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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.


Scott Cooper


Mark Mallouk (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2,288 ( 371)

Johnny Depp Through the Years

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

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6 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »





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


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:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site





Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pacto criminal See more »


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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mark Mahoney was cast as Mickey Maloney on the strength of his performance in Blood Ties (2013), without reading or auditioning for the role. According to Executive Producer James Packer, The Venice Beach tattoo artist, scenester, and owner of the Shamrock Social Club was "audacious, to say the least", requesting a very high salary for his relatively minor role. Scott Cooper insisted on hammering out an agreement with Mahoney, partly because of frustration with constant difficulties securing key cast members, and partly because "the amount of money he demanded, and the manner in which he demanded it, was in some ways the best audition I've ever seen! It reminded me why I wanted him for the part in the first place!" In his downtime during shooting, Mahoney would put a shamrock tattoo on any member of the cast and crew who wanted one. See more »


During a restaurant scene in Florida where a duffel filled with $20,000 is handled, a bottle of Jalapeño Tabasco Sauce is on the table. Tabasco released that flavor in 1993. 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 The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger (2016) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Not bad, just so damn standard.
13 October 2015 | by Troy_CampbellSee all my reviews

The American crime genre is arguably the cornerstone of modern cinema. Think cinematic masterpieces and there's a good chance every third one is a mobster flick or underworld yarn. This breed of film is nothing if not reliable. Why, then, is the first notable movie about one of U.S.A's most notorious and durable heads of crime so unmemorable? Checking off key points in an organised but uninspired manner, this James "Whitey" Bulger biopic is seemingly more concerned about fitting in all the Wiki-worthy moments rather than truly delving into the psyche of a monstrous man. The unfocused script stems from the choice to trace two decades of Bulger's life (1975 to 1995), an unwieldy stretch of time that results in an unclear filmic timeline and the requirement for truly horrible makeup and wigs. Johnny Depp has succeeded at portraying a gangster before – his John Dillinger in Public Enemies is enthralling – however he's lumped with too many poorly executed physical alterations and character development shortcomings to make an impression here. Aussie Joel Edgerton fares better as a morally intriguing federal agent skating on thin ice, and Kevin Bacon is enjoyable as a frustrated FBI boss, but why Benedict Cumberbatch signed on for such an inconsequential role, as Bulger's Senator brother, is anyone's guess. Scott Cooper keeps it relatively low-key behind the camera, aside from a couple of stylish murder sequences, with the suitably dour cinematography and unfussy score following suit. Overall Black Mass is never overtly bad, per se; its major sin is just being so damn standard.

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