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Black Mass (2015)

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The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

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6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Morris
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Fred Wyshak
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John Martorano (as W Earl Brown)
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John Callahan
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Storyline

Based on a true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, an Irish Mob godfather and FBI informant who had a "secret trading" deal with his brother, William "Billy" Bulger, a state senator and a Boston public figure, and John Connolly, an FBI agent. They planned to take down the Italian mob and mafia in Boston, which went awry and things turned massively violent. When the credence for each other began fading out, drug dealing, murders, and extortion started to rise, and forced the FBI's Boston office to confirm that Whitey Bulger was one of the most notorious criminals in US history and also one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List criminals. Written by Gusde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pacto criminal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,635,037 (USA) (20 September 2015)

Gross:

$62,575,678 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark Mahoney was cast as Mickey Maloney on the strength of his performance in Blood Ties (2013), without reading or auditioning for the role. According to Executive Producer James Packer, The Venice Beach tattoo artist, scenester, and owner of the Shamrock Social Club was "audacious, to say the least", requesting a very high salary for his relatively minor role. Scott Cooper insisted on hammering out an agreement with Mahoney, partly because of frustration with constant difficulties securing key cast members, and partly because "the amount of money he demanded, and the manner in which he demanded it, was in some ways the best audition I've ever seen! It reminded me why I wanted him for the part in the first place!" In his downtime during shooting, Mahoney would put a shamrock tattoo on any member of the cast and crew who wanted one. See more »

Goofs

The fight between Whitey Bulger and Tommy King at Triple O's was diffused by Tommy's friend Buddy Leonard. Tommy is subsequently murdered and a few scenes later Buddy is found dead in the front seat of a car. In reality Buddy was murdered before the altercation at Triple O's and his death, while accurate, was the real reason Tommy attacked Bulger.

before the alteration

Buddy Leonard is shown dead in the front seat of a car in a scene that takes place after the murder Tommy King. In reality Leonard was murdered first and his death was the reason King got into a confrontation with Whitey Bulger at Triple O's bar. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kevin Weeks: Before we start, I want you to kow something. I'm not a rat. You understand? I want that on record before we start.
DEA Agent Eric Olsen: Okay. You are not a rat. And it's on record. Mr. Weeks, the charges against you, racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, and accomplice to murder, are very serious. Am I correct in stating that you are here today to make a deal with the federal government?
Kevin Weeks: Correct.
DEA Agent Eric Olsen: And am I correct in stating that you are going from trusted confidant to one of South Boston's most ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the actors are listed, pictures and footage of the real people they portrayed are shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 23 September 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Not My Cross to Bear
Written by Gregg Allman
Performed by The Allman Brothers Band
Courtesy of Island Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Black Mass is a decent film, but it could have been great.
21 September 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Black Mass: A Near Miss

'Black Mass' is another is a line of crime dramas set in Boston. The film will inevitable be compared to 'The Departed.' And it falls short in the comparison. The acting is top rate, and Depp is much better, not as hammy, than the comic portrait of a crime boss by Nicholson in 'The Departed.' Depp is genuinely threatening in the film and the make-up job given him in the film adds to the fright.

'Black Mass' has the look of a 70s television show, and that works in its favor. In fact, the overall look of the film is exquisite. That, and the acting, are the two best things in the film. However, the movie is both too much and not enough.

'Black Mass' tries to cover too much and thus it lacks focus. This is where 'The Departed' succeeds. While 'The Departed' has many layers and character, it has a focus: the Southie, Billy. 'Black Mass' doesn't have a main theme, a main character, a main protagonist or antagonist. There are a bunch of characters in tense situations with some irony and symbolism. However, in the end, there is nothing to hold onto, no lessons, no emotions, love or hate, for any characters.

As I was watching, both my film buddy and I thought the same thing: Scorsese could have made this story work with his writing and directing. We also thought that in an era of long- form television that it could have made a great 10-20 episode show. Then it could have gone into depth about the childhood relationships between crime boss Bulger, his FBI friend Connolly and Whitey's brother, State Senator Billy Bulger.

As miniseries, it could have more deeply explored the racial tensions between the Irish and Italians with the African Americans stuck in the middle. It could have taken a deeper look into Boston politics and corruption, police corruption, and more. The miniseries could have also gone further into the Irish American funding of the IRA. As it was, it touched on each of those issues in an unsatisfactory fashion. If the film had taken a deeper look into any ONE of those themes, it would have made for a better movie.

Rating: Matinée

For the great look and outstanding acting, I suggest you see it on the big screen. Otherwise, wait for the miniseries. Hey, a man can dream.

Peace, Tex Shelters


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