6.9/10
166,516
343 user 423 critic

Black Mass (2015)

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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
1,671 ( 145)
6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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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.

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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:

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Bacon would later go on to portray Charles McGuire's successor Richard DesLauriers in Patriots Day (2016). See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Whitey Bulger recruits his partner, Steve Flemmi, into becoming an FBI informant with him. In real life, FBI agent Paul Rico recruited Flemmi 10 years earlier. 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 ...
[...]
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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

References Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Gary Owen
Traditional
Performed by Boston University Marching Band
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User Reviews

"Black Mass" is all but Great
20 September 2015 | by jacobcornblattSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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