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18 Enthralling Movies Like the Departed: Thrillers You Have to Watch

Updated on June 26, 2020
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

Do you like films that change their tune pretty fast? Do you like films where the bad guys are not portrayed as some mindless junkies who murder people for fun?

Of course, you do. If you’re here, it means you were looking for movies like The Departed, and you found this page. With a cast loaded with some of the brightest and best actors in the world and an intriguing storyline that kept everyone on the edge of their seats, there is no doubt that The Departed has won many fans over the last couple of years. If you’re here for some similar films, you won't be disappointed. Take a look.

The Usual Suspects

Seldom do you find those movies where you kind of have an idea that there is a huge twist incoming and you’re still taken aback when the truth comes out. The Usual Suspect is one of those rare gems, telling a story of Keyser Söze, a legendary mastermind criminal who never forgives those wronging him.

Five conmen are brought in as suspects. It turns out, though, that none of them is guilty. There is one other thing that’s common amongst them – they’ve wronged Keyser at some point of their lives. Everything leads up to a gun battle on a hip, killing 27 men. The only survivor on the ship is brought in later on, who tells the police what really transpired over there.

The question is – Who is Keyser Söze? Is he the one who killed them? The suspense unfolds, leaving the audience in shock and amazement.

If you’re looking for some good movies like The Departed, give The Usual Suspects a shot.


Dae-Suis is your average, ordinary person with a normal, happy life. His life takes a drastic turn when he finds himself kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. The food arrives on time. There is just enough op survive. But he’s never told why he’s he imprisoned in the first place. When they finally release him, it turns out that he must find his captor within 5 days. Would he finally learn why he was kept all these years? Who was behind it?

Again, I won’t spoil anything. Just know that the truth is sinister, depressing and somewhat suffocating. You don’t get to experience movies like The Departed and Oldboy every day. Even if you have a weak stomach, still watch it.


Heat is one of those rare films that nearly three hours long and yet you won’t find any fluff in it. It has gotten a dreamlike feel to it, which keeps you hypnotized all the way through.

The plot revolves around a group of bank robbers who’re good at their jobs. One of their heists, however, goes awry as they leave a clue on the crime scene. It starts a cat and mouse game between the police and the robbers that almost lasts for 180 minutes. Would they get caught?

It’s amazing how the plot really makes you take side of the guilty party. You’d want them to get away with it. The ending is what sticks out the most, though, bringing an end to an epic 3 hours long marathon. At the end of this epic adrenaline-fuelled exercise, you’d feel exhausted for sure. If you’re looking for an epic movie like The Departed, give Heat a shot.


A private detective finds himself in a lot of trouble as soon as he starts investigating an alleged adulterer, finding himself trapped in a web of lies and deceit. It’s hard to describe Chinatown in words. You have to experience it first had to understand why people love it.

The story is simple, yet one that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the movie. It doesn’t rely on too much violence on nudity to draw your attention. A thrilling, gripping plot with some authenticating acting is enough to pull it off.

Ronin - An intense movie like The Departed

5 professionals hired to track down a mysterious package that some are willing to die for and everyone is willing to kill for. It’s wanted by Russians as well as the Irish. What’s inside it that makes it so precious? Chaos and violence ensues as everybody is entangled with each other in their pursuit of the package.

If you’re into flashy action movies like Bad Boys, I’m afraid you are not going to like what this gritty, serious drama has to offer. If you’re looking for something that stays with you for a long time, though, you’d love Ronin. There are backstabbings, double backstabbings and double-double backstabbing. The thickness of the plot might be a turn off for some. Once you wrap your mind around it, however, you’d want to re-watch it.

Gone Baby Gone – One of the best thrillers like The Departed

When two local Boston detectives are hired to find out more about the kidnapping of a 4-year-old girl, they find themselves sucked into this whole affair. As they work through their way to drug-dealers and pimps, they realize that no one is willing to talk at all. Things are not as they appear on surface. With the hopes of the girl’s family resting on the detectives’ shoulders, they risk their lives and delve deep into the mess.

