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Monday, September 28, 2015

Black Mass

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.

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