Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: Black Mass (2015)

black_massHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Cooper non riesce neppure a sfruttare l’inquietante trasformazione del suo protagonista, disponibile per una volta a rimettersi in gioco davvero.
  • Dragan Antulov @ FAK.hr [Croatian]
    • Excerpt: Izgleda kao još vece razocarenje nakon neumitnih usporedbi s drugim ostvarenjima.
  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: El biopic de uno de los mayores criminales de la historia moderna de los Estados Unidos no es una mala película, desde luego, pero termina por resultar plomizo por lo extraordinariamente lineal y poco sorpresivo de su narrativa.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: With so many yardsticks to measure it against, it’s no surprise ‘Black Mass’ comes up short.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice
    • Excerpt: A riveting drama that takes us into territory previously unexplored in gangster movies.
  • Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]
  • Robert Cashill @ Popdose
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s a mind boggling story, one in which a petty criminal built an empire by playing the F.B.I during the same years his brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch, phenomenal) was president of the Massachusetts State Senate…Depp’s Bulger is the strongest work we’ve seen from the actor in decades.
  • David Crow @ Den of Geek
    • Excerpt: [Johnny Depp is] the kind of scary that causes viewers to crawl farther back in their seats, lest he reaches out and strangles you too with a strand of rope as thick as a femur. The rest would then be left for the rodents in a soiled fruit cellar.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “Black Mass” inevitably invites comparisons to “The Departed,” but if you take that bait you have to concede that this is a Boston crime drama done by Martin Scorsese’s more mature and more restrained brother. But unlike Scorsese, Cooper isn’t in love with his own style, and is far less prone to “Look Ma, I’m directing” flourishes.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: We want more than just the facts, but the movie takes this story at face value and runs with it.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • John Gilpatrick @ JohnLikesMovies.com
    • Excerpt: Black Mass looks like an expensive bottle of Pinot, but it goes down like a tepid glass of water.
  • Panagiotis Pete Gkaris @ Movies Ltd. [Greek]
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Seedy, sadistic story of South Boston’s most notorious Irish mobster – with Johnny Depp as sociopathic James ‘Whitey’ Bolger.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod
    • Excerpt: We know Black Mass is a serious gangster film because every now and then someone gets shot in the head, and every exterior shot seems greyer and grimmer than a winter holiday on Novaya Zemlya…
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: This is the most captivating Johnny Depp has been since Finding Neverland. He’s engaging and fully committed to the portrayal.
  • Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: An unrecognizable Johnny Depp terrorizes Boston as James “Whitey” Bulger – the hyper-real violence lacks impact and weight leaving us cold to any deeper realizations
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Black Mass is an intriguing blend of classic gangster movie drama under the umbrella of an intimate Bulger biopic.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Without digging too deeply into James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s psychology for insight to see where the evil stems from—we only know the idea of Bulger, and that’s fine—”Black Mass” is still a solid, down-and-dirty crime drama made compulsively watchable by Depp and his stellar support.
  • Greg Klymkiw @ The Film Corner
    • Excerpt: It’s the human factor that’s missing right across the board and without it, both Depp and his talented director Cooper are lost at sea in a dinghy with no oars.
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Jason McKiernan @ Next Projection
    • Excerpt: For a film that can never seem to decide what its narrative thrust and point of view are, Black Mass sure is riveting as hell.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Instead of a gangster tale that could have been truly great and gripping, “Black Mass” is a bland story that can’t help but feel dissatisfying.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
  • Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Critical Mass…
  • João Pinto @ http://www.portal-cinema.com [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: And the Oscar goes to…Johnny Depp?
  • [New – 10/20/15] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Star-studded and peppered with memorable moments, Black Mass is worth checking out even though it isn’t a complete success.
  • Kristy Puchko @ Spinoff Online, Pajiba
    • Excerpt: [Depp’s] those unholy contact lenses are the new fake baby from “American Sniper”: They’re so unreal-looking that they’re distracting (no wonder the poster depicts him in shades).
  • Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com
    • Excerpt: Johnny Depp unbuckles the swash and returns to serious acting in this often powerful but ultimately unfulfilled real-life crime drama that aspires to operatic proportions but settles for heavy metal.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: Scott Cooper’s film is tricky in that when it’s all over we aren’t asked to sympathize or admire Bulger, we are given a portrait of the wrecked lives that he has left in his wake. It’s about a psychopathic gangster, yes, but it’s much more about how his friends, his employees, the FBI, and his immediate family fell under his spell and paid the price. We feel for these people even though we understand that, simply by associating with a cunning gangster, they are the authors of their own broken destiny.
  • Diego Salgado @ Cine para Leer [Spanish]
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Might not be the equal of the greatest gangster pictures. But it has one great element in Depp’s performance, which makes this journey into the world of a vicious crime lord endlessly engrossing and at times positively startling.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: Johnny Depp proves again that he can take on any role and make us believe he IS that character.
  • Rob Wallis @ The Metropolist
    • Excerpt: While Cooper’s film contains little we haven’t seen before… the destruction of the line between cop and criminal, not just in an undercover sense, is a refreshing cup of cold water to the face.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Black Mass is a darkly diverting but excessively familiar sort of crime epic, with neither Cooper nor the screenplay exhibiting much interest in jolting the story off of its predictable, trope-cluttered track.
Updated: November 20, 2015 — 8:02 pm
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