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He was America's Most Wanted.
Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann (Hancock) directs Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Depp), the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover’s fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public.
No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone—from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression.
But while the adventures of Dillinger’s gang, later including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi), thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw’s capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America’s first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing “Clark Gable of the FBI.’’
However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and outgunned Purvis’ men in wild chases and shootouts. Only after importing a crew of Western ex-lawmen (newly baptized as agents) and orchestrating epic betrayals, from the infamous “Lady in Red’’ to the Chicago crime boss Frank Nitti, were Purvis, the FBI and their new crew of gunfighters able to close in on Dillinger.
Get set for action and excitement of another era, with blazing performances by some of today's top Hollywood talent, especially the always surprising Johnny Depp.
Reviews Counted: 260
Fresh: Lawmen and outlaws collide in Mann's stylish, brutal drama.-Don Groves, sbs.com.au, December 29, 2010
Rotten: If only Mann's obsession with technical perfection extended to drafting screenplays.-Simon Miraudo, Quickflix, October 27, 2010
Fresh: Like Dillinger, Mann and his jangly camera live for the moment. If Public Enemies doesn't cut it as history or mythologising, it succeeds staggeringly well as a series of set pieces.-Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Sydney, July 31, 2009
Fresh: I'd say this is Mann's best film since The Insiders. Or maybe even The Last of the Mohicans. Now there's glory.-Julie Rigg, MovieTime, ABC Radio National, July 31, 2009
Having grown up with parents who lived during this time in Chicago, and hearing about all the gangsters and their escapades, this was like a walk back through time. I found it informative as well as riveting in several spots with excellent performances throughout.
Reviewer: Therese Review refers to DVD version
In my opionion the movie was longer than necessary was a typical mob movie with a bit of a thrill ride down the lanes from the past. This portrayal had it all the mob violence,compiracy,betrayal,pandemonium,deceptions fast pace in spots yet perhaps a little slow in others. Wasn't one of Depp's better parts however felt he played it with his normal brilliance. Worth seeing when your in the mood for reflections from a era in the past. Brings to mind the criminal layers of our civilization the roots of success of many and the downfall of others.
Reviewer: Dianna Review refers to DVD version
Johnny Depp is beautiful to watch in any role - this one included. He makes you love the bad guy. Action packed, interesting character portrayal of real life criminals. Good movie, but falls short of the potential one would expect with Depp and Cotillard leading. Bale does a prissy, intent, almost villianous good guy. Good movie but not the excellent one it could have been. Expectations were so high on this cast, but they just did not quite hit the mark. It is all worth it, however, just to see that beautiful Johnny Depp.
Reviewer: sallie Review refers to DVD version
I love mob movies but I'd seen any of this era. This was one of those movies I was not sure if i wanted to see but my brother asked me to watch it with him. To my surprised it was an entrancing movie. This is definately not a family film. It's action filled and bloody, so if you like old mobster movies...you will love this one.
Reviewer: Mita Review refers to DVD version
The movie was too long and boring.. the only good thing about this film is Johhny Depp who looked pretty good
Reviewer: Karen Review refers to DVD version