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James Robins reviews Black Mass.
Black Mass film

Johnny Depp phones in another makeup-and-costume performance, looking more like Christopher Walken than notorious south Boston kingpin James “Whitey” Bulger.

The face paint is intended to make Depp appear as terrifying as Bulger’s charge sheet, but the full package is absurd even next to the fake moustaches and mullets of his co-stars.

Given director Scott Cooper’s pre­vious work, Black Mass’ dullness is curious. He clearly seeks to adapt the meditative rhythms of small-town revenge story Out of the Furnace for a bigger city and bolder characters, but fails to make any thug, crook or cop’s narrative open to the viewer’s interest.

Flashes of brilliance from others ease the pang of disappointment. Juno Temple, Dakota Johnson and Marianne Connolly provide points of empathy in the midst of the surprisingly bloodless violence.

Stars: 2/5

Words by: James Robins

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