Release Year: 2015
Director: Scott Cooper
Writers: Mark Mallouk (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay), Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill (book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Corey Stoll, Julianne NicholsonW. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple
Rating: nominated for 2 Saturn Awards: Best Thriller, Best Make-Up
The true story of Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, the Brother of a state senator, who became an informant for the FBI in order to expand his turf.
Black Mass was heralded as return to form of sorts for Johnny Depp who (The Lone Ranger, 2013) had come off a couple of critical – if not monetary – flops. Although the critique of his recent work leans slightly towards being unfair, Black Mass certainly is a peak in his more recent career, giving us a combination of the Johnny Depp we used to know and a Depp we have not seen before. Often hiding behind quirky characters and lavish makeup, it has never before had as chilling an effect as it has here. Depp plays James “Whitey” Bulger, one of the most notorious crime bosses of Boston who had a standing deal with an FBI agent (Joel Edgerton), which protected him from prosecution for years while helping him get rid of competitors. Bulger’s brother, Billy Bulger, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, 2016), on thee other hand, was a long-serving and high-ranking politician. The film exlores the many interesting dynamics between the Bulger brothers and within the FBI. However, the relationship between the two brothers never feels quite genuine and while the film is well executed, it is not a crime drama that manages to truly stand out from the crowd. The film will appeal to fans of crime sagas and the history of organised crime in America but its main draw remains Johnny Depp. Recommended.but be warned that it is quite brutal in places.
Many of the murder scenes were shot where the actual murders took place.
Picture Copyright: warner Bros.