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The Absolute Best 5 Lines From The Departed

An argument can be made for these best lines from The Departed.

This will definitely be something my wife will never read because she hears enough of these quotes at home and if there was ever a cause for divorce….it’s how often Frank Costello’s words are spoken in my home. This film is without question one of my favorites of all time and should be widely considered one of the best of all time if it isn’t already. Yes, this film is a remake of a 2002 Chinese film called Infernal Affairs, but I believe it’s safe to say this star-studded cast and brilliant filmmaker made the more memorable of the two. This classic gangster/police film dives very deep into realistic relationships, personal demons, rat impostors, and brutal betrayals. Without further ado, let’s revisit the best lines to come out of Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece.

WARNING: Spoilers and adult language ahead.

5. During a stakeout Sargent Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) is made aware of the blind spot in their hidden cameras while trying to catch Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) in the middle of an illegal deal with a Chinese gangster.

The FBI’s IT man is not thrilled with everyone’s reaction and looks right to Marky-Mark with this question. Dignam’s response is classic:

This is probably the nicest thing Dignam says throughout the entire film.

4. During an FBI briefing, Dignam and Ellerby (Alec Baldwin) are addressing the rest of the special teams unit in bringing down Costello. When asked if Dignam currently had a spy in league with Costello, his response was short, sweet, and straight to the point.

This line is a much better example of his attitude throughout the film entirely.

3. When Billy (Leonardo DiCaprio) approaches the bar, he’s asked what he’d like to drink and he orders a cranberry juice. The Irishman on the stool next to him explains to the bartender that cranberry juice is a natural diuretic and that his girlfriend drinks it when it’s her time of the month.

Of course Billy doesn’t take the comment well, smashes a glass over the man’s head and a fight ensues.

2. One of my personal favorites is when Ellerby gets over-excited about the Patriot Act and smokes a cigarette to celebrate it.

This specific line is brought to life by Alec Baldwin. On paper, the line isn’t that funny but the way he delivers the line and the little smile at the end makes this a priceless one-liner in the middle of a sting.

1. After a rough loss to their rival Boston fire department, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and Barrigan (James Badge Dale) walk away from them with their heads high, but Colin isn’t taking the loss well.

He continued to sulk over the loss for a while later and still voiced his opinion to Barrigan.

This film is rich with great lines and memorable moments so I know this list is completely subjective. What are some of your favorites? Let us know!


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I'm a (mainly) Chicago sports fan, a total gym rat and all-things-geek enthusiast. I cover the Chicago Bears and MMA/UFC for OnTapSportsNet. Gaming, movies, TV shows, books, and bodybuilding/strongman are some of my passions. I'm also an ambassador for Axe and Sledge supplements. Best supplements on the market, use BOADWAY10 for 10% off your purchase.

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