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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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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John Martorano (as W Earl Brown)
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Storyline

Based on a true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, an Irish Mob godfather and a 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 theft 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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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pacto criminal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,635,037, 20 September 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$62,575,678

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$99,775,678
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The project was shelved after Johnny Depp dropped out. After Depp agreed to return, Joel Edgerton was unavailable. Edgerton returned in the role in the end. See more »

Goofs

Al's Liquor in South Boston features a mural of Dropkick Murphys, a band that formed in 1996. The mural was created in summer 2000. 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 The Simpsons: The Town (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Christmas Song
Written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells
Performed by Dexter Gordon
Courtesy of Concord Music Group, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Black Mass is a decent film, but it could have been great.
21 September 2015 | by 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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