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

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Number 2 on America's Most Wanted list after Osama Bin Laden, James 'Whitey' Bulger terrorized the city of Boston for years without ever being charged with so much as a misdemeanor. Bulger was a monster, murdering over a dozen known victims, but did the FBI and local law enforcement give his reign of terror over South Boston a free pass?

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 7.1/10 (70 voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Joe Berlinger

Stars: Stephen Rakes, James 'Whitey' Bulger, Tommy Donahue

WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger captures the sensational trial of infamous gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger, using the legal proceedings as a springboard to explore allegations of corruption within the highest levels of law enforcement. Embedded for months with Federal Prosecutors, retired FBI and State Police, victims, lawyers, gangsters and journalists, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger examines Bulger's relationship with the FBI and Department of Justice that allowed him to reign over a criminal empire in Boston for decades. Pulling back the curtain on long-held Bulger mythology, the film challenges conventional wisdom by detailing shocking, new allegations. With unprecedented access, Berlinger's latest crime documentary offers a universal tale of human frailty, opportunism, deception, and the often elusive nature of truth and justice.

Stephen Rakes - Himself - Bulger Extortion Victim
James 'Whitey' Bulger - Himself - Defendant
Tommy Donahue - Himself - Son of Victim Michael Donahue
David Boeri - Himself - WBUR Senior Reporter
Steve Davis - Himself - Brother of Victim Debra Davis
Dick Lehr - Himself - Author / Journalist
Shelley Murphy - Herself - Boston Globe Reporter
Patricia Donahue - Herself - Wife of Victim Michael Donahue
J.W. Carney Jr. - Himself - Bulger Defense Attorney (voice)
Kevin Cullen - Himself - Boston Globe Coulmnist
Kevin Weeks - Himself - Former Member, Winter Hill Gang
Bob Long - Himself - Det. Liut. Inspector, Massachusetts State Police, Retired
T.J. English - Himself - Author / Journalist
Daryl Zules - Himself - Bulger Defense Team
Angela Clemente - Herself - Forensic Intelligence Analyst

Taglines: The FBI thought they had him. It was the other way around.


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official Site

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 18 January 2014

Filming Locations: USA

Technical Specs


User Review


Rating: 8/10

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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