AT THE MOVIES: Johnny Depp in a scene from the movie Black Mass.
AT THE MOVIES: Johnny Depp in a scene from the movie Black Mass. Warner Bros Pictures

Depp, Edgerton shine on screen

DIVING deep into the real life crime story of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, Black Mass follows the rise and fall of kingpin James "Whitey" Bulger after forming a 20 year "alliance" with the FBI.

I'm sure you've already heard the praise for Johnny Depp's performance as Bulger.

The megastar most recently known for his colourful, theatrical portrayals of characters gives a subtle and at times terrifying performance as the unstable crime boss.

And while this is very much Depp's movie, the real stand-out for me is Joel Edgerton as FBI agent and Bulger's childhood friend, John Conolly.

Personifying the conflict at the very heart of the film, Conolly's loyalty is constantly tested as he's caught between mounting pressure from his superiors in the FBI, and pressure from himself to do right by the people he grew up with.

Edgerton is right at home in this huge ensemble cast that also features the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson and many more in supporting roles.

It seems to be a recent trend to fill minor roles with actors who would otherwise be carrying the movie and while this ensures solid performances across the board, it also leaves some of the most talented actors working today under-utilised.

Regardless, some great character performances and a solid visual aesthetic make Black Mass a thrilling and interesting story of one of the most infamous figures to rule the streets of Boston.

BLACK MASS

  • Release date: October 8
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Running time: 122 mins
  • Director: Scott Cooper
  • Stars: Johnny Depp
  • Showing at:
  • Limelight, Riverlink
  • Birch Carroll and Coyle, Ipswich
  • Reading Cinemas, Redbank
  • Star rating: 4/5


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