Black Mass (2015)

USA| September 2015| 122 min| English
Black Mass (2015)
Genre Biography, Crime, Drama
Color Color
Certification USA:R , UK:15 , Canada:14A (British Columbia) , Germany:16 , Ireland:15A , Philippines:R-16 , Sweden:15
Locations Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA
Quincy, Massachusetts, USA
Director Scott Cooper
Lead Cast Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon
Watch Trailer of BLACK MASS (2015)
Plot Summary
The film follows the true story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, an Irish Mob Godfather in the 1970s South Boston, who went on to become an FBI informant to take down Italian mafia, but eventually made it to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List criminals.#The film follows the true story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Johnny Depp), who was an Irish Mob Godfather in the 1970s Boston. John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) and James grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the late 1970s, their paths crossed again, at a time when Connolly had become an officer in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become the Godfather of Irish Mob.

James, as the leader of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gang, controlled almost all of organized crimes within South Boston, along with his right-hand man Stephen Flemmi (Rory Cochrane), Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons), and cold and calculative hitman, Johnny Martorano (W Earl Brown). However, at one time, his hold over South Boston is challenged by the Angiulo Brothers, a rising and powerful family group with ties to the Mafia. After the Angiulo Brothers murdered a member of the Winter Hill gang, Whitey decided to become an FBI informant and made a secret trading deal with FBI Agent Connolly and his brother William ‘Billy’ Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch), a state senator, to take down the Italian mob and mafia in Boston. Problems started cropping as Whitey continued to ignore the informant rules of no crime or killing; using his special protection to further his criminal agenda with the gang. The secret operation eventually went out of control leading to violence, murders, drug dealing, and racketeering indictments. At the end, FBI’s Boston Office was forced to confirm James as one of the most notorious criminals in US history and also one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List criminals.
This is Johnny Depp’s third portrayal of a real-life gangster after he played a notorious and charismatic bank robber, John Dillinger, in biopic Public Enemies (2009) and an American cocaine smuggler, George Jung, in biopic Blow (2001).

Johnny Depp revealed at one point that this film is his favorite of all films he has done to date.

Johnny Depp is believed to have tried multiple times to speak to Whitey Bulger to prepare for the role, however Bulger declined each time. Director Scott Cooper then went on to hire some of Whitey’s old associates, specifically Jay Carney, Bulger's attorney, who helped Depp prepare for the role. Depp also studied surveillance and police audio footage involving Bulger. It’s said that each one of were impressed with Depp's performance and said "That's Whitey” as Depp’s portrayal of the character looked so original on-screen.

Johnny Depp is known for not watching his own movies, however he broke the rule for this one.

Guy Pearce was originally cast as William 'Billy' Bulger but walked out of the project for some unknown reasons. The role was then given to Benedict Cumberbatch.

Johnny Depp stated in an interview that he picked up his Boston accent from hanging out with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

Actress Sienna Miller had shot scenes for the role of Catherine Greig, the girlfriend of Whitey Bulger, but her scenes were eventually dropped from the film due to "narrative choices". Director Scott Cooper confirmed the news in one of his statements to media, saying that although the actress was "fantastic" alongside Johnny Depp and other members of cast, "narrative choices" drove her out of the film. Cooper further added that the decision was made to make the storyline focus on Bulger's life before he left Boston, rather than the years he spent as a fugitive when Catherine was his girlfriend.

Johnny Depp initially walked out of the project because of remuneration issues with Cross Creek Pictures, which made the production halt for sometime. Later on he returned to the project as the male lead.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays William 'Billy' Bulger, is almost eight inches taller than the real-life senator.

This is the second film in which Johnny Depp and Rory Cochrane are seen sharing screen space after Public Enemies (2009).

This is the second film in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Julianne Nicholson are seen sharing screen space after August: Osage County (2013).

Rain Man (1988) director Barry Levinson was initially hired to direct the film, but was later replaced by Scott Cooper.

