Johnny Depp is captivating, mesmerizing as satanic James “Whitey” Bulger, Boston’s quintessential crime and drug sovereign in the 1970’s-80’s; warped dictator of the “Winter Hill Gang”. Director Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” is imbued with hefty performances from Joel Edgerton, as untoward FBI agent, John Connolly; Kevin Bacon, a righteous FBI agent, Charles McGuire; Benedict Cumberbatch, minimally used as Billy Bulger (Jimmy’s brother), politically powerful President of Boston’s State Senate.
Whitey’s depravity reaches maturity in his slimy treatment of women: stunning depictions by Dakota Johnson, (Lindsay), the mother of Bulger’s son; Julianne Nicholson, (Marianne Connolly) wife of John Connolly, in a two minute scene she suffers physical, moral and psychological degradation at the hands of Jimmy; Juno Temple, a naive, enchanting prostitute (Deborah) defines Bulger’s black abysmal, soulless nature.
“Black Mass”, not inheriting the status of “The Departed”, “The Godfather” trilogy or “Goodfellas” but fascinating contrasting Deep’s characterization of John Dillinger in 2009’s “Public Enemies” with his virtuoso grasp of Bulger; he wraps his creative tentacles around these non-fictional, villainous reprobates and squeezes until their evil essence spews from the screen, terrifying witnesses.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!