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

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 24, 2014 7:01 PM
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  • 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.

Watch: Clip From 'Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger' Reveals Who Got Paid Off

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 17, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
The inspiration for Jack Nicholson's swaggering baddie in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," and arriving in theatres next year portrayed by Johnny Depp in "Black Mass," there have been few contemporary crime figures as monumental as James J. Bulger aka Whitey Bulger. But take away the romance and mystique and you have something for more complicated, and the upcoming documentary "Whitey: United States Of America V. James J. Bulger" goes deep into unraveling the multithreaded tale.

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.

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