For a biopic of a real-life person, this feels like an oddly standard mob thriller. It's the true story of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, and it's told with gritty filmmaking and robust performances. But there's very little about the movie that sets it apart, leaving it as yet another depiction of violent criminal ambition and betrayal. And by the end, it's difficult to escape the feeling that we've seen it all before.
It opens in 1975 South Boston, where Jimmy Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs the Irish mafia, while his brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a senator. Their childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) is an FBI agent who has asked for their help in taking down the rival Angiulo family, which Jimmy sees as a win-win situation: he'll get rid of the competition while avoiding jail himself. Over the next 10 years, Jimmy expands his operation dramatically, and he's not afraid to get his own hands dirty as he sorts out problems that are created by his sidekicks (including Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons and W. Earl Brown), all of whom are increasingly annoyed at his control-freak ways. But as Jimmy becomes even more notorious, the FBI boss (Kevin Bacon) pressures John to take him down.
The actors dive into their roles. Depp transforms himself physically into a prowling thug with terrifyingly piercing eyes. He may be a heartless killer, but he's also a caring family man. Opposite him, Edgerton has a trickier role as a federal agent who operates more like the gangster he'd rather be, casually ignoring the law to push his own agenda. In the sprawling supporting cast, only a few characters emerge memorably: Cumberbatch has a sparky presence, Cochrane offers some thoughtfulness, and Bacon gets to chomp on the scenery. Other roles are much briefer, especially the sidelined female characters.
Continue reading: Black Mass Review
Whitey Bulger has had the FBI under his thumb for too long, and now people are starting to notice. How can a criminal mastermind responsible for every major offence in the city pass by seemingly unnoticed for an entire lifetime? It's true he landed in Alcatrez at a young age, but the older the more dangerous he becomes; a kingpin of the South Boston criminal underworld who escaped justice by informing authorities of all movements of the rival gang, the Italian Mafia, as suggested by his most useful contact and friend John Connolly. But the Irish Winter Hill Gang is growing ever more powerful, and Bulger's feelings of invincibility lead to more and more murders and destruction. It's time he was stopped, but finding him is not going to be easy.
Continue: Black Mass Trailer
Irish-American criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger was arguably one of the most dangerous men in America before his arrest in 2011 at the age of 81. He'd already spent time in Alcatrez as a much younger man, having spent a lot of time on the streets of South Boston. However, by the 70s he proved to be the FBI's best tool in controlling organised crime within the country, and he was eventually persuaded by his friend John Connolly to be their informant in all workings of the rival Italian Mafia. However, it's not safe business being both a highly respected gangster and a police informant, and while much of his activity is being largely ignored as he rises to become top of the Irish Winter Hill Gang, it seems he is gaining too many killings and dodgy dealings under his belt to go unnoticed.
Continue: Black Mass - Teaser Trailer
Sometimes, the greatest hiding place is in plain sight. For twelve years from the mid-1990s, he was the FBI's second most wanted fugitive, behind Osama Bin Laden. Throughout the 1970s, he was an FBI informant, revealing information to bring down an Italian American crime family, and he was the brother of a US senator. But really, his informant years were to stop another family from invading his own turf. Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) was one of the most brutal and violent criminals in Boston, being the secret puppet master behind one of the most dangerous crime families in history.
Continue: Black Mass - First Look Trailer
Irving Rosenfeld is a conman whose impressively deft criminal exploits have eluded authorities for years. However, when he finds himself forced to use his talents for good as he is roped into an FBI sting operation led by the unhinged agent Richie DiMasom, he finds his life of partying, drinking and squandering money under massive threat. He must use his fraudulent cunning to reveal the seriously corrupt crusades of Carmine Polito, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, whose power cast spreads much further than his constituency. Irving is helped by the seductive but dangerous Sydney Prosser who soon becomes less of a business partner and more of a mistress. As their relationship deepens, however, they arouse the suspicions of Irving's gregarious but unbalanced wife Rosalyn who threatens their whole operation with her lethal jealousy and deadly rage.
'American Hustle' is a high-stakes gangster thriller directed and co-written by the Oscar nominated David O. Russell ('Silver Linings Playbook', 'I Heart Huckabees', 'Three Kings') alongside writer Eric Singer ('The International'). Featuring a talented award-winning cast (some of whom O'Russell has previously worked with with much success), the flick is set to hit the big screen on December 18th 2013 in the US.
Whilst running a con, being anonymous is very important. Keeping past operations secret and your personal life out of reach from potential targets is just as important as running the actual hustle. For years Irving Rosenfeld has been a con at the top of his game, evading arrest by the police and capture by past marks but all that could quite easily change when he and his business partner, Sydney Prosser, are recruited by an unruly FBI officer Richie DiMaso.
The target Rosenfeld has to hit is one even cons wouldn't usually mess with, an elected mayor the FBI believe to be dirty. Mafia connections and lots of Laundered money are the least of Rosenfeld worries, when his wife might just become an accidental chink in their armour.
Set in the 1970's the films screenplay was written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell and is loosely based on a real sting operation named Abscam which lead to the arrest and conviction of a number of elected officials.
Continue: American Hustle - International Trailer
Irving Rosenfeld is one of America's most talented con artists but his world of ladies and luxury is hanging in the balance when threatening circumstances force him, along with his temptress business partner and lover Sydney Prosser, to lend his talents to a sting operation set up by the FBI and led by the slightly unbalanced agent Richie DiMaso. Together they set out to uncover the corrupt campaigns behind Carmine Polito, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey and a powerful political operator. However, Irving's wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld is getting more and more suspicious of her husband's business life and, with his lewd extramarital affairs getting more and more daring, it isn't long before she is driven to extreme lengths to uncover her private issues while in the meantime threatening the stability of the whole operation.
This gangster drama features an all-star cast that will keep you gripped from start to finish. It has been directed by the Oscar nominated David O. Russell ('Silver Linings Playbook', 'I Heart Huckabees', 'Three Kings'), who also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Eric Singer ('The International') in his second feature film. 'American Hustle' will be released in cinemas over in the UK on December 20th 2013.
Date of birth
26th April, 1976
For a biopic of a real-life person, this feels like an oddly standard mob thriller....
Irish-American criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger was arguably one of the most dangerous men in America...
Sometimes, the greatest hiding place is in plain sight. For twelve years from the mid-1990s,...
Irving Rosenfeld is a conman whose impressively deft criminal exploits have eluded authorities for years....
Whilst running a con, being anonymous is very important. Keeping past operations secret and your...
Irving Rosenfeld is one of America's most talented con artists but his world of ladies...