Black Mass

3 out of 5 stars

Johnny Depp transforms himself into James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and back into a proper actor in this gangster-biopic directed by Scott Cooper channeling Scorsese but not quite, perhaps missing some of his masterly flair and magic. While the film is competently executed and performed with a decent ensemble cast, it sometimes plays too conventional and reminds me of a Crimewatch re-enactment. Maybe the problem is other than Bulger and Joel Edgerton’s John Connolly, we don’t really care about the numerous other characters. There is tension in every violently depicted kill, but often we don’t really know who they are, other than being yet another corpse in Bulger’s ever growing list of victims.

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