By far, one of the best dirty-cop screenplays I have read in my entire life. It is full of deception, double-crosses, triple-crosses, and ends with a rather large body count.
I don't know how else to put this. Amazing. One of my favorite cop screenplays ever, and one of the best screenplays en masse 2006.dude (10 out of 10 )
Yes! Thank you so much IMSDb for finally putting this script up.wyliekyote (10 out of 10 )
Great movie. Great script. It's got it all. Pacing, tension, awesome characters, great dialog, one two punch writing. A little different than the movie as I recall, but the script stands out on its own ground. A script that all writers should read and re-read, like I did.Tobias (9 out of 10 )
It's simply an awesome script. Costello's monologue, Dignam's cocky badass one-liners, the triple murder - well, the whole plot is completely superb.
Steven (2 out of 10 )
Is this a direct translation of the source script it was based on? Otherwise I marvel that Martin Scorcese was able to pull an Oscar winning film from this amateurish writing. The characters are barely sketches, the dialogue is often forced and the capitalization of words throughout is nonsensical, making it very annoying to read. I realize this isn't the shooting draft but still, a little more adherance to the nuts-and-bolts of screenwriting would have been nice.tafshina (4 out of 10 )
I dunno really how they give Oscars?! On the base of which law or rule? This film isn't really worth it.AtomicAge (9 out of 10 )
No, I do agree with you Steven. 100%. I did, after reading this draft, wonder where the heck the actors drew their excellent characters from. As is, the script is light and two-dimensional. But what I failed to mention in my previous review was that, while not very impressive on paper, this is definitely a great script when in action. Much like Shakespeare, this piece was written to be performed, and not so much to be read.Mack (10 out of 10 )
And that's why Bill Monahan won an Academy Award for it Steven. Because it's "nonsensical and annoying". You obviously don't know a good script when you read one.nikta (10 out of 10 )
Thank you so much IMSDb. I love you.Si Venda (9 out of 10 )
Well said Mack. And as for, "The characters are barely sketches": don't know about that Steven. The characters feed the plot and the plot feeds and drives the characters. Isn't that the idea? On top of this we get a vast amount of information and back story on most of the main characters in act 1, its pretty impressive. Absolutely classic dialogue and even if it may have some minor flaws (according to some) this is just hugely enjoyable and fun. Cheers IMSDb!Woai Zhongguo (2 out of 10 )
I don't see why you people are so in love with this script and movie. "The Departed" was a bad remake of the Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs" which was actually a good film. This screenplay is just a bad rewrite. I can't believe it won best adapted screenplay.Scott (9 out of 10 )
I'm studying to do an MTV parody of this wonderful film. I am auditioning for the role of Frank Costello. Thank you for putting this script up so that I can study it. It is appreciated.Steven (2 out of 10 )
I hadn't intended to post again on this script, but after reading some of the reactions to my last one, I'd like to clear some things up. It's important when critiquing a screenplay to separate it from the film that was made from it, which no one here (except AtomicAge) seems to be doing. I've read many horrid screenplays which became excellent films and vise versa. I actually enjoyed the movie The Departed, but that's not what we're talking about here.
Of course, what is and is not an "excellent" or "horrid" screenplay is both vague and subjective, so I'll limit myself to specifics. In my opinion, the action skips and feels jumpy, scene transitions aren't handled smoothly, characters sometimes begin speaking before they've been introduced in a scene where their presence would have been obvious from the get-go (when we first meet Dignam in Queenan's office for example, Dignam's not present in the scene setup; he just starts speaking out of nowhere). Top to bottom, it smacks of either amateurism or a very early draft.
