Black Mass (2015)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 4 mins

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In 1970s Boston, FBI agent John Connolly persuades Irish gangster Whitey Bulger to help the agency eliminate their common enemy, the Italian mob.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Johnny Depp

Crew: Scott Cooper (Director), Masanobu Takayanagi (Director of Photography), Junkie XL (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Crime, Drama

Release Dates: 18 Sep 2015 (India)

Tagline: Based on the true story of one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history

Movie Rating
Based on 2 ratings
Music Rating
Based on 4 ratings
Did you know? Sienna Miller appeared in a small role as one of Whitey's ex-girlfriends, but was ultimately cut from the film. Read More
Depp is back! And How!!!
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The only thing that annoyed me about the movie was a "Smoking Kills" sign in the bottom right corner of the screen throughout the whole run time. And I guess we can thank the imbeciles from the department of health for that! The movie though was rock solid. Scott Cooper's Black Mass follows the life of Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger, his ties with the FBI through childhood friend John Connolly, his use of the FBI as a cover to expand his criminal empire and his eventual downfall.

Hands down, this is Depp's comeback! It's probably his best role since starring as a gangster in Michael Mann's Public Enemies (2009)! Depp IS Whitney! He's the devil himself! He's cold. He's calculated. He did have a heart once. But after his son dies aged just 6 years, it's all just business. And he would do anything to protect his business. Depp's mannerisms, his accent, his acting! God knows I missed this! As Lt. Archie Hicox would have put it, "Damn good stuff sir!"

But it's not just Depp who does a fine job. Just take a look at that ensemble! Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson! The list goes on!!!! And everybody bloody delivers man! No one puts one foot wrong. I felt like everyone's collective effort really helped elevate the source material. Cooper's direction is spot on. There is no flashiness. Just pure drama. And it's handled with respect. You get everything that you normally expect from a gangster film. The violence is kept on an even keel. There are no terrific blood splatters or unnerving gruesome murders taking place that are shown on screen. It's the acts themselves that are quite horrifying. The cinematography isn't flashy or jaw dropping but it gritty and low key. The atmosphere and tone felt right. The dialogues too were great. Sometimes they were these dark comedy types ones which were a laugh riot. Black Mass had a lot of things going for it.

It's just, sometimes it seems too respectful. The film doesn't dare to take any risks in fear of failure. Its got a very good story but if it didn't get its treatment right, there was always the risk of failure right around the corner. That's why it felt contained. It felt content. It was happy with telling its story plain and simple. That's what separates the good films from the greats like The Godfather, Casino, Goodfellas, New World, The Untouchables, City of God and the like. That desire to push boundaries, to make this a better tale than all the other ones out there was absent here. The ending felt a bit abrupt and could have milked out the potential for drama a bit more.

All in all, this movie was pinned up as Depp's comeback from the moment the first trailer hit and it well and truly has been. A good story executed well enough with a fantastic performance from everyone involved, Black Mass does a lot of things right. It just lacked that extra ambition to be something truly great.

0
as Bill Bulger
as Lindsey Cyr
as James 'Whitey' Bulger
as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick
as Special Agent Dan Doherty
as Paddy McAloon
as Angiulo Mobster
as John Callahan
as John McIntyre
as Fred Wyshak
as Rocco
as Officer Flynn
as John Morris
as Dock Worker
as Mary Bulger
as State Captain
as Barman
as Agent Scott Gariola
as Task Force Agent
as Commisioner DiGrazia
as Josh Bond
as Kevin Weeks
as Dead Italian Mobster
as John Connolly
as Marianne Connolly
as Floor Dancer
as Deborah Hussey
as Flemmi's Girlfriend
as Charles McGuire
as Jeremiah O Sullivan
as Press Cameraman / Southie Spectator
as Bulger Cousin
as Buddy Leonard
as Brian Halloran
as Steve Flemmi
as Gangster
as Catherine Greig
as FBI Agent
as Lowlife
as Angiulo's Soldier
as Swimmer
as Alice Sessions
as Tough Irish
as Johnny Martorano
as FBI Dir Wm Sessions

