Review: Black Mass

Johnny Depp is human again

Johnny Depp, after years of compelling work in films as diverse as Benny & Joon, Ed Wood, Dead Man, Cry-Baby and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, actively crossed over into lazy sellout territory when he saidyes to Disney and started a decade-plus-long Keith Richards impressionin 2003. (His longtime cohort Tim Burton also stopped trying aroundthis time; luckily they usually combine efforts.) Black Mass—the story of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger—offered Depp an opportunity he hadn’t seen in a long time: a human. But Bulger’s blue eyes and fake, rotten teeth are just another cartoon costume, though in Depp’s defense the movie around him just sits there shooting people, wasting Joel Edgerton, Peter Sarsgaard and Kevin Bacon, to say nothing of the women stuck in it (the terrific Julianne Nicholson and Dakota Johnson, we’ll see). You’ve seen better mob movies, and much better Depps. Inconsequential.

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