The Departed is a uniquely realized vision in the entirety of Scorsese's career. It has, on the surface, some of his most blatantly heroic and absurdly evil characters ever. But layered between the skins of this complex creation are also his most decidedly human characters. This is an extraordinarily complicated narrative, one that only a filmmaker of Scorsese's age and experience could pull off, but frankly, The Departed is much more than that. It's the culmination of a lifelong examination of men and their violent ways. Stunningly rigorous in its execution, The Departed is, in my estimation, possibly the finest film Scorsese has ever made. It's a breathless masterpiece, one that stuns with its ruminations and shocks with its nihilism.
I've never been so moved, sickened and excited by one of Scorsese's films. I was constantly enthralled and always stunned by the depths to which Mr. Scorsese was willing to travel. The Departed is a brilliant, important, moving cinematic expression of the poetry and tragedy in man's heart of darkness.