Black Mass Review

Johnny Depp’s Darkest Role in a long time.


Directed by Scott Cooper. Rated: R. 122 Minutes.

“Black Mass” tells the notorious story of Whitey Bulger, a ruthless street criminal in the mean streets of Boston. Bulger is seen as the go-to man when job is to dirty but needs to be done. One day, the FBI offers to ally with their resources and intelligence if he takes out a rival mafia family. The results is tale of violence, despair and treachery.

The movie is directed by Scott Cooper, known for “Crazy Heart” and “Out of The Furnace.” Cooper specializes in bringing dark narratives to the big screen, with “Black Mass” being his grittiest yet. The cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi was able to capture scenes ranging from marching parades to brutal execution scene by the hands of Bulger. “Black Mass” features a violent and depraved plot with excellent character portrayal  standout. A great example of this is the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch: the younger brother of Whitey Bulger. His performance in way he executed a Irish-American accent was uncanny. However, the greatest performance of this entire film was Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. Depp’s performance is terrifying; his character can snap any moment.

The movie focuses a lot on interactions between its characters to move it along. In other crime films, there is usually many violent shootings; in this movie there are only a few, but the ones included are messy. The violence in this movie is sometimes intense, with realistic head shots and torture scenes.

Those weren’t even the most intense scenes in the film. The most suspenseful scene is Bulger’s conversation with his friend’s wife. this type of tension is only found in horror movies. Cooper was able to give people heart attacks in under five minutes and it was incredible because you have witnessed Bulger’s actions throughout the film and you know what he is capable of .

Overall, this movie is great and could be an Oscar contender. Overall the performances were stellar; every actor in this movie was like a chameleon. For example, Adam Scott from Parks & Recreation, who played Robert Fitzpatrick was unrecognizable.  Takayanagi’s cinematography was able to capture scenes ranging from marching parades to brutal execution scene by the hands of Bulger. Go into this movie expecting more of a drama than a violent action film and the experience of the movie will be more enjoyable.

Overall A-