Black Mass: Good, but Could Be Better


When it comes to making gangster films, Hollywood has done an incredible job. From The Godfather to Donnie Brasco, Hollywood has done the gangster genre justice.

So when it was announced that Hollywood had green lit a film about the infamous Whitey Bugler and his relationship with the F.B.I, critics and audiences were ecstatic not only because of the film, but because they hoped the film would be Johnny Depp’s “come back”.

Black Mass is based on the true story about James “Whitey” Bulger and his relationship with the FBI, told in a nonlinear style. The film does a great job of keeping the viewer entertained and on the edge of their seat.

The performances in Black Mass are nothing short of top notch. Not only does Johnny Depp give one of the best performances of his entire career, but the acting from Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, and Jesse Plemons is fantastic. The performances in the film are so realistic that they leap off the screen. The viewer feels like they are watching real life instead of a movie.

The cinematography is exceptional. The film captures a feeling of a dark and vicious underworld where it’s a dog eat dog world, and only the best survive.

While there is no denying that the performances and cinematography in Black Mass are nothing short of top notch, they don’t save the film from its flaws. The script, for the most part, is adequate with a few moments that are excellent.

The director is Scott Cooper, a director that has serious potential to make great films and stand alongside today’s great filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, and Darren Aronofsky. His scripts have serious potential but the final product falls short.

This is problematic because while there are no serious problems with the film, the film could be and should be a much better film.

Overall, Black Mass is a very enjoyable film. The performances and cinematography are great. They are the films strongest qualities and really make the film worth seeing, even if the script falls short. Black Mass is a strong film that is definitely a comeback for Johnny Depp. While Black Mass is nowhere near as good as Goodfellas, The Godfather 1+2, and Scarface, it is definitely worth seeing.