Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Review: True Crime Doc 'Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger' Plays Like A First-Rate James Ellroy Adaptation

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • June 24, 2014 7:01 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
There are few real life criminals alive today who possess the kind of allure and grandeur of James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger. This was a guy who, as a young thug, stoically did time in Alcatraz, and upon his release rose to power in South Boston, eventually running organized crime in the area, uninterrupted, for more than 30 years. On the eve of his arrest he was tipped off and he fled, spending 16 years on the run before finally being captured and brought to justice on a host of charges, including his connection to 19 murders (two of which were young women). But what makes Joe Berlinger’s riveting new true crime doc “Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger” such an eye-opener is that it isn’t just about a bad guy who did bad things, but the layers of corruption and moral ambiguity that stacked up on both sides of the law. At some point the movie doesn’t resemble a true crime doc as much as a first-rate James Ellroy adaptation.

'A Monster Calls' For Liam Neeson, Evan Rachel Wood Is 'Facing The Wind' With Joe Berlinger & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 8, 2014 11:23 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
It looks like those rumors were true. Last month word emerged that Liam Neeson was being courted for a role in J.A. Bayona's "A Monster Calls," and the actor has now taken the gig. He joins Felicity Jones in the adaptation of the novel by Patrick Ness that will follow "the unexpected bond that develops between a young boy and a beast that visits him in nightmares.

'The Simpsons' Get Lego Episode, David Michod To Direct Ballet Drama Pilot 'Flesh And Bone' & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
  • |
  • February 20, 2014 12:44 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The Simpsons Lego
With "The Rover," his follow-up to the highly lauded “Animal Kingdom” set for release this summer, David Michôd has free time on his schedule and decided to head to the small screen. Per Deadline, Michôd will helm the pilot episode for the Starz series “Flesh And Bone” from “Breaking Bad” staff writer Moira Walley-Beckett. The series follows “a young ballet dancer, Claire, who has a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York.” Sounds like "Black Swan: The Series." Michôd previously helmed an episode of the now-cancelled Mike White HBO comedy “Enlightened.”

Sundance Review: Director Joe Berlinger’s Riveting True Crime Doc ‘Whitey: The United States Vs. James J. Bulger’

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • January 18, 2014 7:00 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
There are few real life criminals alive today who possess the kind of allure and oversized grandeur of James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger. This was a guy who, as a young thug, stoically did time in Alcatraz, and upon his release rose to power in South Boston, eventually running organized crime in the area, uninterrupted, for more than 30 years. On the eve of his arrest he was tipped off and fled, spending 16 years on the run before finally being captured and brought to justice on a host of charges, including his connection to 19 murders (two of which were young women). But what makes Joe Berlinger’s riveting new true crime doc “Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger” such an eye-opener is that it isn’t just about a bad guy who did bad things, but the layers of corruption and moral ambiguity that stacked up on both side of the law.

Fox Picks Up Joe Berlinger Produced West Memphis Three Series, CBS 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • October 23, 2012 4:16 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Joe Berlinger
Things have been buzzing over at Fox and CBS it seems for the past day or two as the network has been busy lining up a number of projects that they hope will develop into bonafide hits, and it features everything from an acclaimed documentarian creating a series inspired by his own career, to a pretty shitty sitcom borrowing the title of one of the biggest songs in rock history. Go forth, we shall...

Sundance: Joe Berlinger Talks Going 'Under African Skies' With Paul Simon, His Academy Award Nomination & Changes To Oscar Voting Rules

  • By Todd Gilchrist
  • |
  • January 28, 2012 9:56 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
If there was a shortlist of the best documentarians in cinema history, Joe Berlinger would definitely be on it. His first theatrical project was “Brother’s Keeper,” an award-winning portrait of a rural family that found a context in the divide between country and city life; his second was “Paradise Lost,” a film that exposed the vagaries of the American justice system, spawned two follow-ups, and was ultimately instrumental in helping the West Memphis Three prevail over the injustices they suffered. Since then, he’s continued to dominate the landscape of documentary filmmaking with projects on both film and TV. However, hot on the heels of his Academy Award nomination for “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” he's back with “Under African Skies,” a documentary about the creation and cultural history of Paul Simon’s landmark 1987 album Graceland.

Sundance: 'Paradise Lost' Director Joe Berlinger Talks About The "Unnecessary Friction" With 'West Of Memphis' Filmmakers

  • By Todd Gilchrist
  • |
  • January 26, 2012 10:01 AM
  • |
  • 12 Comments
For almost 20 years, documentarian Joe Berlinger (along with Bruce Sinofksy) has chronicled the complicated history of the West Memphis Three, a trio of Arkansas teenagers who were found guilty of a triple homicide despite questionable evidence. His first film about the trial, “Paradise Lost,” was released in 1996; Part 2, 'Revelations' followed in 2000, and Part 3, 'Purgatory,' just received a nomination for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards. Berlinger never aspired to be the only filmmaker or news outlet pursuing the story, and in the last year or so, a couple of high-profile projects were initiated about the trial, including the documentary “West of Memphis,” produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh and directed by Amy Berg, and an adaptation of the book “Devil’s Knot,” an account of the crimes written by Mara Levirett, with Atom Egoyan set to direct and Reese Witherspoon to star.

NYFF: Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky Talk Ethics, Media & Witch-Hunts In The West Memphis Three Docs

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • October 10, 2011 2:59 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Documentary Filmmakers Of The 'Paradise Lost' Movies Talk The Challenges Of Making Films About Wrongly Convicted MenIt’s not easy to distill the story of the West Memphis Three and the three “Paradise Lost” documentaries (though reading our review of “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” might provide some pretty good context).

'Paradise Lost' Director Joe Berlinger Prepping Paul Simon 'Graceland' Doc For Sundance Premiere

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • August 24, 2011 3:13 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh Funding Hunt For Actual Killers; HBO Wouldn't Mind A 'Paradise Lost 4'For more than fifteen years, director Joe Berlinger (along with Bruce Sinofsky) has been tracking the tragic story of the West Memphis Three in his "Paradise Lost" documentaries, and late last week bittersweet justice was served: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelle were freed under under a plea deal that will still leave with them the stain of a guilty verdict (all orchestrated so they can't sue for wrongful prosecution) even though they had nothing to do with the horrific child murders. And we'll have more on that in a moment, but for now, Berlinger has a much more lighthearted project on the way that should excite music fans.

Email Updates

Recent Comments