The story of convicted Mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger uncovers lots of criminal activity on both sides of the law.
WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER directed by Joe Berlinger. A VSC release. 120 minutes. Opens Friday (July 4). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Joe Berlinger, co-director of the Paradise Lost films, turns his lens on another American criminal case that certainly feels like a miscarriage of justice: the legacy of Whitey Bulger, a Boston Mob boss alleged to have murdered at least 19 people in his heyday and who spent 16 years as one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives.
When Bulger was finally brought to trial in 2013, the FBI claimed he was one of their best informants - an assertion Bulger vehemently denies.
Decades of criminal activity (on both sides of the law) mean Berlinger has to process an overwhelming volume of information before we can even begin to consider all the possibilities, so much of Whitey's running time is spent going over court transcripts and FBI paperwork.
But when Bulger's surviving victims tell their stories - or the man himself is heard over his lawyer's telephone - this is a chilling, immediate true-crime story.