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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
936 ( 321)
6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Martorano (as W Earl Brown)


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


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


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:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pacto criminal  »


Box Office


$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The third Boston-based film in which Kevin Bacon plays a law enforcement officer. The others are Mystic River (2003) and R.I.P.D. (2013). See more »


John and Billy both say that if they could have any baseball player it would be Gary Carter, catcher for Montreal. In 1975, Boston's catcher was Carlton Risk, who would retire with more home runs than any catcher in history. If the Sox needed to improve any position, it wasn't catcher. Fisk made the Hall of Fame on his second ballot. Carter got in on his sixth ballot. See more »


[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 »


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


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

Boring, uninspired crime drama
20 September 2015 | by See all my reviews

I don't usually write reviews but I felt compelled to inform others about how awful this film was. And I want to prefice this by saying I love crime films and have seen the greats such as Goodfellas, the Godfather, and The Departed but this was just drivel.

Let's start with the acting: Johnny Depp plays Boston crime lord James "Whitey" Bulger and reveals virtually nothing about the character he plays aside from the violent actions he portrays. The supporting cast does nothing to make this a compelling story either with the exception of Joel Edgerton's John Connolly as a street-wise kid turned FBI agent loyal to Bulger's cause.

The pacing and dialogue are also the biggest culprits here. The film develops slowly leaving the watcher wondering if it will ever pick up to an emotional crescendo with only to find out the ride is as monotonous as your daily drive. Moreover, the dialogue feels like students taking turns reading out of a textbook. I know that the film is a biographic one but there's no need to have it feel as though you're reading a Wikipedia article.

Likewise, the musical score tries to underpin the uneasy feel of the movie but only works to put the viewer to sleep with its two tone rise and fall. None of the cinematography and shots of the scenes work to create anything worth capturing attention. There are shots of Southie that do convey the bleak outlook of Bulger's turf but they are few and far between as the film mostly focuses on the boring and uninspired dialogue and setting the actors are captured in such as living rooms, offices, dark bars, and car interiors.

If I was to summarize watching this film with an analogy I would describe it as eating and tasting a cardboard box.

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