10 Must-See Movies Like The Departed

By Published On: June 6, 2024Last Updated: June 5, 20242785 words14 min read

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Movies Like The Departed

Step into the turbulent realm of Martin Scorsese’s mind-bending opus, “The Departed.” This 2006 crime epic, steeped in duplicity and treachery, earned widespread acclaim owing to Scorsese’s visionary direction and a cast that delivered intense performances. Against the backdrop of Boston’s gritty underbelly, this exhilarating journey leaves audiences gasping for breath and yearning for more.

Prepare for an exhilarating journey through cinematic pandemonium with our curated selection of films that share a twisted affinity with “The Departed.” Brace yourself for tales of crime, corruption, and the unparalleled madness that only Scorsese and his ilk can evoke.

From frenzied gangland sagas to mind-altering psychological dramas, these cinematic gems will challenge your perception of reality and plunge you into a whirlwind of madness.

Hellish Heist and Hong Kong Hijinks

Plunge into the murky depths of deceit and betrayal with “Infernal Affairs,” the pulse-pounding Hong Kong thriller that ignited Scorsese’s creative fervor for “The Departed.” Originally released in 2002 and directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, “Infernal Affairs” follows the gripping tale of undercover cop Yan and triad member Ming, who infiltrate each other’s organizations. As tension mounts, both men must navigate treacherous waters, balancing their dual lives while trying to uncover the mole in their midst. The film’s relentless pacing, intricate plot twists, and morally ambiguous characters laid the groundwork for Scorsese’s adaptation, making “Infernal Affairs” a must-watch for fans of gripping crime dramas. Watch if you crave the intricate intrigue of “The Departed” with an Eastern twist.

Mafia Mayhem and Marlon’s Moxie

Immerse yourself in the visceral drama and underworld chaos of “The Godfather,” where notions of loyalty are tested, and madness lurks in every shadow. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1972, “The Godfather” is a landmark in cinematic history, adapted from Mario Puzo’s novel. The film chronicles the Corleone crime family’s patriarch, Vito Corleone, played masterfully by Marlon Brando, and his reluctant son, Michael, portrayed by Al Pacino. As the family navigates the treacherous world of organized crime, themes of power, honor, and betrayal resonate throughout every scene. Brando’s iconic performance, complete with his raspy voice and brooding presence, solidifies him as one of cinema’s most legendary figures. Pacino’s transformation from a reluctant outsider to a ruthless leader adds layers of complexity to the film’s narrative. From the infamous horse head scene to the chilling “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” line, “The Godfather” is a cinematic tour de force that continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Dive into this epic saga if you relish tales of familial bonds entwined with raw power struggles.

Shivers and Shouts with Jack’s Jamboree

Descend into the chilling abyss of “The Shining,” where Jack Nicholson’s haunting portrayal will linger in your nightmares. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on Stephen King’s novel, this 1980 psychological horror film is a masterpiece of tension and terror. Set in the isolated Overlook Hotel during winter, the film follows Jack Torrance, played by Nicholson, as he succumbs to the malevolent forces lurking within the hotel’s walls. Nicholson’s performance as the increasingly unhinged Torrance is iconic, with his manic expressions and menacing delivery elevating the film to legendary status. The eerie ambiance, coupled with Kubrick’s meticulous attention to detail, creates an atmosphere of dread that permeates every frame. From the haunting visuals of the ghostly twin girls to the infamous “Here’s Johnny!” scene, “The Shining” is a chilling descent into madness that continues to terrify audiences decades after its release. Enter this realm of psychological intrigue if you crave films that toy with your perceptions and leave you questioning reality long after the credits roll.

Insane Investigations and Island Intrigue

Embark on a mind-altering odyssey with “Shutter Island,” a 2010 psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese. Adapted from Dennis Lehane’s novel, this film is a labyrinth of mystery and madness set in the foreboding Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a riveting performance as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who, along with his partner Chuck Aule (played by Mark Ruffalo), investigates the disappearance of a patient from the island. As the investigation unfolds, Daniels finds himself ensnared in a web of secrets and deception, his sanity called into question. Scorsese masterfully blurs the lines between reality and illusion, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats until the shocking conclusion. The film’s atmospheric cinematography, haunting score, and intricate plot twists contribute to its immersive experience. “Shutter Island” is a gripping exploration of the human psyche, delving into themes of guilt, trauma, and the nature of reality. Enter this cinematic enigma if you savor narratives woven from intricate plots and twisted realities, where every clue leads deeper into the darkness of the mind.

Mob Madness and the Mark of De Niro

Immerse yourself in “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama released in 2019. Adapted from Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” the film stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who becomes involved with the Bufalino crime family. Al Pacino portrays notorious union leader Jimmy Hoffa, while Joe Pesci delivers a captivating performance as mob boss Russell Bufalino. Set against the backdrop of post-war America, “The Irishman” spans decades, chronicling Sheeran’s rise through the ranks of organized crime and his involvement in the disappearance of Hoffa.

