Black Mass | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated R · 122 minutes · 2015

Biography, Crime drama
It’s nice to be reminded that Johnny Depp actually can still do good work as an actor, and that he’s not just a walking delivery system for makeup and questionable facial hair. He’s one of the best things about director Scott Cooper’s dramatization of the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, the brutal South Boston crime boss who was protected in the 1970s and ’80s by his status as an FBI informant—and an FBI handler, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), who was a childhood pal of Bulger’s. As a procedural, it’s fairly bland stuff, attempting to evoke sprawling Scorsesean gangster tales like GoodFellas and The Departed but rarely latching on to its potentially unique perspective on neighborhood loyalties superseding all other obligations. Most of the time, Black Mass feels far more fascinated with its situation than with the people in that situation. It’s left to Depp to carry things, and he’s a convincingly creepy portrait of hair-trigger violence, perhaps even scarier when the mere possibility of his wrath is invoked. Here’s hoping he can apply this renewed vitality to a story that does it justice.


Black Mass

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Director: Scott Cooper
Producer: John Lesher, Brian Oliver, Scott Cooper, Patrick McCormick, Tyler Thompson, Brett Ratner, James Packer, Steven Mnuchin, Peter Mallouk, Ray Mallouk, Christopher Woodrow, Brett Granstaff, Gary Granstaff, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple, Mark Mahoney, Brad Carter, Scott Anderson, Lonnie Farmer, Mary Klug, Erica McDermott and Luke Ryan

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What others are saying (5)

Portland Mercury Black Mass Is Another Excuse for Johnny Depp to Wear Goofy Makeup Somebody stop letting him in the makeup trailer! by Andrew Wright 09/16/2015
Inlander A Mob Boss Without a City The problems with Johnny Depp, Boston accents and Black Mass by Paul Constant 09/16/2015
Connect Savannah Review: Black Mass Practically unrecognizable with that bald pate and those blue-sky contact lenses, Depp projects ferocious intensity as real-life crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, who spent over a decade as the #2 man on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, right under some fellow named Osama bin Laden. by Matt Brunson 09/15/2015
2 more reviews...
Charleston City Paper Johnny Depp delivers an Oscar-caliber performance in 'Black Mass' Johnny Depp needed this. After the critical and box office failures of The Lone Ranger, Transcendence, and Mortdecai, Depp needed a win and gets one with director Scott Cooper's Black Mass, a solid drama in which the actor gives arguably the best performance of his career. by Dan Hudak 09/18/2015
Seven Days Black Mass by Rick Kisonak 09/23/2015

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