Watch Black Mass
- 2 hr 2 min
Black Mass is a gritty crime drama film that debuted in 2015. Directed by Scott Cooper and based on the true story of infamous Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, the movie boasts an all-star cast that includes Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, and Joel Edgerton. The plot of Black Mass centers around the unholy alliance between Bulger, played by Depp, and FBI agent John Connolly, portrayed by Edgerton. In the 1970s, Connolly reaches out to Bulger - who is already a notorious gangster in South Boston - and offers him a deal. Connolly asks Bulger to become an informant for the FBI in order to help them bring down the Italian Mafia that has a stronghold in the area. Bulger agrees, and soon becomes a valuable source of information for the FBI.
However, the partnership between the two men quickly spirals out of control. With the help of his loyal henchman Stephen Flemmi (portrayed by Rory Cochrane), Bulger becomes emboldened by his newfound power and begins to commit increasingly violent crimes. Meanwhile, Connolly becomes more and more entangled in Bulger's web of corruption, eventually even covering up his crimes and tipping him off to impending danger.
As the years go by, Bulger's reign of terror becomes more and more entrenched - and Connolly's once-lauded FBI career begins to unravel. The film does not shy away from showing the brutal violence that was a hallmark of Bulger's gang, including murders, beatings, and more. But the most unsettling aspect of Black Mass is the way it shows how easy it is for corrupt officials to bend the law to their will, and the devastating consequences that can have for the communities in which they operate.
Depp delivers a powerhouse performance as Bulger, completely disappearing into the role both physically and emotionally. He embodies the real-life gangster's cold, calculating demeanor, as well as his terrifying bursts of violence. However, the film doesn't paint Bulger as a one-dimensional monster; instead, it takes pains to show how he was able to manipulate those around him into doing his bidding, and how his power only grew when unchecked. Cumberbatch is equally impressive as Bulger's younger brother Billy, a Massachusetts state senator who tries to keep his hands clean but eventually finds himself embroiled in the same corruption as his brother.
The supporting cast is uniformly excellent as well. Joel Edgerton is well-cast as Connolly, managing to make the audience sympathize with him even as he descends further into dishonesty. Dakota Johnson shows her dramatic range as Lindsey Cyr, Bulger's longtime girlfriend who becomes increasingly disillusioned with his violent ways. And Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jesse Plemons all make memorable appearances as law enforcement officials who try to bring Bulger to justice.
In terms of visuals, Black Mass is a dark and moody film, with the gritty streets of Boston serving as an appropriately grimy backdrop to the action. The film's cinematography does an excellent job of conveying the sense of unease and increasing danger that permeates the story.
Overall, Black Mass is a gripping crime drama that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to portraying the brutal reality of organized crime. With an outstanding cast delivering powerhouse performances, the film manages to both entertain and disturb. Fans of true crime stories and gritty thrillers should absolutely check out this intense and thrilling movie.
Black Mass is a 2015 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 68.