TORONTO — Johnny Depp burns up every frame of Black Mass, all nasty swagger and murderous menace as South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. It’s the most interesting new role he’s tackled since the first time Captain Jack Sparrow stumbled onscreen.

Joel Edgerton, meanwhile, re-earns his place on Hollywood’s upper crust as John Connolly, the FBI agent whose connections to Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang ultimately got too cozy for the law to allow. Edgerton is forceful and tragic and committed here, a consummate pro, in a performance that could elbow its way into the awards conversation.

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‘Black Mass’ review: How could cold, murderous Johnny Depp be so blah?