Boston (il)Legal has an offer you can't refuse
Classic Elsternwick - Sunday 11 October 2015, 10:30am
Running time: 122m
Country: United States
Classification: MA15+ (Strong violence and coarse language)
Release date: 08/10/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 7/10 (ME 3/5, DP 4/5)
James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Johnny Depp) is a gangster at the head of a crime syndicate in Boston in the mid 1970s. His brother William (The Imitation Game's Benedict Cumberbatch) is a respected politician and the brothers grew up with John Connolly (The Gift's Joel Edgerton) who ended up working for the FBI. In the middle of a turf war with a rival gang, Whitey ends up making a deal with the FBI to provide information on his enemies and secure his criminal empire. How can this arrangement keep everyone safe when the stakes continue to increase?
Black Mass is a gritty crime drama with an impressive lead and supporting cast. Johnny Depp's performance as unlikeable yet vulnerable mobster Whitey is remarkable, and the physical transformation is hideously disturbing. The 70s and 80s have been captured flawlessly without distracting from the intriguing plot. This is a very violent film and not for the squeamish, but it succeeds in creating and sustaining moments of excruciating tension.
Unfortunately there's little new ground broken here and the story feels like one that's been told many times before. The 'crime boss succeeds' montage (you know the one; shot of cash counting machine, cut to shot of trying on new clothes, cut back to cash counting machine, repeat) is one of many crime film cliches used here and adds nothing to the experience. The large cast of characters can make it confusing at times and it's hard to keep track of who's double and triple crossing who. There are plot elements that, though interesting enough, draw away from the core plot and slow the pace of the film. Fans of the genre will thoroughly enjoy Black Mass and fans of Johnny Depp will be mesmerised by his compelling performance. (ME)
5th AACTA International Awards
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards