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Capone vs. Dillinger--A gangsterrific review of PUBLIC ENEMIES!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Although the trailers for Michael Mann's latest slice of magnificence emphasize the more action-oriented scenes from his film about the latter days of bank robber and cultural icon John Dillinger, in truth the strength of PUBLIC ENEMIES is not entirely in those moments. There are certainly a handful of bank robberies and moments where law enforcement corner Dillinger and his gang that feature some ferocious gunplay, but it's what happens between the scenes of bullets flying that impressed me the most and helps this film become of the greatest films about the birth of modern day crime and crime fighting that I've ever seen. PUBLIC ENEMIES also serves as a much-needed reminder that Johnny Depp gained his reputation as one of the greatest actors living today by actually acting and not simply creating real-life cartoon characters with pale skin, funny makeup and wigs. With Mann's guidance, Depp breathes life and soul into a man who has served a lengthy prison sentence and learned much while behind bars about military-style bank heists and what's important to him. Depp doesn't play Dillinger as overly tough or as some ridiculously suave ladies man. His flaws and qualities aren't nearly as easy to spot immediately, but Depp does a fantastic job of parceling out personality details about John Dillinger in a way that we grow eager to discover more as the film goes on. Before seeing PUBLIC ENEMIES, I felt certain that the love story aspect of Dillinger's story would interfere with the story I really cared about. Quite the contrary, Dillinger's whirlwind relationship with Billie Frechette (Oscar-winner for LA VIE EN ROSE Marion Cotillard) was the fuel that propelled his engine. And while Dillinger didn't have a great love for planning too far into his future, it's clear that part of Billie's impact on his life was getting him to consider getting out of the bank-robbing business for good after one big score with the help of cohort Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi). Cotillard's beauty comes on like a second sun--she's such a natural vision, but beyond the ever-present smile, she gives us a Billie that loves so deeply that she pays an awful price for remaining faithful and loyal to her Johnny. In the end Cotillard might be the finest thing about this film. But all this talk of love doesn't sound like much of an action movie, does it? Mann’s fluid HD cameras glide through the heists and over the shoulders of the robbers so effortlessly that you feel like one of the gang. Sometimes Mann puts the cameras so close to people's faces, you can almost smell the sweat when a character senses that something is about to go wrong or at least not totally right. Watching the Dillinger gang pull off a crime is like watching a great movie about a Special Forces unit begin a covert mission--they move in for the quick strike, every man with his assignment, and move out before the cops can arrive and assess the situation. There's a bit of gunfire, but only enough to cause the right amount of chaos to escape behind. If a skirmish actually does break out with the law, Mann changes gears and shoots the scene like a war movie, hiding behind any protective cover while bullets explode around the actors and the camera. The camera peeks out from behind walls and cars to find out who's shooting, then retreats as soon as fire is returned. The gunplay is a far cry from the sleek, almost-choreographed battles in Mann's HEAT. Don't believe for a second this is a Depression-era version of that awesome movie. PUBLIC ENEMIES is a product of the times it is portraying, and Mann's vision of Chicago and the surrounding areas that Dillinger called home are not particularly glamorous (or even recognizable much of the time), but they do feel damned accurate. On the other side of the law is J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup, complete with a radio- and Movietone News-ready voice) and his newly formed FBI, which was allowed to do something no law-enforcement organization was able to do—chase criminals who crossed state lines as well as compile and analyze evidence in ways that had never been done before. It was Hoover that both created the moniker of "Public Enemy Number One" and assigned Dillinger the title. I was truly intrigued by the birth of procedural investigative methods, and the man who used these new techniques most effectively was Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), who made his career by capturing or killing the most notorious bandits in the land. As the film opens, we see Purvis personally kill Pretty Boy Floyd (an almost unrecognizable cameo by Channing Tatum). In many ways, the shift Purvis makes is as interesting as the character study treatment given to Dillinger. In order to capture Dillinger, Purvis had to call in a much rougher and more experienced set of agents from Texas (some Hoover was not in favor of) and employ methods of harassment and torture to gather evidence. It's clear that Purvis was a man who knew right from wrong, and Bale does an admirable job showing this slow chipping away at his character's conscience and beliefs. In many ways, he reminded me of Kevin Costner’s Elliot Ness in THE UNTOUCHABLES who “became what he beheld” as he learned how to fight crime “the Chicago way.” One of PUBLIC ENEMIES' greatest assets is the presence of Stephen Lang, who plays one of Purvis' lead investigators, Charles Winstead, a cool-as-ice enforcer who reminds Purvis not only what the job at hand is but how best and most effectively to get it done. Lang has been one of the great character actors for decades, a man who dabbled in lead roles in his career in the stage, TV, and movies, but for whatever reason is called upon to punctuate a production rather than lead it. He previously worked with Mann in MANHUNTER (he was the tabloid reporter set on fire by the Tooth Fairy), and has done devastating work in such films as LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, TOMBSTONE, Mann's TV show "Crime Story," and he'll be featured in James Cameron's AVATAR in December. Lang has a scene at the end of the film with Cotillard that will take your breath away with its simplicity and power. And the scene works because of Lang's steely delivery, tipped with just a hint of compassion. Lang is one of the best things in this movie, and I hope to see him a great deal more as a result of this staggering performance. Mann's script (credited to him, along with Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman, from the book by Bryan Burrough) finds a variety of ways to bring tension and suspense to a film whose ending we already know. The sequence surrounding the events at the Biograph Theatre is shot as only a master could shoot it, but Mann adds a little something to Dillinger's journey. While it is certainly exciting to watch the G-Men plot the capturing of the nation's top criminal, it's also rather touching to see Dillinger wander through his final hours of life having no clue what lies ahead after a showing of Clark Gable in MANHATTAN MELODRAMA, a film based partly on his persona. When gangster Clark Gable tells William Powell that he'd rather be sentenced to death than rot in jail for life, we cut to a shot of Dillinger with a hint of a smile on his face. When he stares at the vision of loveliness that is Myrna Loy, we find out just a little bit more about why he found Billie so appealing. That is the greatest thing about PUBLIC ENEMIES: it's ability to teach us about Dillinger and Purvis and Billie and many other characters without feeling the need to spell out every personality trait or emotion. We watch their behaviors and their reactions, and we are allowed to figure these people out on our own. And then there are the bank robberies and jailbreaks, staged so flawlessly, and punctuated with explosive gunplay and unflinching violence. Mann controls the action and drama in PUBLIC ENEMIES like a master conductor in front of the largest, loudest orchestra ever assembled. With films like THIEF, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, THE INSIDER, COLLATERAL, and to a lesser degree, MIAMI VICE, you get a sense that Mann is one of the few directors who cares as much about breathing life into his characters--no matter how much screen time they get--and making even the mundane seem important, as he does about the films money shots. It makes me a little sad that whatever this mature and masterful work makes at the box office, it probably won’t be a fraction of what the new TRANSFORMERS movie had so far (I hope I'm wrong), but this is the world we live in, and I get that. I just hope that when the dust settles, people are still watching and contemplating films like PUBLIC ENEMIES years from now. Anything is possible. A guy can dream, can't he? -- Capone

