Rolling Stone - 07/09/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Depp and the vibrantly touching Cotillard give the relationship a potent intimacy....It's movie dynamite."
USA Today - 06/30/2009 3 stars out of 4 -- "Director Michael Mann mounts a technically proficient, visually enthralling crime drama anchored by the low-key but captivating performance of Johnny Depp..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/30/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This Johnny Depp performance is something else....This is a very good film, with Depp and Bale performances of brutal clarity."
Los Angeles Times - 07/01/2009
"[A]n impressive film of great formal skill, one that inescapably has a brooding dark-night-of-the-soul quality about it....The beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp."
New York Times - 07/01/2009
"Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES is a grave and beautiful work of art....It revisits with meticulous detail and convulsions of violence a short, frantic period in the life and bank-robbing times of John Dillinger..."
Wall Street Journal - 07/02/2009
"[M]arvelously detailed and meticulously crafted, an elegant evocation of Depression-era America and its fascination with crime."
Premiere - 06/30/2009 3 stars out of 4 -- "Johnny Depp continues to make great choices and plays Dillinger as both charming and sinister."
Total Film - 06/16/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "[O]rdinary scenes become electrifying experiences as Mann takes an old story and makes it feel new and unexpected....Packed with fresh tension and atmosphere..."
Uncut - 06/26/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Mann] has a strong eye for forensic detail that ramps up the vividness of the film."
Johnny Depp and Christian Bale emerge from two of the biggest blockbuster series of all time (Pirates of the Caribbean and Batman, respectively) to star in this crime drama from HEAT director Michael Mann. Depp stars as charismatic 1930s gangster John Dillinger, whose notorious bank robberies have turned him into a celebrity during the Depression era. The rise in crime has J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) desperate to have his newly created FBI take down gangsters such as Dillinger, "Pretty Boy" Floyd (Channing Tatum), and "Baby Face" Nelson (Stephen Graham). Enter Agent Melvin Purvis (Bale), an ambitious crimefighter sent to Chicago to capture Dillinger and his gang. The criminal has evaded the law before, but he is drawn to the Second City by the beautiful Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard).
Though PUBLIC ENEMIES boasts big names, it feels more like an arthouse offering than a typical gangster picture. With its intimately shot violence and 1930s setting, the film is more BONNIE AND CLYDE than GOODFELLAS. Mann and director of photography Dante Spinotti alternate between hand-held, high-quality digital cameras and more traditional film stock, giving this crime drama a carefully composed, thoroughly modern look. But the casting of the leads is vintage Hollywood: Depp could be the modern incarnation of silent star Rudolph Valentino, and Cotillard's wide-eyed beauty--and talent--would fit right in with the starlets of the golden age. Everyone else, including Bale, fades into the background, but it's hard to complain when Depp and Cotillard give such magnetic performances.
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