Black Mass (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Black Mass2015

Black Mass (2015)



Critic Consensus: Black Mass spins a gripping yarn out of its fact-based story -- and leaves audiences with one of Johnny Depp's most compelling performances in years.

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Movie Info

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history. -- (C) Warner Bros

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Johnny Depp
as Whitey Bulger
Benedict Cumberbatch
as William Bulger
Joel Edgerton
as John Connolly
Jesse Plemons
as Kevin Weeks
Dakota Johnson
as Lindsey Cyr
Rory Cochrane
as Stephen Flemmi, Steve Flemmi
Julianne Nicholson
as Marianne Connolly
Adam Scott
as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick
Brad Carter
as John McIntyre
David Harbour
as John Morris
Jeremy Strong
as Josh Bond (uncredited)
W. Earl Brown
as John Martorano
Corey Stoll
as Fred Wyshak
Kevin Bacon
as Charles McGuire, FBI Agent Charles McGuire
Peter Sarsgaard
as Brian Halloran
Bill Camp
as John Callahan
Juno Temple
as Deborah Hussey
Mark Mahoney
as Mickey Maloney
Lonnie Farmer
as DEA Agent Eric Olsen (Interrogator)
Scott Anderson
as Tommy King
Mary Klug
as Mom Bulger
Erica McDermott
as Mary Bulger
Luke Ryan
as Douglas Cyr
Owen Burke
as Buddy Leonard
Lewis Wheeler
as Jeremiah O'Sullivan
Robert Walsh
as Voice of Sr. FBI Official
Billy Meleady
as Joe Cahill
Jamie Donnelly
as Mrs. Cody
David DeBeck
as Roger Wheeler
David Conley (V)
as Officer Flynn
Ciaran Crawford
as Irish Nationalist
Thomas Philip O'Neill
as FBI Wire Tech
Joey Vacchio
as Joey, Big Italian
Bill Haims
as Gennaro Angiulo
Anthony Molinari
as Charlie McTiernan
Todd Ryan Jones
as Charlie's Friend
Declan Mulvey
as Charlie's Friend
Bates Wilder
as Agent James
Marc Carver
as Dick Lehr
Richard Donelly
as Gerard O'Neill
Gary Galone
as State Captain
Peter J. Morse
as FBI Agent
Tom Kemp
as Father Mackey
Patrick M. Walsh, Jr.
as Michael Donahue
Naheem Garcia
as DEA Agent
Stephen Curran
as Drug Dealer
Jack Neary
as Barman
Jimmy Joe Maher
as Boot Shop Owner
Forry Buckingham
as World Jai Alai Chairman
Danny DeMiller
as Porthole Bartender
Michael F. Murphy
as Porthole Customer
Alexander Cook
as DEA Agent Dan Doherty
Ava Cooper
as Little Mary Bulger
Stella Cooper
as Kathleen Bulger
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Critic Reviews for Black Mass

All Critics (290) | Top Critics (71)

Scott Cooper appears to have made Black Mass under the assumption that his work was half done the moment he jotted the words "Boston-set crime drama" on a notepad.

June 14, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Depp sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise bland crime drama. And when the film isn't distracting, it's mostly just plain boring.

February 22, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Yes, it's a relief to see Depp playing a real character again, not another one of his circus freaks -- I just wish he'd been given a better film to operate in.

June 12, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A a well-crafted, well-acted, and competently executed movie that you've seen many, many times before.

May 3, 2016 | Full Review…

Depp has never been short on menace, and he is so unpleasant as Bulger that his usual gangster charm never kicks in, leaving the audience cold.

December 1, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Packs a nasty gangland punch, but lacks the Corleone clout necessary to back up its much-discussed blood-and-honour themes.

November 29, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Mass

Johnny Depp's chilling and transforming performances is the highlight of this gritty, true-to-life adaptation of an American crime story. Black Mass' star-heavy cast (including Edgerton, Cumberbatch) and its calculating direction helps emphasize the brutality and impact of this notorious gangster. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Black Mass is Scott Cooper's bio-pic about the legendary Boston gangster Jimmy "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp) and his reign as the most feared man in Boston. Bulger takes an unconventional route to the top by not only being the brother to State Senator Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch), but he is also an informant for F.B.I. agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The film follows the two decades of Bulger using his law enforcement contacts to protect himself and his business. Whitey may have been a rough and tough guy, but he was far more intelligent than he is given credit for. Depp plays Bulger with a kind of resolve and immersion that we haven't seen from the actor in a long time. To rob Breaking Bad, he becomes the danger. People fear him and he knows it with Depp playing the role perfectly. It also turns out that this story also belongs to Edgerton's character, who feels the link to South Boston, but unwittingly falls into the corruption of the Bulger organization without even himself realizing it. The film is not so much a cat and mouse film as it's seeing what Bulger can get away with next, and he gets away with quite a bit. Most of the performances in the film are spot on and give the film a richness it needs. The issues that come with this film are in the presentation of the story. For a quarter of a century people have tried to reinvent the vibe from Goodfellas (even Martin Scorsese is a known offender). Black Mass is no different and it pulls you from the story because it feels like the director is trying too hard to recapture past gangster film triumphs. There's a reason why we never see films attempt to repeat The Godfather's karma- many have failed and are lost to our memories. Black mass may go beyond going down the drain of films forgotten, but it still feels forced. Add to that the connections between this film and Scorsese's The Departed and you add to the issue. A word of warning when watching this film. If you have seen The Departed you will be reminded of bits and pieces from that film. Of course The Departed is a re-make of the Asian film Infernal Affairs and the broad premise of the film is based on Bulger's life, which doesn't help in the matter. It will take the first forty minutes of the film to go by before you stop comparing it to The Departed, taking away from the experience I'm afraid. Overall the film is a well acted piece that really tries too hard to be a classic gangster film. This will probably be a forgotten piece in five years time, reminding you of its existence on late night television. This is really a shame because Depp's performance is one of his best in recent memory and shouldn't be thrown away and forgotten. A well acted film that fails to really capture the audience because none of the characters are very sympathetic. A missed opportunity.

Chris Garman
Chris Garman

Super Reviewer


Perhaps it's a far greater travesty that Johnny Depp, at age 52 and three Oscar nominations, has never won one and that those nominations were more awarded for pop novelty (Sweeney Todd and Jack Sparrow) than actorly craft (the not nominated Gilbert Grape and Ed Wood). As infamous mobster Whitey Bulger, Depp is appropriately terrifying, though the story is convoluted and episodic to the point that I don't know if the role was truly nuanced or challenging. For the longest time, I thought Jesse Plemons was Matt Damon in plaster makeup. Juno Temple is pretty dang good in the third degree scene. Her fear is so tiny yet fierce.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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