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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger follows the trial of the infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, using the courtroom action as a springboard to examine accusations of multi-faceted corruption within our nation’s law enforcement and legal systems. Throughout this violent and sordid story, the central question becomes the nature of Whitey's relationship with law enforcement. Was Bulger an informant, as everyone believes, or, as Bulger's lawyers claim, is there actual proof that this claim is yet more misinformation and obfuscation by the government in an attempt to protect itself and preserve its convictions? Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Mar 27, 2014
    100
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Greene
    Mar 27, 2014
    91
    Although Berlinger’s latest work is a dense, unsparing look at the offenses and trial of Whitey Bulger, it's equally concerned with capturing how the many members of Bulger's expansive web -- criminals and innocent citizens alike -- use their experiences to control their version of the man.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 11, 2014
    83
    Berlinger is after more than a true crime recounting here – the film attempts to explain, often lucidly, sometimes laboriously, how deeply entrenched Bulger was with the FBI and the police.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 25, 2014
    75
    Provides little in the way of comforting catharsis. That may be because Berlinger, a thorough and impassioned muckraker, has managed to find hints of injustice in the justice that was served.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 11, 2014
    70
    Joe Berlinger's densely detailed new documentary about the legendary Boston mobster is disturbing on so many levels it's hard not to wonder why Bulger was the only one on trial.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 24, 2014
    70
    Berlinger covers lots of territory, including heartrending accounts from the family members of some of Bulger's victims. The whole exercise is fascinating, if vaguely unsatisfying.
  7. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jun 26, 2014
    50
    Unfocused, overly long documentary raises provocative questions.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 28, 2014
    6
    Of course the movie is interesting, when you look at the number of books written about Bulger you can tell the public loves this guy, well at least they like hearing about the things he did. But the movie did come up short in one respect: the writer at the end hit it right on the head when he said that they could've indicted 12 FBI agents, where are they? I think an Errol Morris would've dug a little deeper, it couldn't been that hard to find the agents under suspicion and at least ask a question or two on camera. Not too deep but quite riveting at times. Expand