Depp is the new Whitey.
Black Mass tells the story of an unholy alliance between the FBI and Irish mobster James "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp). It’s the true story of a relationship that allowed Whitey to evade law enforcement and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in 1970’s Boston.
After a decade of comical characters, Depp is back in form as Whitey. The makeup is unfortunately distracting at times, but for most of the film Depp becomes a very scary human. He steals every scene he is in. A key scene, where Whitey flirts and threatens FBI agent John Connolly’s (Joel Edgerton) wife, is one of the most chilling film moments of the year.
Black Mass isn’t a big film like Goodfellas or The Departed. It is a well-crafted, but predictable gangster film. In other words, it’s highly enjoyable.
Simply put: A solid gangster film and a return to (human) form for Depp.
Award potential: Depp will be a front runner until December, but I don’t think he will make the top five. He’s done too many silly heavily makeup characters to be rewarded for doing one well. Joel Edgerton has a shot for Supporting Actor. The film has a shot for one of the many Best Picture slots, but I don’t think it will go all the way.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.