Black Mass is a movie worth seeing but it is nothing special. The only thing worth talking about are the performances. The best performance we get is by Johnny Depp who completely kills it as James “Whitey” Bulger. He steals every scene he is in and overshadows all the other great cast members in the film. He was creepy, crazy and at some points you even forget you’re looking at Depp. He has so many more dimensions than anyone else on screen. Joel Edgerton was great in this movie and nails the Bostonian accent. He is a top notch actor but is not utilized to his full potential this time around. The same can be said for pretty much the entire cast of the film. Benedict Cumberbatch plays plays Johnny Depps brother, Billy Bulger. He is hardly in the film and being Cumberbatch you would think he would have had more screen time. He is in the movie very little. Kevin Bacon also appears but doesn’t get any justice done for his role. This is one of my main issues with the film. Having such great actors at your disposal but not using them enough. This is a problem of poor writing.
Another issue with Black Mass is that the pace screws the film over so badly. If it had a stronger structure and better narrative it would be a definite Oscar contender. The film jumps years a couple times and never settles at a certain point in Whiteys life which makes the storyline feel weak.
There is a lot of lost potential with Black Mass which makes it extremely disappointing.