Including Cate's latest Oscar botherer, Johnny Depp's return to form and an exhibition on everyone's favourite Belgian explorerMore
A new Johnny Depp film used to be cause for excitement. Just think back to the heady days of the Nineties: Ed Wood, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Donnie Brasco. Yet, as the sub-par efforts rolled by (Alice in Wonderland and dire Pirates of the Caribbean sequels included), the enthusiasm naturally sagged, culminating in this year's Mortdecai; a serious contender for 2015's worst.
And yet out this week is Black Mass, a crime thriller tracking the career of infamous Irish-American mobster Whitey Bulger, to suddenly dispel our doubts. Depp plays Bulger with true malice and unpredictable air, reminding us just what he's capable of. Alongside him on impressive form are Joel Edgerton, as the compromised FBI agent John Connolly, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Bulger's politician brother, Billy (the less said about his Raymond Babbitt-esque Bostonian accent the better).
From director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Black Mass isn't the showstopper many were hoping for but a worthy depiction of a chilling real-life figure. Kevin Bacon's in it for a few scenes too.
Black Mass is released on 27 November
It’s unlikely that Boris Johnson will seek to use Capital, the new BBC drama adapted from the novel of the same name by erstwhile Esquire writer John Lanchester, as pro-London marketing material.
Adapted for TV by Peter Bowker, who previously penned David Tennant drama Blackpool, Capital focuses on the residents of a single fictional street, the oh-so-subtly named Pepys Road in Clapham, who are drawn out of their typical London solipsism when they start receiving mysterious postcards stating, “We want what you have”. Though they dismiss them at first as some kind of sales bumf, when the postcards start to feature photographs of their houses and families, things start to feel decidedly more sinister.
So who is lurking in these million-pound-and-then-some properties on Pepys Road? Well, let’s just call it an eclectic mix: they include a Polish builder (Radoslaw Kaim), an English investment banker (Toby Jones), a Zimbabwean illegal immigrant working as a traffic warden (Wunmi Mosaku), a Bangladeshi corner shop owner (Adeel Akhtar) and an elderly English widow (Gemma Jones) who was born in the house in which she still lives (for now anyway, given that in the first episode she’s told she’s got a brain tumour).
If the characters seem tokenistic at first, there are at least three hour-long episodes in which nuances can emerge, and some of the interactions can become more plausible. Capital is a peep at a London we almost know, if not quite.
Capital airs from 24 November on BBC One