Direction

Director
First Assistant Director

Distribution

Distributor

Writers

Comic Book Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Still Photographer
Key Grip
Gaffer

Music

Music Director
Music Label
Music Editor

Sound

Foley Artist
Sound Editor
Sound Effects Editor
Sound Re-recording Mixer
Boom Operator

Art

Art Director
Production Designer
Prop Master
Set Decorator
Storyboard Artist
Assistant Art Director
Assistant Props Master

Casting

Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer

Editorial

First Assistant Editor

Makeup and Hair

Assistant Makeup Artist

Special Effects

Special Effects Technician

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Producer
Visual Effects Supervisor
Visual Effects Studio
Digital Compositor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
Datasat Digital Sound, Dolby Digital
Camera:
Panaflex Millenium XL2, Panavision Panaflex
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Archival Source:
QubeVault (Real Image Media Technologies) [Digital]
Taglines:
Based on the true story of one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history
Keep your enemies close.
Trivia:
Despite filming a substantial amount of scenes as Catherine Greig, Sienna Miller's part was subsequently cut from the final film for pacing reasons.

Leonardo DiCaprio's influence may have contributed to director Scott Coopers interest in taking on this project, since DiCaprio had helped produce Cooper's previous movie Out of the Furnace (2013), and had starred in The Departed (2006), which is based on a Whitey Bulger-like character in Boston.

In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), Johnny Depp stated that he picked up his Boston accent for the film from hanging out with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

Sienna Miller appeared in a small role as one of Whitey's ex-girlfriends, but was ultimately cut from the film.

This is the second time that Benedict Cumberbatch and Julianne Nicholson star in a movie together. They were previously in August: Osage County (2013).

Sienna Miller (Catherine Greig) played the role of Tippi Hedren in The Girl (2012). Hedren is the grandmother of Dakota Johnson (Lindsey Cyr).

Many of the scenes where a murder occurred in the film were filmed in the actual location where the real murder took place.

Johnny Depp said that this is his favourite out of all the films he has done.

When he was arrested in 2011, James 'Whitey' Bulger had been on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years. The $2 million reward the FBI offered for information leading to his capture was larger than that for any other fugitive on the list except Osama bin Laden.

In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), Johnny Depp admitted that he broke his rule of not watching his own movies with this one. He was at the film's debut in Venice. He was about to skip out of watching the film, but the director asked him to stay, so he did.

In order to ensure that Johnny Depp's performance was true to the actual Whitey Bulger, Scott Cooper hired some of Bulger's old associates as consultants to the film with each of them praising Depp's performance by simply saying "That's Whitey."

According to Scott Cooper, the original run time for the film was close to 3 hours but cut it down due to pacing issues.

During production, the real-life John Connolly's accessory to murder conviction was overturned.

Guy Pearce was originally cast as Bill Bulger but dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons.

Johnny Depp left the project due to salary issues. He later returned in the lead role.

The project was shelved after Johnny Depp dropped out. After Depp agreed to return, Joel Edgerton was unavailable. In the end, Edgerton returned in the role.

Johnny Depp tried multiple times to speak to Whitey Bulger while preparing for the role to which Bulger declined.

Based on the New York Times Best Seller "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob" written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill.

Johnny Depp was originally cast as Whitey Bulger but he ended up exiting the project due to salary issues. He later returned in the lead role.

Joel Edgerton was cast as John Connelly but after Johnny Depp dropped out, the project was shelved. After Depp agreed to return, Edgerton was unavailable and Tom Hardy was cast. Turns out, Hardy was just a rumor and in the end, Edgerton returned in his role.

Guy Pearce was originally cast as Bill Burger but dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons. Benedict Cumberbatch replaced him.

Upon his arrest in 2011, James 'Whitey' Bulger had been on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years. The FBI offered a larger reward for information leading to his capture (US$2 million) than for any other fugitive on the list except for Osama bin Laden.

During production, the real John Connolly had his accessory to murder conviction overturned.