on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM
Johnny Depp breaks his shit slump with a riveting performance as James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the notorious Boston crime lord who also acted as informant to the FBI while killing people and destroying lives. Depp goes under some heavy makeup, including some gross teeth, to play the infamous brother of William “Billy” Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) and pal of FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The movie examines the strange dynamic that occurs between one of the worst criminals in Boston history, his high-ranking brother, and his meat-headed FBI friend. All three are very good in a film that, alas, feels like it was supposed to be a lot longer (I suspect there’s a four hour cut of this movie somewhere in director Scott Cooper’s basement). Depp is scary-good, yet his work feels strangely abbreviated, making him feel like more of a supporting player. Edgerton’s Connolly feels a little more well rounded, and continues a fine year for the actor after The Gift. Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson are all good in supporting roles. As mobster movies go, this is a good one, but it should’ve been a great one. If anything, it’s good to see Depp truly digging into something rather than acting like a goofball for a paycheck.