6.9/10
164,901
337 user 422 critic

Black Mass (2015)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Scott Cooper

Writers:

Mark Mallouk (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,316 ( 263)
6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... James 'Whitey' Bulger
Joel Edgerton ... John Connolly
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Billy Bulger
Dakota Johnson ... Lindsey Cyr
Kevin Bacon ... FBI Agent Charles McGuire
Peter Sarsgaard ... Brian Halloran
Jesse Plemons ... Kevin Weeks
Rory Cochrane ... Stephen Flemmi
David Harbour ... John Morris
Adam Scott ... FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick
Corey Stoll ... Fred Wyshak
Julianne Nicholson ... Marianne Connolly
W. Earl Brown ... John Martorano (as W Earl Brown)
Bill Camp ... John Callahan
Juno Temple ... Deborah Hussey

Johnny Depp Through the Years

Take a look back at Johnny Depp's movie and TV career in photos.

See more Johnny

Edit

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:

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

To make sure Johnny Depp's performance was true to the real James "Whitey" Bulger, Scott Cooper hired some of Bulger's old associates as consultants to the film. Each of them praised Depp's performance, saying, "That's Whitey." See more »

Goofs

When Whitey and his crew are pulled over by a marked Boston patrol car, the cruiser's license plates are solid blue with white letters and the word police written at an angle. At the time, they would have been solid white with blue lettering, like the plates on Whitey's and Connolly's cars. 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 notorious ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Sherlock (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Slave
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of Promotone B.V.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Depp is Great...Movie Itself? Not So Much.
25 September 2015 | by matthewssilverhammerSee 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).


158 of 224 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 337 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Mass See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,635,037, 20 September 2015

Gross USA:

$62,575,678

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$99,775,678
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed