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Plot: This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. Runtime: 140 mins Release Date: 30 Jun 2009
Heat meets Bonnie and Clyde meets The Assassination of Jesse James (by ctg0724)
What a fine collection of talent in Public Enemies. I had so much doubt in anticipation of this movie. I was told that the camera quality was low, Bale's acting was bad and that the plot was confusing and did not explain anything. After Miami Vice, I was willing to believe this might be another let down. Right in the first act, I knew that this movie was the one I have been waiting for.The last wave of decent crime films was in the first half of the 90's with Heat, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas and Casino. Since then, I have been waiting for more cinematically well- crafted crime <more>
dramas. The ones that were expected to be comparable to the older films I think did not reach that level, such as American Gangster. I would say Eastern Promises, Gangs of New York, Road to Perdition, Collateral and The Departed came close, but they are more just good movies of their own.Public Enemies is the first film in my opinion to have captured the essence of crime drama in a long time. It jumps right into the era, without the explanation that some people wished to have had. We enter right into the world, learning quickly the interactions between Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Frank Nitty, and much more of the criminal society of the Depression. I've always loved seeing these characters portrayed in the other movies they are featured in, but this film really had them right.Michael Mann really exercised himself as an auteur on this outing. Many can criticize his style and decision to shoot HD. Still, artists can paint the crucifixion of Christ in many different ways, so Mann should have the right to explore the story in his own fashion as well. I personally thought the imagery was fantastic, most especially the opening act.Depp, Bale and Cotillard were all great. So was the rest of the cast. Great balance between tragedy and humor. Go see this movie in theaters or you will regret it. It's quite simply the coolest movie of 2009.
Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" is Untouchable! (by zardoz-13)
"Miami Vice" creator Michael Mann recreates the Golden Age of Bank Robbery during the Great Depression in 1933 with his latest thriller "Public Enemies" and gangsters riddle the screen with gunfire galore. This depiction of the rise to prominence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the demise of John Dillinger is based on bestseller author Bryan Burrough's non-fiction book. "Pirates of the Caribbean" superstar Johnny Depp is cast against type as Dillinger, the sympathetic Robin Hood style desperado who acquired notoriety as 'Public Enemy No. <more>
1.' "Batman Begins" sensation Christian Bale impersonates the soft-spoken FBI Special Agent Melvin Purvis who brought Dillinger down. Although they drive vintage automobiles, blast away with vintage Thompson .45 caliber submachine guns, and wear vintage apparel, the characters in "Public Enemies" prove to be just as enthralling as any of Mann's characters in his contemporary movies. Unfortunately, Mann doesn't always hit the bullseye for historical accuracy. Many of the events are reversed. For example, Pretty Boy Floyd died after John Dillinger and Melvin Purvis did not shoot him with a high-powered rifle. Similarly, Baby Face Nelson did not died before John Dillinger, but he perished long afterward. Moviegoers will cherish historical accuracy are in for several more surprises, but then "Public Enemie" is just a movie. Suffice to say, anybody who has read anything about Dillinger will not be surprised at anything that happens in this biographical epic."Public Enemies" opens with an interesting shoot-out at the Indiana State Penitentiary with a manacled John Dillinger getting escorted into the grim looking prison. This is the first of several surprises that occur for people who don't know much about 'Johnny' Dillinger. Afterward, Dillinger and his gang arrive in East Chicago where they have bribed the local constabulary to ignore them. They also receive some favors from the local bookmakers that operate a coast-to-coast wire service link-up that relates to gambling on horse races. Mann shows Dillinger robbing banks and playing 'spin the dial' with bank presidents. Dillinger has men stationed out in front of the banks as inconspicuous sentinels with weapons concealed under their coats. Dillinger's closest associate Red Jason Clarke of "Death Race" keeps the stopwatch running and knows when to wheel up to the front of the bank. Dillinger