Readers Talkback
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  • July 1, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Mann is the maestro of Crime Opera

    by YackBacker

    I look forward to seeing this very much.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    i agree

    by The InSneider

    Cotillard and Lang were the best parts of the movie.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Don't care what the adds look like or say

    by LargoJr

    Rolling Stone magazine ha that one guy simply SPLOOGING over how 'wonderful' the film is, thus ensuring it is more overhyped crap that will fail to deliver and just needs to pull in enough bucks to cover expenses before it goes to DVD. Depp is a fine actor, but I'm sick of seeing him.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by redfist

    YES YES YOU MUTHERFOOKER....I FINALLY GOT IT. <P> oh wait....nevermind.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Loves me some Depp

    by redfist

    in a totally hetero, I might go gay for Johny Depp way.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    I really want to like this...

    by emteem

    ...but I don't like most Michael Mann movies. Don't get me wrong I don't hate them either. I just find him kind of pretentious and completely lacking in a sense of humor. I'm always interested to see what he does next though and am always rooting for myself to actually enjoy it.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Mann is the best, Miami Vice as solid too

    by Stormwatcher

    Not LOTM or HEAT or maybe the Insider but still great for the secondary character work and soundtrack and filming. Loved it. Can't wait for this. Mann is the best most consistent director working in the A level today.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST


    by Crow3711

    That is all.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Opening scene of Manhunter has haunted me for years

    by Stormwatcher

    That slow confusing walk up the flashlit staircase and then pausing on the little girl coming awake. Chilling. So damn chilling. No amount of SAW's or HOSTEL's or any of that can equal the eerie horror of the master filmakers of the genre. I want more horror from Mann next.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST


    by louisse

    Wasn't he after a bank robbing joker before? looking fantastic.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST


    by spiceybiscuit

    Nice! Excited to see this and Capone's review brought it up a notch

  • July 1, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I don't want to read it for fear of spoilerage.

    by DanboJohnJ

    How good on a 1 to 10 scale?

