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Black Mass (I) (2015)

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.


Scott Cooper


Mark Mallouk (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay)


Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson


John Connolly and James "Whitey" Bulger grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the late 1970s, they would meet again. By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob. What happened between them - a dirty deal to trade secrets and take down Boston's Italian Mafia in the process - would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, to Bulger making the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.

Release Date: 18 September 2015 (USA)


"It's not what you do, it's when and where you do it, and who you do it to or with. If nobody sees it, it didn't happen." Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) Black Mass is as amoral as that quote and grim—a true-story as brutal as the murders committed on the screen. By "brutal" I also mean the cinematography, as was the case with director Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace," which depicts a somber, dark South Boston, where danger comes from every opening a street might have.The story of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) carries much of the darkness, if not all. Whitey's role as kingpin mobster and informant for the FBI requires deftness only actors like Depp can carry off. Yes, as the gangster formula usually has it, he evidences warmth and compassion at moments, but his operative emotion is anger.Similar to the gangster actors like Pacino and De Niro, Depp brings a quiet menace to the screen, whereby even the audience must respect the boss, Bulger. Depp is far better than he has been in years (no tics, no phony accents, etc.), underplaying a role Pacino might have chewn up along with the scenery. His humanistic interactions like caring for his son or an old lady are few but reveal a nuanced character not just a murderer.