doesn't take money from any of the common folk in the bank. He steals only from the banks and then he takes hostages for a ride with him to ensure that the local authorities don't open fire on him when his gang cruises out of town.All of this publicity aggravates FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Bill Crudup of "Watchmen" in an awesome look-alike performance and he assigns Melvin Purvis Christian Bale of "Terminator: Salvation" to manage the Chicago Office with orders to capture Dillinger. Purvis' shooting of legendary bank robber Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd Channing Tatum of "Step Up" in an orchard is what brought him to J. Edgar's attention. Purvis doesn't take long to realize that Hoover's smart young men aren't adequate for the task, and he requests help from the Dallas FBI Office. Several tough-looking, no-nonsense customers show up in Chicago who look like they were born with badges. Charles Winstead Stephen Lang of "Tombstone" and his cohorts stand out from the young, buttoned down types that surround Purvis. The FBI relies on telephone wiretaps and scientific analysis to monitor the Dillinger gang. When they cannot catch the gangsters squawking on the phone, they resort to more brutal methods, such as delaying medical treatment to a wounded bank robber to learn the whereabouts of the gangsters.Dillinger picks up coat check girl Evelyn 'Billie' Frechette Oscar winning Parisian actress Marion Cotillard of "La Vie en Rose" and cannot get her out of his system even when she walks off and leaves him after their initial encounter. Dillinger pledges himself to her, but she warns him that she doesn't want to watch him die. Things take a turn for the couple when Dillinger is captured in Tucson, Arizona, as Frechette and he are about to take a bath together and the authorities fly him back to Indiana. Dillinger's escape from Indiana is a part of criminal history. He wielded a fake wooden gun and bluffed his way out of jail. Later, he hooks up with Baby Face Nelson Stephen Graham of "Gangs of New York" to knock over a ripe bank in Sioux Falls with $800-thousand in its vault. Everything backfires on Dillinger and Nelson. They lug off barely $30-grand and then Purvis and his men surround the inn where the gang has taken refuge and a major firefight erupts with several gangsters dying in a blaze of gunfire.Johnny Depp bears a closer resemblance to John Dillinger than Christian Bale does to Melvin Purvis. Bale is actually taller than Purvis. Dillinger was idolized by many during the Depression and he strove to stay in the limelight so that the common people would harbor him when he was on the lam. According to Mann's version of history, Dillinger fell not only because of the persistence of Melvin Purvis and the FBI, but also because Dillinger brought too much heat onto his fellow criminals in the coast-to-coast racing rackets after Congress passed legislation against interstate crime. The cast is first-rate throughout "Public Enemies." Mind you, "Public Enemies" doesn't lionize Dillinger to the outlandish degree that director Arthur Penn did rural desperadoes Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in "Bonnie & Clyde," but we get glimpses of Dillinger's celebrity status when the Feds fly him back to Indiana."Public Enemies" ranks as the best gangster picture since Brian de Palma's "The Untouchables." The shoot-outs are noisy but relatively bloodless, though there is an interrogation scene where a detective roughs up a woman. Incidentally, many of the scenes were lensed on the actual locations where this story transpired.
This was an excellent gangster drama, lead by Johnny Depp as John Dillinger with an outstanding supporting cast of fellow gangsters and desperadoes, but what really made the film work were the "G" Men pursuing Dillinger. Christian Bale was perfectly cast as "G" Man Melvin Purvis, who ran the Chicago Office of the FBI. Billy Crudup was also great as J. Edgar Hoover, portrayed as a ruthless administrator willing to stoop to any depth to catch Dillinger, including rounding up family members and deporting friends of Dillinger unless they were willing to cooperate. None of the <more>
Oliver Stone fantasies about Hoover in a dress, but the Hoover who ran the Department with an iron fist.The supporting cast of Dillinger's fellow gangsters is too long to list, but mention should be made of Marion Cotillard who played Dillingers girlfriend Billie Frechette. She proved that her winning the Oscar for Best Actress Le Vie en Rose was no fluke.Michael Mann deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Director and possibly Screenplay he co-wrote .A great film, possibly the best gangster movie ever. Don't miss this one.
My public record shows that "Public Enemies" is a cinematic hit! (by meeza)
John Dillinger was a gangster legend who was adored, loathed, chased, admired, and detested by many. There are mixed elements to how people judged John Dillinger, and that was one the most admirable & authentic qualities to Director Michael Mann's John Dillinger gangster flick "Public Enemies". Mann wisely does not evolve into the entire biography of the Dillinger tale; there is no childhood chronology and no catastrophic life scarring moment. It is basically about a man choosing a life of crime in order to live fast and play hard, subconsciously aware to the fact that is <more>
will be not be infinite. Mann starts the film with Dillinger already at his height of his gangster popularity orchestrating another one of his "great escape from prison" schemes. Then once again, Johnny D. and his bad boy entourage are robbing banks and living the retro thug life. Dillinger then checks out and romances the lovely checkout coat girl Billie Frechette. Apparently, Johnny's fresh ways were successful in luring Ms. Freshette. During that era of the 1930's crime hike, many Americans were rooting for these public enemies to rob banks in order to show their dislike of American banks for their mismanagement which eventually was the catastrophic factor which caused The Great Depression. Not to undermine the fact that many were against the dreadfulness that Dillinger and his men caused by their heinous crimes. J. Edgar Hoover was during that time trying to formalize his Bureau of Investigation into a national police force which later became known as the FBI. But Hoover had to find ways to vacuum the U.S. Government into this political formalization. Therefore, he exploited the capture of outlaws as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigations. He then delegated the task of capturing Public Enemy Number 1, Dillinger himself, to top agent Melvin Purvis. The central plot line shootout of "Public Enemies" which Mann exhibits is the relentless pursuit of Purvis and Co. in capturing the charismatic Dillinger and his men. Johnny Depp was a real straight-shooter with his enigmatic but bulls-eye performance as Dillinger. Christian Bale's acting pursuit as one of the elite in the biz took another leap higher with his driven work here as Purvis. Marion Cotillard proved that she suffered no acting letdown, after her Best Actress Oscar, with her strong supportive work here as the Dillinger gal Billie. Speaking of Billies, Billy Crudup crudely transformed himself into J. Edgar Hoover with authentic prowess. Maybe I was hit too hard with Ronan Bennett's complex screenplay, but at times I was lost with "Public Enemies" verbose rounds. Nevertheless, it was Mann who captures his audience by Mannly displaying the Dillinger crime life and his ultimate demise in sheer entertainment fashion. "Public Enemies" might not be the #1 film in my "most wanted" 2009 film list at years end, but most probably will be gunned up as one of the best of the year. ***** Excellent
Saw the preview. very interesting film... (by adam-603)
The film was good overall. I think it's going to be a major hit, I give Michael Mann a lot of credit. There are two scenes which are beyond belief and should not be in the movie. First of all, Johnny Depp pointlessly and senselessly beats up a guy trying to get his coat from the coat check girl who Depp is trying to pick up. This violence impresses her and she decides to go home with him, apparently getting turned on by his harming a stranger for no reason. Second, there is the F. B. I. torture of a young woman who is handcuffed to a chair and beaten up, punched, hit with a phone book, <more>
etc., and forced to urinate on herself because they will not allow her to go to the bathroom. These scenes were quite out of place in this film and reminded me of James Bond being beaten in his testicles in Casino Royale which was just disgusting and turned me off the movie which was otherwise brilliant. Torture should not be depicted in film. I sometimes even like violence in film, but not pointless and senseless violence. I think Michael Mann did much better work with Heat showing bank robberies and criminal crews working together, etc. I was sick long before the end and it also made me not get involved with the characters as I might have.
--Rama's SCREEN--PUBLIC ENEMIES is what Firepower is all about. You'll never see a more exciting gunfight and shoot out this year. Director Michael Mann has crafted the ultimate cat-and-mouse game, his best work yet. Non stop thriller action that takes only a few minutes to breathe in between before it takes you down again for a joy ride. Christian Bale and Johnny Depp are charismatic and unstoppable, the new Robert De Niro and Al Pacino of Heat. You're gonna wanna see PUBLIC ENEMIES again and again. It makes you wanna get a tommy gun. Hands down, one of the best movies of the <more>
