Compared to the enthralling true-life organized crime story it tells, Black Mass is a letdown. That true crime story is muddled down by filmmakers who are in over their head. Instead of a magnificent arc, we are given incongruous snapshots. The performances are good, but that’s a given. We may think of a mass being held for the vastly under-realized potential.
So no, Black Mass will not supplant Goodfellas, The Departed, or Mystic River, or even a small and much more powerful violent crime film like The Drop. Johnny Depp does a good job here, but for an infinitely better Depp mob movie, check out Donnie Brasco.
Despite its deep shortcomings, those snapshots work well enough to let some of this poignant tale through, so a mild thumbs-up. 6/10