Black Mass the true crime drama about notorious Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger starring Johnny Depp hit the big screen with mostly positive reviews from moviegoers and critics. The movie is based on the life of the Boston mobster including his often debated relationship with the FBI. The source material for the film was a book written by Boston Globe reporters Gerard O’Neill and Dick Lehr called Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal. Depp plays the part of the infamous Whitey Bulger and his performance has been well received by both fans of his and the movie.
But the Black Mass movie reviews have not all been positive, especially from some of the people who actually knew Bulger. Kevin Weeks a former Bulger henchman slammed the movie calling it “pure fiction” claiming the promise of corruption with the feds was accurate but the events, personalities, and people were not. Weeks said they could of told the truth instead of fabricating events and the movie would’ve been more violent than it is. He also was not impressed with either the look or performance of Depp as Bulger saying “his portrayal of him, outside of the makeup, I couldn’t believe it”. According to weeks the hairline was only thing which resembled Whitey Bulger but they way that the former mobster talked to people and his mannerisms were inaccurate.
Weeks wasn’t impressed with the portrayal of his own character as well played by Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons. He pointed out various part of the movie, which according to him never happened or at least did not happen the way it was portrayed. He wasn’t the only person who was familiar with Bulger to slam the film as former defense co-counsel Hank Brennan called the film “pure fantasy” calling Depp’s performance and look a joke. He said the real Bulger “doesn’t act like that; he doesn’t talk like that, in that whisper voice that sounds like Gollum.”
The new mafia movie isn’t a documentary so of course it has some added Hollywood drama, but it still contains plenty of accurate facts. The difference in opinions between some of knew Bulger to moviegoers isn’t totally unexpected and certainly won’t determine the films overall success.