year.I'm a big fan of Michael Mann's work, except Miami Vice. That one didn't quite live up to expectations. But Mann's return with PUBLIC ENEMIES doesn't disappoint. When I got to meet him briefly at a screening, I knew I was in the presence of somebody's just downright awesome. You can tell from PUBLIC ENEMIES that he's brought back his signature marks, signs where you can easily tell it's a Mann's movie. He doesn't try to come up with CG backdrop to give us a sight of an old 1930s city, he puts the camera on a tight leash and just focus on the characters and the art deco buildings. And just like his other action/thriller movies in the past, it always ends in the evening or there'll be a massive showdown between two opposing parties in the middle of the dead night. Mann knows what the audiences would be rooting for in this type of movie, he makes sure that when Dillinger and his men make their getaway after a robbing a bank, they'd do it in style. Cinematographer Dante Spinottie who's worked with Mann before knows what the master filmmaker wants and what we get are shots that give that reality impression and definitely heavy emphasis on the well-choreographed violence. I enjoy how the movie likes to keep using Otis Taylor's catchy song 'Ten Million Slaves', somehow it fits perfectly in the presentation.Johnny Depp is the epitome of cool, he knows it and uses it to the fullest for this role. His character John Dillinger's got enough charm and confidence to spare but only has eyes for one lady. If you thought the way Jack Sparrow carried himself was infectious, wait til you see how Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, he's a bad guy who loves being infamous. The unlikely Robin Hood in a time of Great Depression when people could care less about the banks he robs. Christian Bale who plays special Agent Melvin Purvis assigned to hunt down Dillinger, is as excellent as Depp. It's like having 2 heavyweight fighters in a ring and the match is long overdue. They both keep each other on their toes. Bale has been known as an actor who can listen well and mimic any accent. He puts down a great effort to sound like he wasn't born in Wales. Great star-studded cast overall, Michael Mann's lucky enough to have excellent actors signing up from left and right to play both members of the gang and members of the FBI including Billy Crudup who captures young Edgar Hoover's insecure, arrogant and stubborn personality down pat. Marion Cotillard gives a great supporting performance as the girlfriend who's willing to risk everything for a man she barely knows. She's not an easy woman for Dillinger to conquer.What really will get you hooked, once again, is the cat and mouse game. Purvis catches Dillinger but Dillinger gets away, Purvis closing in on Dillinger but Dillinger is one step ahead of all of them. You see many different ways it's done throughout the entire movie and you'll get entertained every single time. Just when you thought the bad guy's captured and the good guy gets all the gory, the game begins again.I'm glad Mann decided to take the story up a notch by not just making it about Dillinger Vs. Purvis, it's about what would happen when a man is pushed to the point of desperation. You never work with or never ever trust a desperate man, that's the theme that you see in the character development. Both Dillinger and Purvis are good at what they do, but then circumstances happen that would turn them into desperate men. Alienated by his business partners, Dillinger starts to lose what makes him hard to catch in the first place. Without realizing it he starts to create predictable patterns and habits that would eventually get him easily fooled, he becomes unaware of unwanted surprises . Pressured by Edgar Hoover, Melvin Purvis finds himself allowing certain methods to get Dillinger, the ends justify the means is the result. Some say that Michael Mann's endings rarely hit the level of satisfactory, I say PUBLIC ENEMIES' ending won't let you down, without being too extravagant, it concludes itself just the right way. --Rama's SCREEN--
It is an entertaining backseat ride into the life of a country boy turned bank robber (by Rafacus)
With Billie Holiday singing her heart out and the subtle details of cracked nail polish and $3 dresses, Public Enemies brings you into the era of the Great Depression without boring you with back stories and explanations.It is an honest bio-pic with little factual variations outside of John Dillinger's romantic ambitions. It is an entertaining backseat ride into the life of a country boy turned bank robber in a time where America hated money-makers and banks. A time when people were starving and in need of a gun-toting, charismatic mid-western boy to stir things up a bit, one bank robbery <more>
at a time.A Cast of Winning Players Director Michael Mann is known best for Heat, Collateral and Miami Vice. His attention to detail is known and it is said that he went above the call of duty in his research for this movie. Obviously he deemed it important to depict a true version of the Dillinger story with a bit of Hollywood sprinkled in to keep our attention. Johnny Depp is solid as the charismatic bank robber, adopting his mannerisms, speech and swagger and even the trademark smirk that is seen on all of Dillinger's photos. Christian Bale is perfect as Melvin Purvis, looking similar to the "G man" and confidently playing the role convincingly.Digital Camera and No true sense of good and Bad The camera threw me off a bit switching from an old sepia toned look to a digital one during fights. At times it made you feel as if you were an observant on the street while other times it felt just like a movie. I wasn't sure why this was but I concluded that Mann wanted us to be there with Dillinger most of the time and at other times we are to observe from a distance. There was no great love felt for any of the dark heroes, the charismatic Dillinger was likable but I never felt concern for his well-being. The FBI agent in Purvis Christian Bale was the typical white knight archetype and was given little personality outside of this so I felt nothing for him either. The romance between Dillinger and Billie Frechette Marion Cotillard was interesting but felt clichéd gangsters always have THAT chick in these movies and just like real life that political