Verdict: 4 / 5
Black Mass follows the real-life story of the notorious mobster Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger who infamously ran the streets of Boston in 1975. If you’re a fan of mobster crime thrillers then this film definitely for you.
Jimmy ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Johnny Depp) is the gang leader of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston. His childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) is an FBI agent. Angiulo, a rival gang, declares war on the Winter Hill Gang and things get heated. In an attempt to save Bulger, Connolly secretly contacts him and persuades him to snitch on the Mafia. Bulger agrees and provides confidential information to the FBI in an attempt to eradicate the rival syndicate and protect himself from spending the rest of his life in jail.
Tension builds as Bulger and his crew, Stephen Flemmi (Rory Cochrane), Johnny Martorano (W Earl Brown) and Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons), gain more and more territory. As their hands get bloody and their pockets get bigger, the head of the FBI (Kevin Bacon) drives Connolly to take Bulger down. Black Mass shadows the two decades of Bulger using his law enforcement acquaintances to guard himself and his business.
Johnny Depp really took the role of Bulger to another level by transforming himself into power-hungry killer with blonde hair and deep blue eyes. Yet, despite his heartless gang motives, he is a loving family man to those closest to him. Depp plays the role of a manipulative menace very well. The narrative is gripping until the end as you can’t wait to see what Bulger will do next to gain power. However, the film lacks originality in terms of its presentation. It feels very much like a journalist documentary driven by hard facts. It could have had a more natural flow.
Nonetheless, Black Mass is definitely worth the watch as it is well-executed.