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Public Enemies

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United States, Japan
·
2009

2h 20m

Director Michael Mann
Starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Jason Clarke
Genre Action, Crime
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Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger's charm and audacity endear him to much of America's downtrodden public, but he's also a thorn in the side of J. Edgar Hoover and the fledgling FBI. Desperate to capture the elusive outlaw, Hoover makes Dillinger his first Public Enemy Number One and assigns his top agent, Melvin Purvis, the task of bringing him in dead or alive.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

Empire by

Intelligent and challenging: Mann's crime epic could take two viewings to fully absorb, but it's worth every devoted minute.
60

The New Yorker by David Denby

Yet, for all its skill, Public Enemies is not quite a great movie. There’s something missing--a sense of urgency and discovery, a more complicated narrative path, a shrewder, tougher sense of who John Dillinger is.
75

Chicago Tribune by Michael Phillips

It's a fascinating bundle of contradictions -- authentic in a million details, deeply romanticized in others. Cool, calm and collected, this is more love story than gangster picture.
88

Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez

Michael Mann's extraordinary Public Enemies is an unusual sort of gangster picture, a near-impressionistic recreation of the last year in the life of one of American history's most notorious bank robbers.
50

Time by Richard Corliss

It lacks overall focus, and at the end you may have a question for Michael Mann: Why'dyou bother? [July 6, 2009, p.59]
88

Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

This is a very good film, with Depp and Bale performances of brutal clarity. I'm trying to understand why it is not quite a great film. I think it may be because it deprives me of some stubborn need for closure.
50

Variety by Todd McCarthy

Oddly, too, the film is somewhat shortchanged by its great star, Johnny Depp, who disappointingly has chosen to play Dillinger as self-consciously cool rather than earthy and gregarious.

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