Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger

2014

Action / Biography / Crime / Documentary

38
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2623

Synopsis


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October 16, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Director

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720p.BLU
810.34 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 3 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Geeky Randy 4 / 10

Targeted at DEPARTED fanboys

UNDISPUTED FACT #1: After 16 years at large and 12 years on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, "Whitey" James J. Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011.

UNDISPUTED FACT #2: Bulger is a murderer and drug-dealer.

ALLEGATION #1: Bulger was actually not an informant, but that people are out there trying to sully his reputation as being a "classy bad guy".

ALLEGATION #2: There is corruption involving this investigation and trial within the highest levels of law enforcement.

This film chooses to focus on the allegations, not the facts. "Journalistically jumbled", to quote the spot-on statement from John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter. Wouldn't it be far more interesting and useful to examine how this proved killer/drug-dealer avoided capture for such an astonishing length of time? Book-ended by Stephen Rakes' interview, which seems tragically fitting; but otherwise, this documentary just seems like overlong tabloid blah. WHITEY is merely a documentary targeted at DEPARTED fanboys.

** (out of four)

Reviewed by LeonLouisRicci 7 / 10

FBI Corruption, Crime Gang Murders, and Collateral Damage

Documentarian Joe Berlinger has Received Awards and Gratitudes for Presenting True Crime Expose' where Victims can Vent Frustrations while They are Searching for Closure and Perhaps Payback.

He Tries to Frame His Films with Artistry, Like Rock Music, and a Method of Interviewing that Quite Often Takes Place in Moving Cars. This Allows for the Spinning Locations to Backdrop the Footage with Movement and Makes the Interviews Less Stagnant. It's a Cheap, Although Admittedly Somewhat Effective Technique, but it Reeks of an Artsy Addition and is Hokey and Sometimes a Glaring Intrusion.

The Story of Boston Mob Boss James "Whitey" Bulger is so Dense and He Ruled South Boston for So Long and Committed so Many Crimes that the Weight of the Material is Overwhelming. What Goes On in this Film is Berlinger's Attempt to Bring the FBI on Stage and Pick Their Scabs, as Well as Bulger's.

Bulger is a Murderer, and Vile Human Being and that is Never in Doubt. He is Guilty of Multiple Heinous Crimes and that is Never in Doubt. So the Documentary Gives Equal Focus to the FBI's Involvement.

They are Either Guilty and/or Culpable for Allowing Bulger to Run Amok for Two Decades in Return for Information on the Italian Mob, or They are Guilty of Taking Bribes from Bulger for His Free Rein on the Streets. It is Lose-Lose for the FBI However Involved.

It's Never Made Absolutely Clear in the Film as it is Argued on Both Sides For and Against. There are Probably so Many Variations and Shades of Involvement and the Layers of Bad Behavior from both Bulger and the FBI Allowed Innocent People to be Murdered and the Crimes Covered Up and the "Collateral Damage" is Never in Doubt.

Overall, it is a Fascinating Film, and it is Enlightening for the Young and the Naive. But Anyone who Knows Anything about Big Ticket Law Enforcement, J. Edgar Hoover, or the Workings of the Mob (whether Italian or Irish) will Only be Reinforced that Corruption is Rampant in Law Enforcement and Crime Gangs are Well, Crime Gangs.

Reviewed by David Ferguson 8 / 10

Who's in Charge Here?

Greetings again from the darkness. Definitely one of the best documentaries at this year's Dallas International Film Festival, this is one detailed and informative expose' that focuses not just on bad guy Whitey Bulger, but a seemingly corrupt system that allowed him to maintain his power.

Joe Berlinger is an award-winning and very prolific documentarian, and he certainly goes all in here with an overwhelming amount of information, detail and speculation. The film begins with the 2011 arrest of Whitey Bulger after 16 years on the lam. We then explore the trial, as well as the background of Bulger's 30 years of power in South Boston (after his release from Alcatraz).

The interviews are fascinating. We get first person responses from attorneys, thugs from the Bulger syndicate, as well as many of the victim's family members ... some still so desperate for justice after decades of pain.

The Bulger defense team claimed immunity due to his status as an FBI informant. Of course, this claim opens up the real intrigue here ... how deep did the corruption go with local law enforcement, the FBI and the judicial system? Was Bulger empowered by those who should have been protecting the citizens and pursuing him? Many questions are asked, and the likely answers do not quell conspiracy theorists.

While some documentaries seem a bit thin as they stretch material, Mr. Berlinger's approach is to supply much information, many details, and an endless stream of interviews ... all to force us to wonder if Whitey Bulger's reign of southie crime was permitted, even encouraged, by those we thought were the good guys.

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