A Western in Boston: Black Mass

I should begin this review with a disclaimer: I am a sucker for gangster films. I think The Godfather: Part III is actually a pretty good movie. Maybe it’s because to me the gangster film is part of the American film mythology (I love Westerns too). Or maybe the films just give me a vicarious thrill because I couldn’t raise a fist even if I wanted to. So when I say that Black Mass, a film written and directed by Scott Cooper and starring Johnny Depp as the infamous Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, does not do much more beyond effectively execute every cliché of the genre, I sort of mean that as a compliment. But to people who aren’t predisposed to wanting to see a ton of whackings, that may be a “stay away” sign.