced. It also features a live version of "Comfortably Numb" by Roger Waters and Van Morrison from the 1990 Berlin Wall Concert which was originally by Pink Floyd.
Although "Gimme Shelter" is featured in the film, the song does not appear on the album soundtrack. Also heard in the movie but not featured on the soundtrack is "Thief's Theme" by Nas, "Well Well Well" by John Lennon, "Bang Bang" by Joe Cuba and the Act II Sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.
The movie closes with a cover of Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams", interpreted by the late Roy Buchanan.
Track Listing
  1. "Comfortably Numb" (Roger Waters Feat. Van Morrison and The Band, version from The Wall Concert in Berlin) – 7:59
  2. "Sail On, Sailor" (Beach Boys) – 3:18
  3. "Let It Loose" (Rolling Stones) – 5:18
  4. "Sweet Dreams" (Roy Buchanan) – 3:32
  5. "One Way Out" (Allman Brothers Band) – 4:57
  6. "Baby Blue" (Badfinger) – 3:36
  7. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (Dropkick Murphys) – 2:34
  8. "Nobody But Me" (Human Beinz) – 2:18
  9. "Tweedle Dee" (LaVern Baker) – 3:10
  10. "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" (Patsy Cline) – 2:34
  11. "The Departed Tango" (Howard Shore, Marc Ribot) – 3:32
  12. "Beacon Hill" (Howard Shore, Sharon Isbin) – 2:33

Original Score album

The film score for The Departed was written by Howard Shore and performed by guitarists Sharon Isbin, G.E. Smith, Larry Saltzman and Marc Ribot. The score was recorded in Shore's own studio in New York State.
Track Listing
  1. "Cops or Criminals" – 2:01
  2. "344 Wash" – 2:03
  3. "Beacon Hill" – 2:36
  4. "The Faithful Departed" – 3:01
  5. "Colin" – 2:09
  6. "Madolyn" – 2:14
  7. "Billy's Theme" – 6:58
  8. "Command" – 3:15
  9. "Chinatown" – 3:16
  10. "Boston Common" – 2:53
  11. "Miss Thing" – 1:45
  12. "The Baby" – 2:48
  13. "The Last Rites" – 3:05
  14. "The Departed Tango" – 3:38

Boston setting

Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal, Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer named it one of the top ten best films of 2006. |Best Actor - Drama |Leonardo DiCaprio |bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |colspan="2"|Best Film - Drama |rowspan="4" bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |Best Screenplay |William Monahan |- |Best Supporting Actor |Jack Nicholson |- |Best Supporting Actor |Mark Wahlberg |- |Kansas City Film Critics |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |rowspan="3"|Las Vegas Film Critics |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |rowspan="3" bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Editing |Thelma Schoonmaker |- |colspan="2"|Best Film |- |MTV Movie Awards |Best Villain |Jack Nicholson |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |rowspan="3"|National Board of Review |colspan="3"|Top 10 Films of the Year (#4) |- |colspan="2"|Best Cast |rowspan="2" bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |- |rowspan="3"|New York Film Critics |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |colspan="2"|Best Film |rowspan="2" bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |Best Screenplay |William Monahan |- |National Society of Film Critics |Best Supporting Actor |Mark Wahlberg |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |rowspan="7"|Online Film Critics |Best Actor |Leonardo DiCaprio |bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Editing |Thelma Schoonmaker |rowspan="5" bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |colspan="2"|Best Film |- |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |- |Best Supporting Actor |Jack Nicholson |- |Best Supporting Actor |Mark Wahlberg |- |Producers Guild of America (PGA) |Motion Picture Producer of the Year |Graham King |bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |rowspan="4"|Phoenix Film Critics |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |rowspan="4" bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Editing |Thelma Schoonmaker |- |Best Supporting Actor |Jack Nicholson |- |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |- |rowspan="6"|Satellite Awards |colspan="2"|Best Cast |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |colspan="2"|Best Film - Drama |rowspan="3" bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |- |Best Supporting Actor |Leonardo DiCaprio |- |Best Supporting Actor |Jack Nicholson |bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |rowspan="2"|Screen Actors Guild (SAG) |colspan="2"|Best Cast |rowspan="2" bgcolor="#ff0000"|No |- |Best Supporting Actor |Leonardo DiCaprio |- |rowspan="3"|Southeastern Film Critics |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |rowspan="3" bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |colspan="2"|Best Film |- |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |- |Washington D.C. Area Film Critics |Best Director |Martin Scorsese |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |- |Writers Guild of America (WGA) |Best Screenplay - Adapted |William Monahan |bgcolor="#00ff00"|Yes |}
London Film Critics Circle:
  • Nominated: Film of the Year
  • Nominated: British Producer (Graham King)
  • Nominated: Best Director (Martin Scorsese)
Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards:
  • Won: Best Gangstertainment
Toronto Film Critics Association:
  • Nominated: Best Picture
  • Nominated: Best Director (Martin Scorsese)
  • Nominated: Best Supporting Male Performance (Mark Wahlberg)
  • Nominated: Best Screenplay (William Monahan)