What sets “The Irishman” apart is Scorsese’s masterful direction and the seamless integration of cutting-edge de-aging technology, which allows the actors to portray their characters over several decades. The film’s sprawling narrative unfolds like a tapestry of mob intrigue, exploring themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the cost of redemption. As Sheeran reflects on his life from a nursing home, the audience is drawn into a world of violence, power, and moral ambiguity.

“The Irishman” is a testament to Scorsese’s enduring talent and the cinematic legacy of its stars. With its sprawling cast of characters and epic scope, the film offers a compelling glimpse into the shadowy world of organized crime. Watch “The Irishman” if you crave epic stories of loyalty, betrayal, and the inexorable march of time in the criminal underworld.

Scarface and Sinister Seductions

In the intoxicating allure of “Scarface,” Brian De Palma’s iconic crime drama released in 1983. The film follows the rise and fall of Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant who claws his way to the top of Miami’s drug trade. Al Pacino delivers a tour de force performance as Montana, capturing the character’s ruthless ambition and descent into madness with electrifying intensity.

Set against the backdrop of 1980s Miami, “Scarface” is a feverish exploration of the American Dream gone awry. Montana’s insatiable hunger for power and wealth drives him to commit increasingly heinous acts, leading to his inevitable downfall. The film’s chainsaw scene and quotable lines have cemented its status as a cult classic, while its themes of greed, violence, and corruption continue to resonate with audiences today.

What sets “Scarface” apart is its unflinching portrayal of the dark underbelly of the American Dream. De Palma’s stylish direction and Pacino’s magnetic performance elevate the film beyond mere gangster fare, turning it into a compelling character study of one man’s ruthless pursuit of power. “Scarface” remains as relevant as ever, a cautionary tale about the seductive allure of wealth and the destructive nature of unchecked ambition.

Experience the excess and ambition of “Scarface” for yourself, and delve into a world where morality is a luxury few can afford. Watch if you crave intense character studies and a front-row seat to the rise and fall of a criminal empire.

Casino Chaos and Pesci’s Pandemonium

Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of 1970s Las Vegas with Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama, “Casino.” Released in 1995, the film offers a gripping glimpse into the inner workings of the Mafia’s control over Sin City.

Based on the true story of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and his tenure as the manager of the Tangiers Casino, “Casino” stars Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a professional gambler tasked with overseeing the operations of the fictional Tangiers. Joe Pesci delivers a powerhouse performance as Nicky Santoro, Ace’s volatile childhood friend and enforcer for the Chicago Outfit.

What separates ” Casino ” is its meticulous attention to detail and Scorsese’s masterful direction. The film captures the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas while also delving into the darker aspects of organized crime. From the intricacies of casino management to the brutal violence of the Mob, “Casino” paints a vivid portrait of a city built on greed and corruption.

One of the film’s standout sequences is the infamous “head in a vise” scene, where Pesci’s character interrogates a man suspected of being a government informant. The scene is a testament to Pesci’s ability to portray charm and menace, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats.

“Casino” also features stellar performances from Sharon Stone as Ginger McKenna, Ace’s troubled wife, and James Woods as Lester Diamond, Ginger’s former lover and a thorn in Ace’s side. Stone earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Ginger, showcasing her range as an actress.

Overall, “Casino” is a gripping tale of ambition, betrayal, and the high stakes of life in the Mafia. Scorsese’s direction, coupled with standout performances from the cast, makes it a must-watch for fans of crime dramas. So, if you’re ready to experience the thrill of the gamble and the gritty realities of organized crime, place your bets on “Casino.”

Suspect Shenanigans and Söze’s Secrets

Welcome to the enigmatic world of “The Usual Suspects,” a gripping crime thriller that keeps audiences guessing until the end. Directed by Bryan Singer and released in 1995, this film is renowned for its intricate plot, unexpected twists, and memorable characters.

Roger “Verbal” Kint, played by Kevin Spacey, is the story’s center. Kint is a small-time con artist embroiled in a tangled web of crime and deception. As Kint recounts the events leading up to a deadly shootout and explosion on a cargo ship, the audience is drawn into a labyrinth of mystery and intrigue.

One of the film’s most compelling aspects is its nonlinear narrative structure, which keeps viewers on their toes as they piece together clues and revelations. The plot unfolds through Kint’s interrogation by Special Agent Dave Kujan, portrayed by Chazz Palminteri, adding tension and suspense.

The film’s ensemble cast delivers standout performances, including Gabriel Byrne as Dean Keaton, a former corrupt police officer; Benicio del Toro as Fenster, a hot-headed thief; and Kevin Pollak as Todd Hockney, a skilled hijacker. Each character brings a unique perspective to the story, adding depth and complexity to the narrative.

One of the most iconic elements of “The Usual Suspects” is its enigmatic antagonist, Keyser Söze, a mysterious and elusive criminal mastermind. Söze looms large over the film, driving the characters’ actions and motivations. The revelation of Söze’s true identity is a jaw-dropping moment that has become legendary in cinematic history.