Johnny Depp’s portrayal of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger received critical acclaim, with many critics applauding it as one of his best performances to date.
Johnny Depp James 'Whitey' Bulger
Joel Edgerton John Connolly
Benedict Cumberbatch William 'Billy' Bulger
Dakota Johnson Lindsey Cyr
Kevin Bacon Charles McGuire
Jesse Plemons Kevin Weeks
Corey Stoll Fred Wyshak
Peter Sarsgaard Brian Halloran
David Harbour John Morris
Rory Cochrane Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi
Julianne Nicholson Marianne Connolly
Adam Scott FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick
Brad Carter John McIntyre
W Earl Brown John Martorano
Juno Temple Deborah Hussey
Erica McDermott Mary Bulger
Bill Camp John Callahan
Scott Anderson Tommy King
David De Beck Roger Wheeler
Jamie Donnelly Mrs Cody
Patrick M Walsh Michael Donahue
Lonnie Farmer DEA Agent Eric Olsen
Mary Klug Mom Bulger
Luke Ryan Douglas Cyr
Owen Burke Buddy Leonard
Lewis D Wheeler Jeremiah O'Sullivan
Robert Walsh Sr FBI Official
Billy Meleady Joe Cahill
David Conley Officer Flynn
Joey Vacchio Joey
Bill Haims Jerry Angiulo
Anthony Molinari Charlie
Todd Ryan Jones Charlie's friend
Declan Mulvey Charlie's friend
Bates Wilder Agent James
Marc Carver Dick Lehr
Richard Donnelly Gerard O'Neill
Peter Morse FBI Agent
Tom Kemp Father Mackey
Patrick M Walsh Michael Donahue
Naheem Garcia DEA Agent
Kathryn A Beauchamp Nurse
Alexander Cook DEA Agent Dan Doherty
Ava Cooper young Mary Bulger
Stella Cooper Kathleen Bulger
Simba Dibinga FBI Agent
Terry Conforti Alice Sessions
Joel Fearon FBI Agent
Frankie Imbergamo FBI Agent
John Gigliotti FBI Agent
Ian Leson FBI Agent
Ryan Barry McCarthy FBI Agent
Anthony Wozniak Angiulo Mobster
Jeremy Strong Josh Bond
James Russo Scott Garriola
Shane Ryan Chris Bulger
Director Scott Cooper
Producer Scott Cooper
John Lesher
Patrick McCormick
Brian Oliver
Tyler Thompson
Executive Producer Brett Granstaff
Gary Granstaff
Phil Hunt
Peter Mallouk
Ray Mallouk
James Packer
Brett Ratner
Compton Ross
Christopher Woodrow
Writer Dick Lehr(story)
Gerard O'Neill(story)
Mark Mallouk(screenplay)
Jez Butterworth(screenplay)
Music Composer Junkie XL
Cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi
Action Director Chuck Jeffreys
Todd Ryan Jones
John Vincent Mason
Declan Mulvey
Film Editor David Rosenbloom
Casting Director Francine Maisler
Production Designer Stefania Cella
Art Director Jeremy Woodward
Costume Designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Production Companies Cross Creek Pictures
Le Grisbi Productions
Infinitum Nihil
Free State Pictures
RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Ridgerock Entertainment Group
Vendian Entertainment
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Not available
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Reviews on external websites
All ratings are based on 5. NA indicates rating not available.|Review by Travis Hopson
While Scorsese's "The Departed" will undoubtedly be in the back of your mind the whole time, Black Mass is a solid enough effort to appease fans of the genre. Depp invests in the role of Bulger like nothing he's ever committed to before and he's the primary reason to get out and see the film right now.
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365 Movie Guy|Review by Clark Douglas
It's tempting to simply dismiss Black Mass as a nothing more than a weary collection of gangster movie cliches. At the very least, it's a reminder that American gangster movies are in serious need of a revival.
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A V Wire|Review by Herman Dhaliwal
There are two things at stake with Black Mass. One is the the comeback for Johnny Depp, who has reached near self-parody with his career as of late. The other is the question of whether Scott Cooper could direct a film that’s more than just fine after two mediocre efforts.
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The Austin Chronicle|Review by Kimberley Jones
Too soon? It might be for a crime drama about the notorious South Boston gang leader James “Whitey” Bulger, currently serving two consecutive life sentences, plus change, for his involvement in 30-some criminal acts including extortion, racketeering, and murder.
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3|Review by Brian Orndorf
“Black Mass” is based on a true story (an adaptation of a 2001 book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill), but it plays almost too softly, with director Scott Cooper striving to construct a sprawling saga of corruption, only to end up with a few terrific scenes and a lot of dead air. The movie initially promises something more kinetic than it ultimately delivers, often caught up in the community of thugs and feds that surrounded Bulger on a daily basis.
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Cinematic Essential|Review by Jaskee Hickman
On the surface, Black Mass appears to have all of the necessary ingredients that would make for a fantastic film. You have the acting from people like Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch, a controversial story based on actual events and the right mix of players at the center of it all to build on all of the conflicts from the beginning. However, these components don’t always make for good stuff. It often comes down to who’s behind the camera.
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3|Review by Dave Calhoun
Anyone easy-to-please and mourning the fact that Martin Scorsese hasn’t made a mobster flick in a while should take heart from ‘Black Mass’.
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3|Review by Matt Zoller Seitz
"Black Mass," about the tangled criminal history of Boston gang boss James "Whitey" Bulger, is a bizarre movie. It really doesn't work until you tune into its wavelength. But if can do that, you may start to see method behind the film's madness and end up feeling as I did—that for all of its flaws, it's the first film since "Eastern Promises" that has added anything truly fresh to the old school street-level gangster story.
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