  • July 1, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the review, Capone!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    I've been quietly looking forward to this; glad to see some positive views on it.<P>And Cotillard is HOT.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    RIP Karl Malden....

    by PennsyDeux

    All of us should live to his age. :)

  • July 1, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    this is a rental

    by fassbinder79

  • July 1, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST


    by emteem

    I do love Last of the Mohicans, and I've always enjoyed Manhunter. Actually after saying the same thing to a friend he asked what films Mann has made and I went back over the list and I always forget about Thief, but I like that too. The Insider is good. Ali is fine, but biopics aren't my thing. I just don't care for them as a genre. Miami Vice I've never seen. Collateral had some fun to it (and one laughable bit of pretentious symbolism with the wolf and Jamie Foxx locking eyes) including the cameo by The Transporter which I've always assumed was somehow snuck past him on the set of his own movie.<p>Really, it turns out that it's just Heat. It's kind of gospel that men in my age group love Heat, but I don't. I like the one big gunfight and the 5 minute Pacino/DeNiro conversation, but the other 2 1/2 hours I could do without.<p>So, it turns out that in the span of 5 minutes I have gone from being anti-Michael Mann to a Michael Mann fan. I still think he's kind of a humorless robot though. Hell, even Lars von Triers who makes the most depressing movies in the world puts some humor in them.<p>Still overall I guess I just think I don't like Michael Mann as I appear to like way more than I don't like. Either way I was seeing Public Enemies tomorrow night anyway. I might have to rent the Miami Vice. Should I watch theatrical or director's cut? Anyone have an opinion on this?

  • July 1, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Knives Out For Michael Mann

    by fassbinder79

  • July 1, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    It was kind of dull

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Yeah, the action was nice, but you don't really connect to anyone. Depp? Yeah, he's good, but he blows everyone else out of the water.

  • July 1, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    LargoJr, why sick of Depp?

    by TheLastCleric

    The last major film he's done was, I think, Sweeny Todd, and that was a year and a half ago. He's certainly a HUGE star these days but it's not like he's in every other film.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Mann's films may be somewhat "cold" but that's because they tend to be about professionals dealing with mature subject matter. More often then not, Mann makes films that study both sides of a particular "world" (i.e crime). But even with something like LAST OF THE MOHICANS there is a calcuated efficiency to it because he takes the subject matter seriously.<P>I don't know what Assimov means by "Mann's movies are what movies SHOULD NORMALLY BE LIKE...". That's kind of a pompous statement since directors work in various different ways and genres to achieve very different results.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Preview screenings

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I saw this with Capone at the AICN screening in Chicago and I can't stress enough to go see this movie!!! Is it Mann's best? no. Is it the best movie this year? No. Is it the best movie this summer? No. But it is one goddamned good fucking movie and supporting this instead of all the other shit out there is paramount to more movies like this being made. <br> <br> I said before in another board that it bothered me and might bother anyone else with an elementary knowledge of Dillinger that Mann took so many liberties with the true story. That is kind of an overstatement in that the attention to detail is incredible and all plot points involving Dillingers' CRIMINAL histroy are pretty spot-on. <br> <br> It's just that Mann goes way overboard in trying to humanize Dillinger by giving him this girlfriend. (BTW, Marian Cotilliard (sic?) is really fucking good in this!) <br> <br> I know that she's based on a real girlfriend of Dillinger's but her importance in his life is horribly overstated. The movie didn't need the exaggeration of his love-life and it led to the story of his betrayal just being told wrong in order to make him seem like a good boyfriend. <br> <br> Why does this bother me so much when other Dillinger movies haven't come anywhere close to this in realism? Because Mann got it all so right in every other aspect of the film. <br> <br> Everyone go by a fucking ticket, it's Heat Michael Mann, not Miami Vice Michael Mann

  • July 1, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Caroll Baker and Eli Wallach better be looking over their should

    by Alfred_Packer

    Streetcar and On the Waterfront are good...but give me Baby Doll any day of the week and twice on Sunday over those two other films...