blowhard J.Edgar Hoover Billy Crudup is the only real "bad guy" in the entire film.Final Thoughts It felt like a different time period and the choreography of the gunfights were done well enough to keep me interested. With as colorful a crew as the boys who ran with John Dillinger, it would have been hard to direct a movie like this while keeping everyone relative. Men like Alvin Karpis Giovanni Ribisi , Pretty Boy Floyd Channing Tatum and Baby Face Nelson Stephen Graham are given screen time, as well as Capone's number one do-boy Frank Nitti Bill Camp . Still there was so much shown that you tend to lose your familiarity with Dillinger's quest for whatever it is he wanted and the hopelessness of his situation settles in after awhile. It is a good movie with no real emotional weight, just a "this is what happened" gloss to the entire thing with a sprinkling of charisma to top it off. If anything, you will go researching Dillinger and gang after the movie has piqued your interest.www.SpicyMovieDogs.com
Eighty years after the events, Michael Mann takes on the Period Chicago Gangster genre, and wins, with this entertaining story. Do not be put off by some churlish carping from the critics, much of which is generated by the very high standards that Mann's films are now judged. The lengthy 140 minute running time flies by leaving the audience wondering about what could have been added to the story, not what should have been omitted.Essentially this is the story of the life, in his heyday, and death of Gangster John Dillinger. It bounces along, leaving little room for back story or leisurely <more>
character development, like Dillinger,it lives for the moment. Johhny Depp is superb as Dillinger, Christian Bale a thoroughly convincing Melvin Purvis, his taciturn but determined G-Man nemesis.A plot curio is that some time is given over to J Edgar Hoover's fight to establish an FBI with Purvis operating as his local enforcer.But the role is under developed, it could be dropped with no impact on the plot, making you wonder how much extra footage was left on the cutting room floor, hopefully set for an appearance on the DVD.Marion Cotillard, a native Frenchwoman, plays the part of the leading lady, and Dillingers love interest, well enough. In a role which offers infrequent appearances, she conforms to the genre requirements of being easily bedded, hit, and cries on demand.Critics have queried the way that the digital film is shot.There is none of the lushness of "last of the Mohicans", nor the grittiness of "Collateral", but the compelling plot leaves little time to worry about that.Review audiences also complained of poor sound quality and mumbled dialogue, not faults that I could identify with on this showing.The "showdown" between Dillinger and Purvis happens early on, in a scene which is played straight and without lingering fanfare, it is certainly no re-run of De Niro v Pacino in "Heat".If the film lacks anything it is a sense of Tragedy, so wonderfully apparent in De Palma's "Carlitos Way". Depp and Purvis are played so ruthlessly and efficiently by Depp and Bale that pathos and emotional attachment are on pretty short display.The period is lovingly recreated by Mann and the action sequences, unsurprisingly, never fail to disappoint, indeed when Dillinger is first shown robbing a bank his vault over the counter is seen in graceful slow motion. Diana Krall has a pleasing cameo as a nightclub torch singer performing "Bye Bye Blackbird" and the costumes are a consistent delight.Punchy, light on its feet and offering weighty roles for Depp and Bale, this will be enjoyed by ardent fans and the curious alike.
Solid Story Highlighted With Some Great Performances (by cwood0609)
Let me just start out by saying: This is a very, very good movie. If you're going to the movies this weekend, this is the one to see.The performances are really the highlight. Depp is perfectly nuanced as Dillinger. It's his most mature role to date. I don't really understand the flack he's giving for playing him as "empty". Subtle would be a better word. He's playing someone who always lives in the moment, and has accepted that he won't be around for a while. I think he captured this perfectly. Marion Cotillard is also perfectly fragile as Billie, his love <more>
interest. It's Bale, however, who really steals the movie. His portrayal is absolutely brilliant. He plays Melvin Purvis as professional, intimidating, and broken. Anyone who has seen his work should realize that his accent is spot on. He's also very subtle in his expressions, and this is one of his best performances, right up there with "Hard Times" and "American Psycho."The shoot out scenes are fantastic. I actually enjoyed the digital shooting much more than I thought I would. It really had voyeuristic feel that just can't be obtained with traditional 35mm. The visuals are across the board fantastic. The authentic places really stand out.I think the ending will really split viewers. I, for one, loved it. The last line is killer, and left me with a good impression of the film.Now the cons:The story spends too many scenes on Dillinger and Billie. The love story ends up feeling a bit contrived. I understand that Mann was going for an old gangster movie type of love dialogue, but it just didn't fit in. The movie had too much to say, and it leaves some subplots completely open. It almost seems sloppy. It should have been 30 minutes longer, with more of a focus on Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover absolutely brilliantly played by Billy Crudup .Overall, go see this movie. This and Up are the best blockbusters of the summer so far.