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Information

Year
2015
Runtime
123 min.
Director
Scott Cooper
Genres
Crime, Drama, Biography
Rating *
6.9
Votes *
131,565
Checks
3,887
Favs
105
Dislikes
57
Favs/checks
2.7% (1:37)
Favs/dislikes
2:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. nowhereman136's avatar

    nowhereman136

    a little disappointed in this. While the performances of Depp and Edgerton were really good, others like Cumberbatch and Bacon were not. That and a lack of emotional depth and suspense made the movie's run time feel longer than it was. Depp is back to his A-Game form, but it wasnt enough to make this movie a classic. 6/10 8 years 9 months ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Johnny Depp returns to a real life information in Black Mass, though unlike Donny Brasco, Whitey Bulger uses his FBI connection to make himself the most powerful crime lord in 1970s-80s Boston. It's not an uninteresting story, and Depp is quite restrained (I could even forget it was him under the bald head and blue eyes, which I didn't think could happen anymore), but it suffers from Scorsese envy. All real crime films seem to fall into a similar pattern, a rise and fall of incidents from whatever book strung together to shock or illuminate. Scorsese is the best of the best at this, somehow making his longish films seem worth it at the end, where he puts an inspired button on his film. Not so here. The film is well shot and creates a bleached out, stark and decaying South Boston, with some good, creepy moments for the villain, the ending is anti-climactic at best. I know it follows true events, but the way it's presented, it seems abrupt and flat. The theme of loyalty and betrayal is fairly obvious, but satisfyingly returns in different ways again and again, but why his FBI connection would BE so loyal to him isn't explored sufficiently. So mostly good, but probably not all that memorable in the long run. 8 years 8 months ago
  3. lachyas's avatar

    lachyas

    A well-made and moderately entertaining gangster film that falls short of greatness simply because it does absolutely nothing that we haven't seen done countless times before much better. There's no one standout element or even scene to really differentiate this from its peers, and even Depp's much-lauded performance, whilst impressive, is only truly noteworthy because it finally arrests the downwards spiral that he's been in lately.

    This is made all the more frustrating because there's a great film hidden here somewhere. Maybe one focusing more on Edgerton's John Connelly with the far less interesting Bulger as a supporting character, or maybe one built solely around the takedown of the Italian Mafia, which drives the first half of the movie before promptly being resolved in an inconsequential and anti-climactic manner with over an hour left in the film. These possibilities however are lost in director Cooper's insistence on showing all the real life events in a chronological, straightforward, and sombre fashion, one after the other, almost as if he and the screenwriters had a checklist of key moments they were dispassionately ticking off as they went. Bulger did this. Then Bulger did this. Then, oh! He also did this. It may be an admirable approach to historical realism, but it does not make for a compelling narrative in this case, absent character development and dramatic tension.

    I had a similar feeling of wasted potential in regards to Cooper's previous effort Out Of The Furnace, which also received a lot of awards buzz before not really leaving its mark. There's no doubting that he's a very competent director however, and hopefully his next feature packs that extra something special that this is lacking.
    8 years 8 months ago
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