The film’s twist ending is a testament to the power of storytelling and the art of deception. It’s a masterstroke that leaves audiences reeling and eager to revisit the film to uncover the clues they may have missed.

In conclusion, “The Usual Suspects” is a cinematic tour de force that rewards repeat viewings with its intricate plot, stellar performances, and unforgettable twists. Whether you’re a crime thrillers fan or enjoy a good mystery, this film will captivate and intrigue you. So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey into the heart of darkness, join the lineup of “The Usual Suspects” and prepare to be dazzled.

Gangster Grit and Goodfellas’ Grandeur

Welcome to the gritty underworld of “Goodfellas,” a riveting crime epic directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1990. This film is based on the true story of Henry Hill, a former mobster turned informant and his rise and fall within the New York Mafia.

“Goodfellas” offers viewers an immersive look into the inner workings of organized crime, from the exhilarating highs of wealth and power to the devastating lows of betrayal and downfall. At the heart of the story is Henry Hill, portrayed by Ray Liotta, whose journey from wide-eyed outsider to seasoned mobster serves as a gripping narrative thread.

One of the film’s most compelling aspects is its frenetic pacing and kinetic energy, which propels the story forward with relentless momentum. Scorsese’s masterful direction and Thelma Schoonmaker’s razor-sharp editing create a sense of urgency and immediacy that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

“Goodfellas” boasts an ensemble cast of unforgettable characters, including Robert De Niro as James Conway, a seasoned and ruthless gangster; Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, a volatile and unpredictable enforcer; and Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill, Henry’s wife who becomes entangled in the criminal underworld.

One of the film’s most iconic sequences is the famous “Copacabana tracking shot,” in which Henry escorts Karen through the back entrance of the nightclub, weaving through crowded kitchens and bustling hallways before finally arriving at their table. This virtuoso display of filmmaking prowess showcases Scorsese’s talent for creating immersive and dynamic visuals.

“Goodfellas” is also known for its groundbreaking use of voiceover narration. In this device, Henry Hill provides insight into the inner workings of the Mafia and offers his perspective on key events. This narrative device adds depth and complexity to the story, allowing viewers to see the world through Henry’s eyes as he navigates the treacherous waters of organized crime.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring an eclectic mix of classic rock and pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s, further enhances the mood and atmosphere of each scene. From the pulsating rhythms of The Rolling Stones to the haunting melodies of Tony Bennett, the music of “Goodfellas” serves as a powerful storytelling tool.

In conclusion, “Goodfellas” is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its electrifying performances, stylish direction, and gripping narrative. Whether you’re a fan of crime dramas or simply appreciate the art of filmmaking, this iconic film is a must-watch. So, grab a seat at the table and immerse yourself in the world of “Goodfellas” for an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness.

Shark Tales and Silly Shenanigans

“Dive” into the colorful underwater world of “Shark Tale,” an animated adventure-comedy film released in 2004, directed by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, and Rob Letterman. While “Shark Tale” may seem like an unlikely addition to a list of films like “The Departed,” it offers a unique twist on the themes of crime and deception, albeit in a more family-friendly setting.

The film takes place in the bustling metropolis of Reef City, where fish live in a vibrant underwater community reminiscent of New York City. At the center of the story is Oscar, a small but ambitious fish voiced by Will Smith, who dreams of making it big and becoming a “somebody” in the eyes of his peers.

Oscar’s aspirations lead him to concoct a series of elaborate lies and schemes, which inadvertently thrust him into the spotlight as a “shark slayer” and a hero to the underwater populace. However, as Oscar’s web of deception grows, so too does the danger of his lies being exposed and the consequences that come with them.

One of the film’s standout features is its star-studded voice cast, which includes Jack Black as the eccentric vegetarian shark Lenny, Robert De Niro as the ruthless mob boss Don Lino, and Angelina Jolie as the seductive lionfish Lola. Each actor brings unique charm and personality to their respective roles, adding depth and humor to the film’s ensemble cast.

“Shark Tale” also features stunning animation and vibrant visuals that bring the underwater world to life in dazzling detail. From the bustling coral reefs to the towering skyscrapers of Reef City, the film’s animation is both immersive and visually stunning, capturing the imagination of audiences of all ages.

Beyond its comedic antics and colorful characters, “Shark Tale” explores deeper themes of friendship, identity, and self-discovery. As Oscar grapples with his insecurities and the consequences of his actions, he learns valuable lessons about honesty, integrity, and the true meaning of success.

In conclusion, while “Shark Tale” may not be a traditional crime drama like “The Departed,” it offers a fresh and entertaining take on themes of deception and ambition in a family-friendly package. With its charming characters, witty humor, and heartwarming message, “Shark Tale” will delight audiences of all ages and make a splash in their hearts. So, grab some popcorn and “dive” into the whimsical world of “Shark Tale” for an adventure you won’t soon forget!

Following this guide, you’ll immerse yourself in a cinematic universe teeming with the chaos, intrigue, and sheer thrill of “The Departed.” Each film offers a unique lens through which to explore themes of deception, loyalty, and the precarious balance between sanity and madness. Enjoy the journey!