Based on the true story of Boston crime lord James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Black Mass is a gripping tale with a mesmerising performance from an almost unrecognisable Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands).
As with Sicario, it’s an all too familiar tale told from a different perspective. Helmed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace), Black Mass is an engrossing exploration of the relationship between Bulger and FBI agent John Connelly (an equally impressive Joel Edgerton – The Great Gatsby, Warrior) as much as it is about organised crime. The violence is short and sharp – enabling the film to focus on the character study and that pivotal relationship.
A whole bevy of excellent supporting performances (there’s one extraordinary scene between Depp and Julianne Nicholson – August: Osage County, Tully) adds to the impact.