Black Mass is Worth Your Money


Drew Fritzler, Staff Writer

Synopsis: In this true story James “Whitey” Bulger is one of the most feared gangsters in Boston during the 1970’s. Bulger is at the top of the hierarchy of the Winter Hill Gang. His time in Alcatraz made him a hardened criminal and when he returned to Boston he was preparing for his biggest crime wave yet. When a childhood friend who happens to be an FBI agent approaches him seeking his partnership as an informant, Bulger accepts the offer to excuse his violent gang activity. Once he has fully corrupted his FBI friend he lets down a reign of terror in south Boston, but other members of the FBI realize the error of their ways.

Black Mass has every component of a great movie. It has a great story, just the right amount of suspense, and of course a great cast. Johnny Depp hit the nail on the head with his performance as Bulger. He is completely transformed to fit this role. Depp was able to carry on the menacing legacy of Bulger. His creepy laugh and stone cold stare were highlights of Depp’s performance. Depp seems to perform his best in roles that require him to put on a straight face and entice fear into the audience like he did in Public Enemies, and again in this film. Other great performances were Joel Edgerton as John Connolly, the corrupt FBI agent, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Bulger’s brother, Billy.

The acting was great and so was the story, but I didn’t know where the movie was heading. Without a true protagonist it was hard to end the movie. The entire movie was chalk full of action right until there was about half an hour left. The story started to lose momentum and a climax never came. The story resolved itself with a “where are they now” sequence. I felt like there had to be something more left in the movie. The movie seemed long, but I feel like it could have benefited from a longer run time to show that Bulger’s story did indeed reach a climax. Instead the audience has to read what happens to Bulger in the future after he leaves Boston.

Overall I enjoyed this movie because of the great acting and story telling, but I left the theatre wanting more. It is anti-climactic, but what it lacks in a climax it makes up for in a great story and superb suspense and action. I give Black Mass a 4 out of 5 score and would recommend it to anyone interested in criminal stories and has the stomach for violence. Black Mass is rated R and in theatres now.