I am trying not to spoil anything here. Saying anything else about the plot would ruin the whole experience. Believe me; you don’t want to know anything about anybody. If you wanna make the best of this incredibly well-made movie, experience it first hand. Avoid all the reviews.

There is no big twist in the story – a recent trend that’s growing like a plague in the movie industry. Rather, a well-layered story unfolds bit by bit, leaving you surprised at the end. Gone Baby Gone is an absolute masterpiece. Don't miss out on it.

The Town

Directed by Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), The Town is a story of a professional robber who falls for a bank manager while doing his job. As FBI zeroes in on his gang, he wants out. His friends, though, want him to do one more job. Is death or jail the only way out?

I would go out on a limb and just say it; it’s one of the best heist movies I have seen in past 7-8 years. The good thing about The Town is that it doesn’t try to do anything too fancy, keeping the story simple yet intriguing enough to hold your attention till the credits role.

With two amazing movie in a row, Ben Affleck has certainly proved his mettle. Here is hoping that he has more surprises in store for us.

If you’re looking for some good thrillers like The Departed, The Town should be right up your alley.

Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco is the story of an FBI undercover agent Agent Joe Pistone who manages to infiltrate the mob. As the days pass by, though, he falls in love with his new lifestyle, ignoring his regular life. The situation only starts getting works, leading to divorce with his wife. Eventually, he stops reporting for work, leading to the termination of his undercover operation. Things only get murkier from there.

The fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more interesting. It’s the relationship dynamics between the two leads that would keep you intrigued till the very end. Give it a shot.

Internal Affairs - An amazing movie like The Departed

Internal Affairs is one of those rare movies that knows how to toy with your emotions; how to make you feel vulnerable and paranoid. it’s a big achievement for any movie.

Richard Gere has outdone himself in the role of a corrupt cop who’s everybody’s friend on the surface. He’s also their worst enemy, manipulating them for his own interests. Well, if the persuasion doesn’t work, he always have other means to get what he wants.

Overall, a thrilling, nail-biting movie that’s worth your time. Give it a hot if you’re looking for some movies like The Departed.


When stars like Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Morgan Freeman work together in a movie, it just can’t go wrong. Of course, a strong, to the point script helps establish Se7en as one of thriller movies in last 10-20 years. Nothing else comes close to beating the level of tension and intrigue it managed to generate in last few moments.

It’s best not to know anything about the plot. Believe me; you want to experience it first-hand. The pace is just about perfect, changing gears at the right times, leading to a sad but satisfying finale. Would they be able to stop the killer? What’s his motive?

With their lives and perhaps, careers at stake, they give everything they have to catch the perpetrator.

Layer Cake - One of the best movies like The Departed

Layer Cake is the story of a successful drug dealer, who is very professional about his business, avoiding all sorts of trouble whole making tones of money. He decides that it’s time to quit before it’s too late. His retirement plan goes awry when his boss assigns him two potentially life-threatening assignments.

Someone who’s not used to taking too many risks, these jobs would certainly introduce him to a whole new world out there. It’s time to use the trust and respect he’s earned amongst the mobsters in his favor. With no moral values or so called mafia family to call his own, he relies to rely on his savvy in an attempt to escape this hellhole once and for all.

Arlington Road

The plot revolves around a widowed man, who’d lost his FBI agent wife in a terrorist operation. When new neighbors arrive, he begins to suspect that there is something wrong with them. The way they act; the way they don’t let him see some parts of their house, it becomes pretty clear to him that it’s not normal. Is he being paranoid or are they terrorists?

A good story, authenticating acting and an attention-grabbing atmosphere – Arlington Road ticks has all the ingredients for a great thriller. If you’re looking for some intense movies like The Departed, it should be your best bet. It’s one of those movies that will stay with you for a very long time.

Honorable mentions – Other movies like The Departed

If you loved The Departed, you’d also like Collateral, Breach, The Edge, Eastern Promises, L.A. Confidential and Millers Crossing. Am I missing out on any other good movies? Let me know in the comments section. I’d include it in here.


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    • Dean Howard profile image


      15 months ago

      These are all great movies! I love a good thriller! Good list here!


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