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Black Mass (2015)

by on February 16, 2016
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“Black Mass” is being released today on Blu-ray, and you may be wondering if this movie is worth seeing. There are already several reviews from other Film Yap contributors about the strength of this movie:

There is nothing that I am going to say that hasn’t been said already by these previous reviewers in terms of the plot, key players and actors. What I will add is that Johnny Depp, who is one of Hollywood’s best in-character actors, completely embodies his characterization of criminal James “Whitey” Bulger. In this film, you forget you’re watching Depp and feel as if you’re watching the character, and it gives the viewer a slight sense of voyeurism. Depp’s turn here is similar to his work in “Blow,” where he took on the role of drug dealer George Jung, or “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” where he played Hunter S. Thompson.

An example of this from early in the film is when the sociopathic Bulger is trying to teach his son a life lesson. His son, who had just gotten in trouble at school for punching a bully, expresses his belief that he got in trouble for hitting another kid. Bulger tells him it’s quite the contrary; he didn’t get in trouble for punching the kid, but he got in trouble for punching the kid when other people could see. The kid reiterates his father’s point that he should “punch people when no one’s looking.” Bulger winks, much to the shock and disgust of the boy’s mother. The scene is chilling,and Depp executes it perfectly. The film has these moments of brilliant acting sprinkled throughout its 123 minute running time.

The film is a must see, strictly because of the fantastic performance by Depp. I would categorize this film as a rental rather than a purchase, although if you want to explore the Blu-ray features, there is much more about the life of Whitey Bulger.


Black Mass: Deepest Cover, Darkest Crime: Interviews with the cast that tells this remarkable story.

Johnny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger: Learn more about the process that was used to transform Depp into this character.

The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger: Feature-length documentary about the eventual capture of one of the FBI’s Most Wanted men.

Film: 4 Yaps
Extras: 4 Yaps



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