And Mack, please don't place quotation marks around words you're attributing to someone, if you're going to edit what they actually wrote; in this screenplay, the random capitalization of words is what I referred to as nonsensical and annoying; deviations from standard format are fine if they're done for good reason, otherwise they're just distracting. If you loved this screenplay, great, go and God bless. Disagreeing with my viewpoint is fine, but please don't insult me for having it.elzyooo (5 out of 10 )
Tis ok, very bloody and lots of unnecessary killing but good plot. Did anyone else find it hard to tell the two cops apart?Harry Georgatos (7 out of 10 )
A great concept and premise within the hands of an accomplished director such as Martin Scorsese. One still can't feel this is a by the numbers film by Scorsese. This is a type of high voltage concept that was always going to find a huge audience in the multiplexes. With a high caliber cast of performers elevate what is probably a standard crime screenplay into an edge of the seat experience. Scorsese's best films would still be his earlier works such as "Goodfellas", "Taxi Driver", "Mean Streets" and his underrated "Casino". Looking forward to the sequel and prequel.Slidog (4 out of 10 )
Good movie, terrible script. Unneeded descriptions make the dialogue seem repetitive, followed by even more repetitive descriptions. EX: "COSTELLO tells the Proprietor to takes three loaves of bread and some soup off the shelves and puts them in Colin's bag. COSTELLO: Get him three loaves of bread. And a couple of half gallons of milk. And some soup. He goes over to the fridge and puts two half gallons of milk in the bag. Some soup. Costello turns to Colin". Scorsese is even more of a genius than I thought he could be if he turned that into a 5-winning-oscar-worthy movie.Charlotte (6 out of 10 )
Terribly overrated. Mindlessly violent. Could've been a lot better. Definitely did NOT deserve Best Picture. Little Children or Pan's Labyrinth should've won! Leo DiCaprio was terrific though.Dravin (8 out of 10 )
I was shocked when I watched this movie. It has a great casting but also too much violence in it. But I do like the story, the plot etc. The ending did surprise me, because it was not that what I expected. This movie did deserve an Oscar.Jonathan (10 out of 10 )
A little jealous there Steven? The Departed is a phenomenal film top to bottom. Moynahan didnít even see "Infernal Affairs" so as to have only the original script as his inspiration. He has written a novel and adapted several other works. He has had two A list films made with his amateurish writing and has Ridley Scott lined up to direct his next two films. The Departed is straightforward writing. The is no "OH GOD Bruce Willis is DEAD?" at the end but it still get you. I want Leo to get out of the elevator still and I have seen the film around 10 times. As to the language Iím going out on a limb here that you arenít from New England. The idioms, the insults the swagger of Boston cops is all their crackling and popping in every scene. Not to mention the Bostonian class structure. The Departed has it all nailed down as a master craftsman would. Iím not posting to be argumentative but to open the ball on the question: if The Departed amateurish what rates as professional?ChrisM. (10 out of 10 )
I was impressed by this movie before I even saw it. First by putting three well known-respected actors to take the role, and of course the well known Marty Scorsese. I'm not going to say it's his best, but it's in the top list.travis (9 out of 10 )
Steven is right. I did, in fact, enjoy the screenplay and I myself write screenplays, none in which have made it far for I have yet to finish them. But I've read terrible screenplays with great films as well but Steven, this is a shooting script, it is almost not valuable in any way. It isn't the final cut of writing from Monahan, but I do respect your opinion greatly.Adam (6 out of 10 )
Script has some major holes/bandaids. For example: Why did Billy need to meet with Queenan in person (on the day Queenan is thrown off the building)? Why couldn't they just talk over the phone instead of risking meeting in person and being tailed. They already suspected there was a Costello informer inside the police department, so why risk meeting in person?Pete (10 out of 10 )
This is a great movie. To tell the truth, my personal favorite. The Scorcese-DiCaprio movies are always great. For anybodoy who dosent know, this is their third movie together(Aviator and Gangs of New York are the other two.) Also, Scorcese knows what movies to direct they are always great. For any doubters, I only need one word, GOODFELLAS.nabooster (5 out of 10 )
