Movie Review – Black Mass 2015

Black Mass movies review and DVD cover image.

  • IMDB: 7.0
  • Starring: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson
  • Rated: R (V, L, DU)
  • Genre:  Biography / Crime / Drama
  • Running Time: 2hr 3min

Black Mass Movie Review (Released 2015)

A well-chosen name can tell a lot about a film, think about- “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas”. It is through this duality that the narrative permeates through and tangles the viewers into a complex web. Black Mass, on the contrary, in its title draws a parallel between the conspiracy of the Mafia, the FBI and  serving the devil. Thoughtful audiences immediately could understand what’s coming next.

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There are no limits when it comes to films like Black Mass. Although the narrative is based on a true story, it evokes the crimes committed by one of the leaders of the Irish mafia, and while it probably will fascinate lovers of court cases, the danger of the ‘saturation effect’ is pretty real.

The vision of Scott Cooper is pretty interesting. Black Mass is indeed devoid of the glamor effect. Without using such a raw and stripped approach that Matteo Garrone chose for Gomorrah, director of Crazy Heart chose to film this rather dry. Punctuated by extremely violent episodes, this drama camped in the criminal world does become more realistic. The filmmaker also relies heavily on the complexity of a story whose protagonists have always been known, even if they are not all passed on the same side of the law.

When the story begins in 1975, James J. “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) is already a notorious criminal. John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), FBI agent manages to convince his childhood friend to work with the agency to eliminate their common enemy: the Italian Mafia. In exchange, the agency condones illegal activities of Whitey Bulger, including his involvement in drug trafficking. This strange alliance soon causes conflicts.

In addition, Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch), the younger brother of the criminal, makes a political career and wins the chairmanship of the Senate of the State of Massachusetts. The scenario is described skillfully and all the links that are generated by such dangerous situations are well portrayed.

The effectiveness of the film rests largely on the reliable shoulders of Johnny Depp. The actor finally provides a performance that is an accurate measure of his talent, in a role that is sure to freeze your blood. All fans would surely enjoy a particular scene in the movie, which we think is worthy of an inclusion in an anthology – he gets into a room at a dinner, just to intimidate the wife of one of his allies, while investigating his doubts of allegiance.

Unfortunately, the film is not of this caliber from end to end.

Black Mass might probably interest fans of gangster movies, but there is nothing distinctive enough to attract those who are less fond of this genre. While Depp is certainly great here, the villain of “Black Masses” would be a better fit in a bleak Komiksy film rather than in a realistic crime flick. This, however, does not contradict the main task of the movie, as it manages to portray Bulger in a scary manner, so much so that he winds up being down right ridiculous and a misfit.

Black Mass Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWsbqshD5TE