Public Enemies
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Based on author Bryan Burrough's ambitious tome Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43, director Michael Mann's sprawling historical crime drama follows the efforts of top FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale ) in capturing notorious bank robber John Dillinger. A folk hero to the American public thanks to his penchant for robbing the banks that many people believed responsible for the Great Depression, charming bandit Dillinger (Johnny Depp) was virtually unstoppable at the height of his criminal career; no jail could hold him, and his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I do think this is a film worth seeing, so obviously, I say see it."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"It's a fascinating moment in history, and Mann captures the cars, the guns and the buildings with painstaking, immersive authenticity."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"The desperate times in which we suddenly find ourselves ... make Public Enemies seem especially timely."
‑ Andrew Sarris, Film Comment Magazine
"It's looking more and more like Michael Mann will never be able to recapture that Heat hotness."
‑ Ali Gray,
"Burrows deeply into the depths of the Great Depression."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Some strong performances, but I expected more from this great director and stellar cast."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"Even the bank jobs and prison breaks feel perfunctory and enervated."
‑ Scott Von Doviak, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
"A quiet, thoughful, almost dreamy meditation on violence, on work, on love and on death. It's The Insider with tommy guns."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"Instead of glamorizing the early 20th century thug life, it humanizes it a little too much. This drags the movie down and is not the reason I like to go see gangster movies."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Once Mann is done establishing his characters the film begins to get down to the most interesting element he brings to the project: the saddening decline of a giant."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"If John Dillinger had not existed... Michael Mann would have had to invent him."
‑ Christopher Orr, The New Republic
"It tills the old ground, albeit with new-style star power and Mann's signature cinematic flourishes. But Depp is unduly subdued and Mann's cape work is oversold."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"On a sweltering July day in 1934, John Dillinger went to the movies and ended up dead. Now, 75 years later, the movies are killing him again."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"Adheres to the historical facts of Dillinger's well-documented tapestry of brazen daylight heists, gritty shootouts and improbable jailbreaks."
‑ Neil Pond, American Profile
"... meanders and never delivers the pay-off it promises."
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
More reviews for Public Enemies on Rotten Tomatoes

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