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Black Mass (15)

Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

The critical consensus

Compelling and powerfully acted, with just enough wrinkles to avoid the ghosts of gangster movies past. Depp's appearance might distract some, but it's good to see him back in the groove.

****(*)Chris Hewitt, Empire Online, 20/11/2015

Though the women could be stronger and the accents occasionally jar, cooper’s study of moral corruption enthrals. The Johnny-ssance starts here!

****(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 23/11/2015

Johnny Depp plays real-life Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in a preening, macho drama that brims with confidence and verve.

****(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 26/11/2015

Black Mass is a triumph of sorts for Depp...As a gangster movie, though, it is a frustrating and strangely dour affair.

***(*)(*)Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent, 27/11/2015

It feels a little old-fashioned and a lot like countless other true-life stories that we’ve witnessed over the years.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 27/11/2015

More than just a performance showcase for Depp (and Edgerton), the film really gets into the complexities of how crime works, showing how its cancerous form is able to spread in a society that’s toxic from the top down.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 29/11/2015

A compendium of dull gangster shenanigans which shirks hard reality at ever turn.

**(*)(*)(*)Vadim Rizov, Little White Lies, 23/11/2015

Bulger may be uniquely awful but his story is very familiar and it doesn’t help that there is no one to root for.

***(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express, 29/11/2015

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

***(*)(*)Mark Kermode, The Observer, 29/11/2015

Features about Black Mass (15)

Black Mass: How the life and crimes of James 'Whitey' Bulger brought out a striking performance from Johnny Depp

Tom Teodorczuk, The Independent, 22/11/2015

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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