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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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5 wins & 21 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:

Keep your enemies close. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,635,037 (USA) (18 September 2015)

Gross:

$62,563,543 (USA) (27 November 2015)
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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

The main meaning of the term "black mass" is a ritual in witchcraft or satanism that is an inversion of the Catholic Church's traditional Mass, for the purposes of evil instead of good. Nearly all of the criminals depicted in this movie (including the Irish mobsters, the Italian mafiosi with whom they were feuding, and FBI agent John Connolly, who was abetting Bulger) were Catholics, even though their murderous activities were in direct opposition to the values taught by the Catholic Church. The title is also a play on the color-themed nickname of its main character, and a nod to the corruption endemic to the city and state in which the story is set (since Mass. is an old-style postal abbreviation for Massachusetts). See more »

Goofs

One report shown on screen refers to Newton High School. Newton, Massachusetts has had two high schools since 1960: Newton North and Newton South, although Newton High School was renamed Newton North High School in 1974. 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

References The Godfather: Part II (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Bring Me Down
Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin
Performed by The Animals
Courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Depp is Great...Movie Itself? Not So Much.
25 September 2015 | by (Panama City, Florida, United States) – See all my reviews

Black Mass serves as a nice redemption for the floundering career of Johnny Depp, who has leaned more on quirky voices and loud makeup than his actual skills in recent years. His portrayal of mob boss Whitey Bulger is a powerhouse performance and easily his best since he first introduced the world to Jack Sparrow. It's too bad the movie as a whole doesn't fair quite as well. Despite a great cast and some interestingly insane source material, somehow a movie about one of America's most infamous criminals feels more like small claims court. Director Cooper focuses his narrative on Bulger's less-than-legal partnership with the FBI. It's a fascinatingly close-knit community we witness (agents, felons, politicians, and families alike) in which loyalty and corruption go hand-in-hand. It's a grimy yet quiet 70's-feel gangster film that engages its audience nearly as much as it reminds them of better films. Therein lies its big problem: What is Black Mass offering that hasn't already been perfected in other gangster films? Unfortunately, instead of a true movie-making vision, it's like a guy watched every crime drama from the last 40 years and just spit out a less-interesting copycat. Not that a counterfeit of something great can't still have its positives: the score is beautiful and the performances from the top-notch cast around Depp are nearly as superb as his, all of whom nail the oft-parodied Bostonian accent with aplomb. But with too many side plots to juggle, not enough cohesion to the storytelling, and an unfortunate lack of auteur vision, Black Mass just can't stand against the great American crime films of yore (Chinatown, Godfather, Goodfellas).


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