Rapid Review: Black Mass (2015)


“It’s not what you do, it’s when and where you do it, and who you do it to or with. If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen.”
– Whitey Bulger

SYNOPSIS: The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. – via IMDB

black mass

GRADE 7I watched this recently as it came back with some great reviews. Now, while I liked it, I didn’t love it (I feel there are infinitely better gangster movies out there). That being said, this is, without a doubt, the finest Johnny Depp has been in years. I was so stoked to see a movie where he was actually doing something again, wasn’t the same cut and dry quirky character we have seen him embody recently. I liked that, and was reminded why Johnny Depp was so insanely loved at a stage. He was a crazy Bulger, and those contacts he wore really freaked me out (they really looked unnatural). Edgerton was also, as is to be expected, a solid pick for John Connolly, and did a great job with his character. I have to say, the movie played it way too safe. It was formulaic, albeit carried by really good performances. At the end of the day, it used a tried and tested formula, and didn’t even try to push the boundaries, which is a pity considering the cast the film touts. So much more could have come from this. It stays within the bounds of “safe”, but never breaks through to “great”. The pacing is fine, not rushed, not too slow, but at times I wished more focus had been given to certain things and less to others. The characters were not as developed as they could be, and for a true story, I definitely think that more could have been done. Black Mass is certainly not a bad watch, and is absolutely, one hundred percent worth it if you want to see if Depp still has the goods (which he does, here, anyway), because the performances are definitely the highlight of this film.

22 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Black Mass (2015)

  1. I also recently watched this one and totally agree about Depp, it’s without a doubt the best he’s been in a long, long time. The rest of the movie is solid enough, too. Not bad, really!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t usually watch movies like this I made an exception for Black Mass since I live so close to Boston. Before his capture, Whitey Bulger had taken on an almost mythological persona here akin to “He Who Must Not Be Named”. I thought Johnny Depp did an amazing job portraying someone who committed monstrous acts, but in the end is just a man. Great review Zoe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim! Ah, so nice to hear from someone near the area, who actually is familiar with the history! Depp really was wonderful here, I really miss seeing him take on real roles. I am glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is honestly the first review I’ve read that makes me want to see this movie!!! I like hearing how we see how good Johnny Depp is 🙂 for once! Ee’s a great guy…but not in so many good movies…..

    Awesome review Zoe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a mil, Em! Worth checking out, though it will doubtfully be your favourite gangster movie, but just to see Johnny Depp do something with substance again? Worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember his eyes looking really creepy from the trailers. I can’t remember liking a Depp performance since Fear and Loathing, so I’m definitely gonna give this a shot now. Thanks for jogging my memory! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review. Yeah, I do want to watch this for Depp at some point, although I’m not really interested in the story. Good to hear he’s “back” in this. He used to be my favorite actor. Now I ALMOST can’t stand him. That makes me sad. : (

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😦 Isn’t that just the worst? I mean, he was always so good, took so many different types of roles, then he just got boring. Definitely a return to form for him here, and the movie is alright, albeit not as gripping as it could have been.

      Liked by 1 person

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