I've gotta agree with Woai Zhongguo - If you see the original film on which its based (ie 'Infernal Affairs') this film is a bad remake, and not even a heavyweight cast can detract from that fact. To paraphrase Bob Evans 'You can have stars up the ***, but if its not on the page, it ain't gonna be on the screen. Even the soundtrack, on which you can usually rely on Scorcese for coming up trumps with, feels lightweight. See the original.Jason (10 out of 10 )
I believe the violence was necessary to portray the relationship between the law and the criminals that essentially ran the neighborhood. Don't forget that Scorsese is the the type of film maker that depicts violence in his films to show meaning, even without so much violence it would have been an extraordinary film. To adam 6 out of 10 keep in mind that writers need to put certain things into the script to advance the story. Tafshina not backing your statements with evidence is not worth it. Take an actor like Jack Nicholson, his previous work is excellent he feeds on the plot, makes it his own this is one of the reasons Scorsese is able to pull an oscar winning film, his film making dynamics are outstanding just like the script, because without an outstanding script actors like Jack Nicholson would not receive the sustainence from feeding on the plot and dialogue that makes him able to deliver an award winning performance. I believe there is a reason for the skippy and jumpy action it has something to do with confusion. and from what i can tell the writer has done this deliberately so as to create a sense of confusion for the audience, a sense of confusion probably felt by the real and fictitious characters portrayed in and by the film and the actors. its not that Scorsese or the writers became sloppy and lazy they did it for a specific reason. Breaking down plot and dialogue you will find that everything you read is quite simple it has to do with human emotion, the emotion felt by the audience, the emotion that was inserted by the writer for the actors to deliver and obviously for the audience to pick up on. the emotion delivered started in the writers mind. in closing i would like to say that i loved the the draft the everything about the entire pre prod and post production, lets just say the nuts and bolts fit and if you are critiquing a film on this website or any other, the nuts and bolts fit, and when you can make them fit yourself you can truely critique a film untill then marvel in what is the beauty that is Scorsese and his award winning film (which began with the writers) yes award winning film the Departed.Tiffany (1 out of 10 )
'The Departed' is not bad in itself, however the original 'Infernal Affairs' is far better.
In my opinion this is just another example of how Hollywood attempts to bleach over many original foreign films with it's big budget yet inadequate remakes, which in turns however, makes large amounts of profits but lack in (needless to say) originality and depth, replacing it with excessive swearing (to further stereotype Hollywood films?) and more fake blood and wounds.
Some examples of failed remakes by Hollywood are: 'The Grudge', 'Shall We Dance' and 'The Ring'.
However, as we are talking about this script at the moment, I would rate this script 4, taking away 3 stars for lack of originality.
Now, you can all pelt me with your pebbles of disapproval, but before you start arming your slingshot, take a look at the original (Infernal Affairs) and the actual script of this film. Matt (8 out of 10 )
@ Tiffany: I have the box set of Infernal Affairs and had seen the trilogy before The Departed was even announced. I can honestly say that The Departed trumps IA in several important ways. First, the psychology of the characters is much deeper, and a back story which took IA 2 two and a half hours to elaborate upon was neatly summarized and concisely created within the opening fifteen minutes of The Departed. Infernal Affairs features awkward, exposition-filled dialogue, for example: "How should I know? I've only worked for Sam for five years"... "I know you have been working undercover for ten years in total, but you will soon be able to stop". Horrible. The ending to IA 1 is far better than that of The Departed, but overall The Departed takes what is, to be blunt, a fairly standard Honk Kong B-grade picture and creates a compelling modern American masterpiece. Originality? If you truly knew storytelling technique, you would know that originality is actually a fairly meaningless word, especially at this point in the culture, since pretty much everything has been done. True originality comes from taking an influence and placing your own personal spin on it. Infernal Affairs did this by taking the basic premise of Michael Mann's Heat and complicating the situation by switching the principle characters around. Let's not