‘Black Mass’ Delivers Spectacular Performances and a Great Story | Review of ‘Black Mass’

Black Mass starring Johnny Depp Warner Bros.

By Cynthia Ayala

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became a FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

  • Rotten Tomatoes

Based on a book of the same title, Black Mass stars Johnny Depp as notorious crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger and his rise to power while he leads the FBI to fight his battles for him making him the king of South Boston.

Impeccable. It has been a while since Johnny Depp did something other than Captain Jack Sparrow and it was great because he has reminded fans that he is more than that, that he is, in fact, a very serious actor. Now for the people who don’t know, this is a true story, these events did happen and Whitey Bulger was a very dangerous man, not because of how he expressed his anger, but how he was calm about it. Everything this man did was calculated and Depp captured that perfectly, The calmness, the fury, the egotism, everything was captured so perfectly by his acting ability.

As for the rest of the actors, they did their individual parts well, but some of them were just so annoying to watch, not just, because of who they are but because of how they carried out the part. Take Joel Edgerton for example. My god, his accent sucked, and this is coming from someone who lives in Boston, who studies in Boston. It was bad, it was annoying and after two hours, the viewer wants him to get what’s coming to him, more than with Bulger. Then there is his hair and makeup. Edgerton is not a bad-looking guy, he’s easy on the eyes, but he does have small eyes so the added prosthetics to make his face slightly pudgy, coupled with that hairline, made him look very unattractive. His character, John Connolly, he is probably the worst person in the film, even more horrible than Bulger. And Edgerton captured the characters selfishness but he didn’t act in any way to make the audience somewhat sympathize with him. Now that could have been due to many things (direction, acting, etc.)

Nevertheless, this perfectly engrossing film really highlighted on the corrupt relationship between the FBI and the mobsters of South Boston. It was a thrilling and wild ride and as far as Gangster movies go, this was a good one. The style of the movie, the way the film went back and forth between the past and the “present” to investigate the crime spree of the Winter Hill Gang. This is more than just a gangster movie however; it is about corruption, about family, honor, and friendship and what people are willing to do in the name of those.

Black Mass is a riveting film with amazing performances all around and a spectacular performance by Johnny Depp. (★★★☆ | A)

“Black Mass” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Violence, Explosive Profanity, Suggested Drug Use.

– Film Credits –

Directed by Scott Cooper

Screenplay by Jez Butterworth & Mark Mallouk

Based on Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerard O’Neill

Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Piemons & Rory Cochrane

Genre | Rating | Length: Crime drama, Biography | R | 2 hr. 2 min.

Distributed by Warner Bros.

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