DVD and HD release

The Departed was released by Warner Brothers on DVD on February 13, 2007 in Region 1 format and on February 19, 2007 in Region 2 format, and has also been released on March 14, 2007 in Region 4 format. The film is available in a single-disc full screen (1:33:1), single-disc widescreen (2:40:1) edition, and 2-disc special edition. The second disc of this film predominately contains features that concerned the crimes that influenced Scorsese with deleted scenes being the only feature that are actually film related. The Region 1 version has three available audio tracks: English, Spanish, and French (all of which are in Dolby Digital 5.1), and also three subtitle tracks (English, Spanish, French). The film was also released on HD DVD and Blu-ray at the same time as the standard-definition DVD. The 2-Disc Special Edition was also packaged in a Limited Edition Metal Steelbook. It also marked the first time that an Oscar winning Best Picture was released to the home video market only in the DVD format, as VHS was totally phased out by the start of 2006; the 2005 Best Picture, Crash, was the last Oscar winner to be issued in the VHS format.

Potential sequel

In February 2007, Mark Wahlberg had an interview with Empire Magazine about The Departed 2. Although the film hasn't been greenlit yet, Wahlberg stated that there might be a sequel, and they're considering bringing in Robert De Niro to play a senator or a congressman. He also stated that William Monahan is busy penning the script and that shooting could begin sometime in "the beginning of next year or end of this year".
However, the film is said to be on hold, due to producer Brad Grey's involvement since he's now the head of Paramount Pictures and the film is a Warner Bros. project.
Word has now come out that HBO is looking to do a series based on the movie that would be both a prequel and a sequel. Also, IMDB has a page on the "Untitled Departed Sequel," with a release date of 2009.

Cultural references

The film was satirized in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons called "The Debarted".


Further reading

External links

s-ach aw
departed in Arabic: المغادرون (فيلم)
departed in Azerbaijani: Dönüklər
departed in Catalan: The Departed
departed in Danish: The Departed
departed in German: Departed – Unter Feinden
departed in Estonian: Kahe tule vahel
departed in Modern Greek (1453-): Ο Πληροφοριοδότης
departed in Spanish: Infiltrados
departed in Persian: رفتگان (فیلم)
departed in French: Les Infiltrés
departed in Galician: The Departed
departed in Croatian: Pokojni
departed in Indonesian: The Departed
departed in Icelandic: The Departed
departed in Italian: The Departed - Il bene e il male
departed in Hebrew: השתולים
departed in Hungarian: A tégla
departed in Dutch: The Departed
departed in Japanese: ディパーテッド
departed in Norwegian: The Departed
departed in Polish: Infiltracja (film 2006)
departed in Portuguese: The Departed
departed in Russian: Отступники (фильм)
departed in Slovenian: Dvojna igra
departed in Serbian: Двострука игра
departed in Serbo-Croatian: The Departed
departed in Finnish: The Departed
departed in Swedish: The Departed
departed in Turkish: Köstebek (film, 2006)
departed in Chinese: 神鬼無間

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absconded, absent, ago, antiquated, antique, ashes, asleep, asleep in Jesus, at rest, away, bereft of life, blown over, body, bones, breathless, by, bygone, bypast, cadaver, called home, carcass, carrion, clay, cold, corpse, corpus delicti, croaked, crowbait, dated, dead, dead and buried, dead and gone, dead body, dead man, dead person, death-struck, deceased, decedent, defunct, deleted, demised, departed this life, destitute of life, disappeared, done for, dry bones, dust, earth, elapsed, embalmed corpse, exanimate, expired, extinct, fallen, finished, food for worms, forgotten, gone, gone away, gone glimmering, gone off, gone to glory, gone west, gone-by, has-been, inanimate, irrecoverable, lacking, lapsed, late, late lamented, launched into eternity, left, lifeless, lost, martyred, missing, mortal remains, mummification, mummy, no longer present, no more, nonattendant, nonexistent, not found, not present, obsolete, omitted, organic remains, out of sight, over, passe, passed, passed away, passed on, past, pushing up daisies, released, relics, reliquiae, remains, reposing, resting easy, run out, sainted, skeleton, sleeping, smitten with death, stiff, still, stillborn, subtracted, taken away, taken off, tenement of clay, the dead, the deceased, the defunct, the departed, the loved one, vanished, wanting, with the Lord, with the saints, without life, without vital functions, wound up
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