Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson
James “Whitey” Bulger’s ruthless crime organisation ruled South Boston from the mid 70s to the mid 90s, thanks to an unusual agreement with the FBI who agreed to leave Bulger alone in exchange for information on the rivaling Italian mob. Just because this gritty crime story is based on fact, doesn’t mean it makes for a believable drama. I can accept the FBI looking away for a year, but not for 20 years. As a result, the film turns dull and repetitive, and the two-faced FBI agent/Bulger’s childhood friend John Connolly becomes an incredibly irritating character. The narrated autobiographical style owes a great debt to GoodFellas, the benchmark for all modern gangster movies. I wish I could report that Johnny Depp makes a return to form, but I found his hair and makeup so distractingly awful that I couldn’t concentrate on his performance. Based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.