The Departed (Steelbook): 4K UHD Review

Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is probably one of my favorite films from the early 2000’s. Released in 2006, the Boston-set crime-thriller is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs and features a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen and Vera Farmiga. This week, The Departed arrives on 4K UHD for the first time.

Colin Sullivan (Damon) and Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) are both recent graduates of the Boston Police Academy. Sullivan joins the Special Investigation Unit right out of the academy, which happens to be the unit trying to take down Irish Mob boss, Frank Costello (Nicholson). What the department is not aware of is that Sullivan has been groomed by Costello to be a spy inside the Massachusetts State Police. Costigan on the other hand is told by Captain Queenan (Sheen) and Sergeant Dignam (Wahlberg) that he will never be a cop due to his personal history and family connections to organized crime. However, the Captain and Sergeant convince Costigan to go undercover as a criminal within Costello’s organization.

While Costigan is working on earning Costello’s trust and the trust of the other members of the crime organization, Sullivan is working hard at trying to throw a wrench into each attempt to nail Costello. Each spy is under a lot of pressure and if ether of them screw up, there could be deadly consequences. Costello, after all isn’t a very forgiving man. Once the Mob and the Police realize that there is a mole embedded within each of their organizations, things get even more dire. Costigan is terrified that he will be found out and killed at anytime and Sullivan has basically been put in charge of finding the mole (himself).

The Departed is a hugely entertaining thriller that is elevated by a great cast and direction.  While it may be a couple notches below films like Goodfellas and Casino, it is still a great addition to the filmmaker’s gangster centered filmography. The 4K remaster of The Departed was completed at Warner Bros Discovery’s Motion Picture Imaging with the participation of the film’s Academy Award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. This new 2160p with HDR10 transfer looks truly great. While the original Blu-ray which I have had since the introduction of the Blu-ray format already looked quite strong, the new 4K disk is a significant improvement. Close-ups are much more detailed, especially when it comes to facial features and skin-tones. The Boston locations also pop more. The multiple Boston locations also look great and incredibly detailed.  As for audio, we get the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and that’s really all that is needed since there isn’t a whole lot of action here. The Departed is a dialogue driven film. However, it does feature some great rock classics as well in the soundtrack. While most of the bonus features have been ported over to the 4K disk, we do get a brand-new featurette, called Guilt and Betrayal: Looking into The Departed. As mentioned before, I love this film and highly recommend picking up this upgrade here for any Scorsese fans.

Bonus Features:

  • Guilt and Betrayal: Looking into The Departed (new)
  • Stranger than Fiction: The True Story of Whitey Bulger, Southie, and The Departed
  • Crossing Criminal Cultures
  • 9 Deleted Scenes with introductions by Martin Scorsese

By: Marc Ferman