The true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, the most notorious gangster
in the history of South Boston, who was given free reign by the FBI.
Black Mass (2015)
Directed by Scott Cooper
Written by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth
Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Adam Scott, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour,
W. Earl Brown, Julianne Nicholson, Juno Temple
Based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill
Black Mass was a powerful historical drama that tells the story of one of the biggest mistakes the FBI ever made. Whitey Bulger was an incredibly dangerous man, and he was given complete control over South Boston in exchange for delivering the Italian Mafia. This film shows how that exchange of power went down, with Johnny Depp delivering one of his best performances in a long time as Whitey himself.
Depp played Whitey as a cold and ruthless psychopath who, in his heart, was a calculated killer. Everything from Depp's look to the way he delivered his lines made me afraid of Whitey Bulger. Alongside Depp was a stellar cast of character actors, notably Joel Edgerton as FBI Agent John Connolly and Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey's state senator brother Billy. The amount of poor choices that went into turning Whitey Bulger from a two-bit thug to the kingpin of South Boston was staggering. The FBI should be ashamed of themselves, as this film rightly suggests.
Black Mass was every bit the epic crime drama I expected it to be. It details the life of a maniac who was basically left alone for over 20 years while he took over South Boston. It's a fantastic comeback vehicle for Johnny Depp, who I hope will follow this up with more standalone performances. This will no doubt go down as a great biographical drama as well as a solid gangster flick.