Matt Damon’s Darkest Movie Just Arrived On Netflix

By Matthew Creith | 1 week ago

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There have been many films in the modern era that have contributed wholeheartedly to pop culture, but only a handful have seemed to stand the test of time. From award-winning performances to intricate details of plot and circumstance, some of these films have made a mark in cinematic history. One particular film springs to mind when the conversation comes to Boston and crime, as it has become incomparable to others like it: The Departed. Starring Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mark Wahlberg, Martin Scorsese’s epic thriller has arrived on Netflix this month, and it’s worth a revisit.

matt damon jack nicholson

Debuting in 2006, The Departed became an instant classic in large part due to director Martin Scorsese’s incredible reputation and the cast he employed. Set against a backdrop of the Irish mob and crime in Boston, the film is an interweaving of storylines between the Massachusetts State Police and the mobsters they are trying to hunt. Mob boss Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, decides to plant Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon, with the Massachusetts State Police. Going through basic training and eventually becoming a police officer, Sullivan crosses paths with Billy Costigan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Costigan has been assigned as an undercover state trooper to infiltrate Costello’s crew, just as Sullivan is infiltrating the police department.

At a certain point in the film, both sides realize the situation, and every character tries to find out each other’s identity before they are uncovered in fatal ways. This led to a lot of quoting by audiences thereafter, as many repeated the line, “Are you a cop??” often in a Boston accent after the film’s release.

the departed

To say that The Departed is violent is a massive understatement. Noted for its brutal interpretation of the Irish mob in seedy South Boston at the time, the final moments of the film see no less than five men killed in rapid succession, including many of the main characters. The stunning reveal in the last moments of the movie had many viewers talking for years after, including a detailed explanation of the final scenes by Looper that helps to shed light on what occurred between Matt Damon’s character and Mark Wahlberg’s. The scene and some humorous ones prior may have helped Wahlberg in securing an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the time.

the departed

Viewed as one of the last performances of Jack Nicholson’s career before he retired from acting, The Departed was notable for the casting of mostly male roles, including that of stars Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. A semi-remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Internal Affairs, the movie was also inspired by the life of real-life crime boss Whitey Bulger, who became an FBI informant while still committing crimes on the side. Because of the large male energy throughout the film, Vera Farmiga was cast as Dr. Madolyn Madden, a love interest for Damon and DiCaprio’s characters that helped further the story along. As one of the lone female characters, Farmiga became a standout, which led to many subsequent roles in her career afterward.

The Departed was a box office hit in 2006, grossing over $291 million, becoming one of Martin Scorsese’s most successful films to date. Prior to the film’s release, Scorsese had never won the Academy Award for Best Director, but he became the favorite that year to take home the prize. Having finally won the Oscar (presented by longtime friends Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas), Scorsese quipped, “Could you double check the envelope?” It was a masterful achievement for a director that had lost so many times before, as he thanked his cast including Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. Scorsese has gone on to collaborate with DiCaprio on five feature films, excluding the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon.

the departed

The success of The Departed has been exceptional for stars Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mark Wahlberg. Critics and audiences took an immediate liking to the film, as it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, one of the darkest and most violent movies to earn the top prize in recent memory. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it rated with a 90% on its Tomatometer 16 years later, as well as an Audience Score of 94%, which means that many fans of the film may be delighted for its return to Netflix as of today, June 1st.