Black Mass

Black Mass

Scott Cooper (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Johnny Depp gives his best performance in years, despite being caked in latex, as real-life Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger. Director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) shows how Bulger is made untouchable by the FBI and specifically, by childhood pal Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) when he forges an alliance between their organisations to topple the Italian Mafia in the city. Inevitably, though, Connolly is drawn in to the dark side while Bulger reaps the benefits, taking over the local trade in narcotics and breaking the one rule Connolly insists upon - no killing. In fact, Whitey appears to enjoy the bloodshed. There's a terrifying glint of mania visible in Depp's eyes in his carefully measured portrayal, punctuated by violent outbursts. Edgerton cannot make as big an impact in an underwritten role where he never pauses to question his many bad decisions, which leaves the film with no moral centre. And there's surprisingly little screen-time for Benedict Cumberbatch, as Whitey's brother, the most powerful politician in Massachusetts. It's just a pity that Cooper misses these opportunities to add depth to a fascinating true story of collusion between the lawmakers and the lawbreakers.


A gangster in 1970s Boston agrees to collaborate with an FBI agent in the hope of eliminating their common enemy - the Italian Mafia. However, the arrangement soon spirals out of control as the mobster uses his insider knowledge to outwit the law and consolidate his own power. Fact-based gangster drama, starring Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson and Kevin Bacon.

Cast & Crew

James "Whitey" Bulger Johnny Depp
John Connolly Joel Edgerton
Billy Bulger Benedict Cumberbatch
Steve Flemmi Rory Cochrane
Kevin Weeks Jesse Plemons
John Morris David Harbour
Lindsey Cyr Dakota Johnson
Marianne Connolly Julianne Nicholson
Charles McGuire Kevin Bacon
Fred Wyshak Corey Stoll
Brian Halloran Peter Sarsgaard
Robert Fitzpatrick Adam Scott
Deborah Hussey Juno Temple
Director Scott Cooper
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuse.Available on: Blu-rayReleased on: 27 Nov 2015