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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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5 wins & 20 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

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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) (18 September 2015)

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jesse Plemons gained weight for his role as Kevin Weeks. Producers of the television series Fargo (2014), his next project, asked him to keep the weight on. He portrays a character who is a butcher by profession. 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 ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode #44.11 (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
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User Reviews

 
"Black Mass" is all but Great
20 September 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I try not to get my hopes up too much for certain movies, and "Black Mass" (which I got very excited about) just reminds me why.

Oh, Scott Cooper... how did you manage to make one of the most twisted, unusual, and mysterious gangster stories into an emotionless web of a film? From acting to editing, there was so much wrong that it's almost surprising.

My main issue was the nonexistence of a certain necessity: stakes. In all great mafia flicks, stakes are essential. Would "Goodfellas" have been as remarkable if it didn't feel like any wrong move would set off a universe-ending set of events? Would the "Godfather" have been considered the greatest film of all time if a war wasn't seconds away from breaking out? "Black Mass" managed to keep a story that easily could've had those steaks from having any at all. This was, of course, caused by the emotionless acting, but more on that in a second. But this film really made me not care if the protagonist (whether you consider that to be Bulger or Connolly) lives or dies; and in a mob movie, that is a worse crime than anything committed on screen.

So the acting I blame entirely on Cooper. Every single actor did a great job with what they were given, but the problem is that they were given the wrong thing. For example, Depp was probably told to play a silent yet psychotic, friendly yet intimidating crime lord. Did he do that well? Absolutely. Is that who the character was written as? Not at all. Same goes for Joel Edgerton's - who I thought did the best job out of all of the actors - character, Jesse Plemons' character, and even smaller characters like Adam Scott's. All those actors did well, but not in the right parts.

The list goes on with issues, so let's talk about why the movie got 2 stars rather than zero (therefore, let's talk about the positives). I've heard some critics discuss the overuse of violence in the film. Though there is quite a bit of violence, I thought it was used very tastefully. No blood was used where it didn't seem necessary, and personally, I think that the violence becomes numbing, which takes us even further into the mob guys' mentality on murder. Also, I thought the shooting locations were very well chosen, as they really captured the narrow-mindedness of the lead characters' lives.

So should you see this movie? -If you love mafia movies of any shape or size, then go see it. -If you love Johnny Depp, wait until it comes out on demand. -If you don't love mafia movies, haven't seen many mafia movies, or just have none of the listed qualities above, then don't see this film.


71 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Boston Accents bcubedgirl
Johnny Depp should-at the very least-be nominated. JoshWhoLovesMovies
Too many F bombs shayd1984
Depp playing Liotta playing Bulger... Shazam-O
Was anyone else disappointed? mnk277
Severely disappointed pure-conscience
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