even get started on the fact that IA is also very much a product of pulp origin, and in particular, has several elements reminiscent of Donnie Brasco. The Departed took the IA story and added very specific references, allusions, viewpoints, historical footnotes and factual events to the mix. Besides the fact that it would have been easy to simply have a New York Mafia setting, we also see Scorcese and Monahan throwing a curve ball by not only setting the action amidst the Irish mobsters of Boston, but also refusing to hand feed us the environmental back story, psychological profiles and plot points - In this respect, The Departed is very much one of those films where you get out of the piece what you personally put in. Looks, gestures, body language, facial expressions, dialogue - everything you need to know about the characters and the story is there if you're willing to look for it. Finally, getting back to your obsession with its unoriginality, I'd like to point out that IA 2's subplot about the young Triad boss slowly scheming and remorselessly killing his way to the top, culminating with the simultaneous executions of the heads of the other Triad families, is a blatant fucking rip off of The Godfather Part II. And the Triad boss himself? He's Michael Corleone in everything but name and appearance. The Departed is a better film on a technical and emotional level than all three Infernal Affairs movies combined. I like both the source and the remake, but don't laughably declare 'unoriginality' when your grasp of the concept is somewhat sketchy, at best. It's easy to say you don't like the remake, but to be honest I think you're trying to be cool and you should try a bit harder. That said, I found this script to be fairly poorly written.noah smith (9 out of 10 )
I love the movie and I love the script. No wonder this turned out to be such a fantastic movie. It's always good to have a fantastic script to have a fantastic movie.Hanna Jankovich (9 out of 10 )
I loved the movie and I don't like the ending and it is still in my head and I still want a new ending. I love billy costigan and colin sullivan.Jeff (9 out of 10 )
The argument that Hollywood makes terrible films is so drawn and a poor excuse. I saw the original Infernal Affairs years before The Departed and I see them as equal films. I think people are just angry that it was remade and that it's American or something but either way The Departed is a great movie. I'll even say that the story is told better through the eyes of Scorsese than Infernal Affairs director, Wai-keung Lau. The original did have flaws to but people refuse to see that because it's foreign, IA's directing and original script wasn't anything special except for original plot. I'd recommend both and everyone who gives it one star. Stop being a snob.Appolo Jupiter (7 out of 10 )
Yeas I agree that script is a bit lame and I agree that the "Made In China" thing was better, but come on people have you enjoyed the Taiwan crap as much as this one, plus the actors performance was super, Jack, Martin, Alec, Mat, Marc were terrific and Leo he was sensational. Yea film didnít deserve the Award but Martin did, can't you guess that this award was not for this film, it was more honorary then one movie award. If he had the Oscar already then it would have been an unfair thing, but so far he remained unrewarded so I think that the academy did a good thing. Only Leos performance gives this movie a huge credit.Jay (7 out of 10 )
The script is fairly decent but some of the dialogue is weak and repetitive. If you noticed they changed some lines around in the film itself to make it sound more believable. The problem with doing a film about 4-5 main characters is you can't develop them all so well in 2 hours. Monahan did a great fuckin' job otherwise. The descriptions in the script are necessary even if they don't convey an action, it gives the director a point of view to look through. All in all, 7 out of 10 script 9 out of 10 movie. It was very real and convincing if you ask me. If the cast is believable with a tightly wound script that is interesting. I always dig films like that.Anderson (6 out of 10 )
Terrific movie. One of my favorites, but I got to agree with many here. The screenplay feels very amateurish. But maybe it's just a very early draft, I don't know, but if it is, we can't really judge if it's a good script or not.Destin (7 out of 10 )
It's sloppily written at times, and I disagree with the motive he gave Dignam for killing Collin. Avenging Billy because it was the "right thing to do", seemed a little nonsensical. It would have made more sense had he done it for Queenan AND Billy, as he was closer with Queenan. Maybe I'm interpreting his character wrong. Pretty good script, but it translates better on screen.