The Departed is one of Martin Scorsese’s most successful films, considering he got a Best Director Oscar at the Academy Awards – it might even be his best. To be fair, he very much deserved it. This crime thriller brings the two not-so-distant worlds of crime and punishment together in some harmonious fashion. The common denominator in most films is that the main characters generally don’t die, but it seems as though Scorsese didn’t mind hiding an Easter egg (or five).
The Letter X is well-known as a universal symbol for death, and Scorsese used that to his advantage. There are almost too many scenes to count for the ingenious placement of X’s throughout the film. In the most subtle of ways, an X can be seen as crossbeams, shadows, floor tiles, and even sticky tape markings on the wall. These X’s act as a lurking symbol of death to those who choose to not live within the law.