Black Mass

Black Mass

Amazon Film
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Black Mass is the true story of Whitey Bulger, the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a rival mob family.

Black Mass is a 2015 crime drama film directed by Scott Cooper. The movie is based on the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious American gangster who ruled the criminal underworld in South Boston during the 1970s and 1980s.

The title Black Mass refers to a ritualistic ceremony conducted by members of Bulger's gang, which involved them gathering to worship evil and engage in criminal activities.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Johnny Depp, who portrays the character of James “Whitey” Bulger. Other notable cast members include Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, and Dakota Johnson.

But what is it all about, and is it worth watching?

What Is Black Mass About?

Set in South Boston during the 1970s and 1980s, the film portrays Bulger, played by Johnny Depp, as a violent and ruthless criminal who becomes an FBI informant.

He forms an alliance with childhood friend and FBI agent John Connolly, (Joel Edgerton). This partnership allows Bulger to continue his criminal activities while providing the FBI with information on rival gangs.

As Bulger's empire expands, he exerts brutal control over the criminal underworld, employing intimidation, violence, and even murder to maintain his dominance.

Meanwhile, the FBI, blinded by their ambition and loyalty to Connolly, turns a blind eye to Bulger's crimes, enabling him to operate with impunity.

The movie explores the intricate dynamics between Bulger, his gang members, and the corrupt elements within the FBI. It highlights the extent of Bulger's influence and the moral compromises made by those involved. As the story unfolds, tensions rise, and the FBI's true intentions become clear.

Ultimately, Black Mass portrays the downfall of James “Whitey” Bulger as his criminal empire crumbles under increasing scrutiny.

The film sheds light on the darker side of law enforcement, where personal relationships and allegiances can corrupt justice and allow criminals to thrive.

Black Mass Official Trailer

Is Black Mass Worth Watching?

With compelling performances and a gritty depiction of the Boston criminal underworld, Black Mass provides a chilling insight into the life of one of America's most infamous gangsters and the web of corruption that allowed him to reign for so long.

The film has a great feel to it. The camera work gives this movie a real 70's look, and the detail of the costumes provides a truly authentic experience.

The cast is brimming with talent, with Jonny Depp cast as Bulger who gives an excellent portrayal of this terrifying character. Depp is totally convincing in this role, and it is great to see him take on a challenging role after being regurgitated time and again as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

The makeup transforms Depp completely however, he does not steal the show completely as Joel Edgerton performs amazingly as the FBI agent who collaborates with Bulger.

Other stand-out performances come from Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons and David Harbour, who all equally brilliant.

If you are a fan of gangster movies or quality crime dramas, this movie is a must. Some critics compared the film to Goodfellas, and I can see why.

Black Mass has everything you could possibly ask for in this type of movie, and the story is even more chilling because it is based on the truth – don't overlook this film it really is worth watching.

Black Mass Movie Cast

Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. The notorious Irish-American gangster and leader of the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston.

Joel Edgerton (Warrior) as John Connolly. An FBI agent who allies with Bulger, using him as an informant to bring down the Italian mob in Boston.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Billy Bulger. James Bulger's younger brother serves as the Massachusetts Senate's President.

Kevin Bacon as Charles McGuire. An FBI Special Agent who works closely with John Connolly and supports his alliance with Bulger.

Jesse Plemons (Windfall) as Kevin Weeks. A member of Bulger's gang who becomes a key accomplice and witness to Bulger's crimes.

Dakota Johnson as Lindsey Cyr. The mother of Bulger's son and his longtime girlfriend.

Peter Sarsgaard as Brian Halloran. A criminal and Bulger's associate who becomes an informant for the FBI.

Rory Cochrane as Stephen Flemmi. He is Bulger's longtime partner in crime and a member of the Winter Hill Gang.

David Harbour as John Morris, an FBI agent who is part of the team working with Bulger and Connolly.

Adam Scott (Severance) as Robert Fitzpatrick, an FBI agent who becomes suspicious of Bulger's relationship and investigates the corruption within the bureau.

Julianne Nicholson as Marianne Connolly, John Connolly's wife.

Juno Temple (Ted Lasso) as Deborah Hussey, the stepdaughter of Bulger's associate Stephen Flemmi.

Bill Camp as John Callahan, a corrupt FBI agent who is part of the conspiracy.

Is Black Mass Based On A True Story?

Yes, Black Mass is based on a true story. The film takes inspiration from the life and crimes of James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious American gangster who operated in South Boston.

While the movie dramatises certain events and takes creative liberties, many aspects of the story are historically accurate.

The portrayal of James “Whitey” Bulger as a violent and ruthless criminal who ruled the Irish mob and Boston underworld is based on real-life accounts and testimonies.

The film accurately depicts Bulger's involvement with the Winter Hill Gang, a criminal organisation he led for several decades. It explores his rise to power, his control over South Boston, and his criminal activities, which included drug trafficking, extortion, and racketeering.

The collaboration between Bulger and FBI agent John Connolly, who grew up in the same neighbourhood, is also based on true events. Connolly, motivated by his personal ties and a desire to take down rival Italian mob gangs, entered into an unholy alliance with Bulger.

However, it's important to note that Black Mass is a fictionalised adaptation of these real events. Some characters and specific events in the movie may have been altered or compressed for dramatic purposes. As with any biographical film, there may be some deviations from the precise details of the true story.

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  • Jonny Depp On Form
  • Brilliant Casting
  • Cool 70's Feel


  • Disappointing Ending


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