Although a remake of the equally brilliant 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller film Infernal Affairs, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is just a treat to watch. The whole story is sharply produced where Scorsese places the Irish-American mobster Frank Costello and his organised criminal syndicate against the Massachusetts State Police. William Monahan, the writer strikes gold by introducing two moles who look to provide information to the criminal syndicate and the police department.
With Leonardo DiCaprio enacting William “Billy” Costigan, Jr., the mole for Massachusetts State Police and Matt Damon donning the role of Staff Sgt. Colin Sullivan, the mole for Jack Nicholson’s Francis “Frank” Costello, the movie was loosely based on the infamous gangster Whitey Bulger and his protégée, the corrupt FBI agent John Connolly. The 2006 film was a critical and commercial success. Here’s the list of movies similar to The Departed that we are our recommendations. You can watch several movies like The Departed on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. American Gangster (2007)
A biographical crime epic based on the life of Frank Lucas, portrayed expertly by Denzel Washington. A crime lord out of Harlem who for years imported heroin into the US in the coffins of dead young soldiers. We watch Lucas move up the criminal chain ruthlessly. Taking what he wants with force, bringing his entire family close to him to work for him because he trusts no one. Hot on his trial are the narcotics squad, led by job obsessed Russell Crowe, who will not rest until he brings Lucas down.
It is a big, sprawling film that moves about the world. From the stifling streets of Vietnam to the colorful Harlem ghetto, to the hot jungles of Cambodia. All of it anchored by a superb performance from Washington and an equally good one by Crowe, each knowing that at some point they are going to go toe to toe with one another.
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9. Casino (1995)
Martin Scorsese is the pioneers of gangster flicks and this movie just prove his worth. Upon its release in 1995, Casino seemed quite similar to Goodfellas but became a film of its own kind. Depicting the extraordinary and extravagant life imbued with materialism and dirty politics. Casino is a brilliant sketch of the Las Vegas lifestyle in the 90’s. The lead cast of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone masterfully encapsulated the different characters. A picture perfect casino owner, a frightening “nut-job” and a self-absorbed narcissistic woman.
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8. The Untouchables (1987)
The Untouchables was an instant hit among the audience when released in 1987. Placing Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness against Robert De Niro’s Al Capone, the film chronicles Ness’ efforts to bring Copane down in the infamous Prohibition era. The story centers De Niro as the central antagonist. The film stands out from the others by using the judicial system as the primal villain which is corrupted by the mob.
The movie did receive several scathing reviews though, particularly for De Niro’s accent in the film. However, Connery’s impeccable performance as the righteous cop was well received. He earned the Academy Award for Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
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7. Scarface (1983)
One of the most gritty and bloody movies, Scarface is a story about an exiled Cuban criminal who rises to be the top drug kingpin in 1980s Miami. The Brian De Palma film is often attributed by filmmakers as Martin Scorsese has a major influence in the genre of mob films. Starring Al Pacino, the film was presented by the actor himself after watching the 1932 film of the same name. The film paid focus on the drug trafficking, primarily cocaine and the rising violence in America.
Al Pacino perfectly captured the essence of the loud-mouthed and short-tempered Tony Montana who could be a merciless as Satan himself. Who forgets his “Say hello to my little friend” send which haunted everyone with over-the-top gun violence? The initial critical comments were pretty poor . Many considered the vehemence, profanity and graphic drug usage quite unnecessary.
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6. Pulp Fiction (1994)
The proudly disreputable Pulp Fiction is the King Kong of crime movies. It is at least three movies rolled into one. The writing is top-notch, providing some of the most hilarious and brilliant lines ever put into a film. The overall charm of the film is astounding. John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson create two of the most beloved characters in cinema. A burger-loving hit man, his philosophical partner, a drug-addled gangster’s moll and a washed-up boxer converge in this sprawling, comedic crime caper. Their adventures unfurl in three stories that ingeniously trip back and forth in time.
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