“Black Mass” (2015) starring Johnny Depp / Z-View

Black Mass (2015)

Director:  Scott Cooper

Screenplay: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth based on BLACK MASS: WHITEY BULGER, THE FBI AND A DEVIL’S DEAL by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neil

Stars: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Mark Mahoney, Brad Carter, Scott Anderson, James Russo and Juno Temple.

Tagline: Based on the true story of one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history

The Plot…

When FBI agent John Connolly (Edgerton) is assigned to the Boston area where he was raised, he gets an outrageous idea.  Growing up, Connolly was friends with James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp).  Bulger now controls one of the major crime gangs in Boston.  Connolly wants to make Bulger a FBI informant.

Reluctant at first, Bulger agrees when he realizes he can use the FBI connection to his advantage.  Protected by his “FBI informant” status, Bulger uses the information he gets from Connolly to take out rival gangs.  Bulger becomes even more powerful.  Realizing he’s been used Connolly has no recourse but to protect Bulger.  Bulger’s hunger for power continues to drive him to commit worse crimes.  Soon Connolly will be unable to protect Bulger, and even more importantly himself.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

As outrageous as it sounds, Black Mass is based on real-life criminal James “Whitey” Bulger.  Bulger’s brother was a US senator.  Whitey was at one time #1 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List!  Bulger was, as the film shows pre-end credits, captured and sent to prison.  While in prison, he was repeatedly stabbed and beaten to death by prisoners.

Johnny Depp is unrecognizable as Whitey Bulger. Depp has said that this role is his favorite performance of all the roles he’s played.  For his part Depp was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Depp is supported by an outstanding cast.  Special mention to Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons and Juno Temple for their performances.

Black Mass (2015) rates 5 of 5 stars.