  • July 1, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    I find MIAMI VICE to be Mann's true dud. I would recommend skipping it but others here will disagree. It's all subjective anyway so have at it, man.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    Cincinnati Kid, Patton, etc., etc., etc. Karl, the world is going to miss you and that giant honker. RIP.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    em_tee_em, RE: The Wolf Scene in Collateral

    by TheLastCleric

    I think that was a coyote; they actually roam the hills of L.A. I could be wrong though.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Any Comparison to 1974's Dillinger?

    by Aquatarkusman


  • July 1, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Saw this at a screening

    by RobertCrane

    Awesome review Capone and thanks for the opportunity to view this at the Chicago screening. I will also see Public Enemies this weekend. This movie was that good.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Mann and Hi-Def

    by Mosquito March

    I hate the hi-def digital cinematography Mann has been using since COLLATERAL. It looks like shit, and looks especially out of place in the ads for PUBLIC ENEMIES. I used to look forward to the cinematography in a Mann, film, and now, despite great actors, wardrobe, and extensively researched and detailed production design, everything looks like it could have been shot by a college film student after a Best Buy shopping spree. I want movies to look like movies, dammit.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I hope it makes more money than Year One

    by cylon_conspiracy

  • July 1, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    double whammey deaths today

    by filmfanatic1

    RIP Karl Malden Harve Presnell-Wade in FARGO

  • July 1, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Ah fuck, RIP Karl Malden

    by YackBacker

    Seriously one of the most reliable character actors of all-time. In fact, he might be the greatest character actor ever. I believe he starred in 500,000 films at last count. I'll forever love his Omar Bradly in PATTON and his take on Mitch in STREETCAR. And how about Shooter in CINCINNATI KID (banging Ann-Margaret!!!)? I read he was 97. Wow, he was always old, wasn't he? Thanks for the awesome work, Karl.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Sad about Malden.

    by vic twenty

    I always thought of him when I saw MacGruff, the Crime Dog.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Are we over the dead Scarecrow yet???

    by Samuel Fulmer

    A real talent has just passed. A guy who unlike Ledger and Jacko, could actually act and knew how to take his medication. RIP Karl Malden.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    hahah once again the thread rarely talks about the

    by lockesbrokenleg


  • July 1, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    RIP Malden...

    by Heckles

    But I can't think of anything I've seen him in. Weird.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah,

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    The reason I posted was to ask a question but then i just started ranting and forgot. early test screenings said that the Bale scenes were terribly underdeveloped and had no depth and that Bale wasn't in much of the movie at all. <br> <br> Can someone that saw one of those test screenings a few months ago tell me if this theatrical version beefed up his role in response those claims? The Bale role in the version i saw hit all the right notes and had the perfect amount of screen time, probably more than a third of the movie but less than half. I remember reading reviews early on on this site and more than one personsaid the same thing. <br> <br> Capone, did you see one those early screenings and if so was the movie changed?

  • July 1, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Thanks Mr. Nice Gaius

    by emteem

    Also, I'm certainly not saying that a movie has to have humor to be good. I mean I love Cries and Whispers and that certainly doesn't (unless you think it's funny when the one sister shoves the shard of mirror up her vagina and walks around with blood pouring down her legs), and there are countless other examples. It's just struck me that all of his movies are so deadly serious.<p>But, hey, that's my problem not Mann's.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Like it or not Mann has moved on with HD

    by Samuel Fulmer

    and the semi-doc approach. Tarantino on the other hand is still stuck making cartoons about other films.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Jon Stewart called it the other night on The Daily Show

    by skimn

    Everyone you've ever known has died...<p>Sadly I knew Malden best from Streets Of San Fransisco and his, wassit Mastercard commercials? "Don't leave home without it".

  • July 1, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Sick of Depp

    by LargoJr

    Because I want to see him do something really different if I'm going to see him, and after seeing the latest Burton snaps.. I just want to pass on pretty much anything Burton, Depp, or Carter involved...

  • Go see Transformers 2 again!!!!!

  • July 1, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    It will be forgotten in a month.

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Sadly, it;s one of those good movies that deserves better, but is lost in the summer hype films.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by emteem are correct it is a coyote, but as the scene appears to be symbolically saying that Vincent is a "lone wolf" I just called it a wolf.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Well, his HD looks like shit.

    by Mosquito March

    And, what does Tarantino have to do with sanything?

  • July 1, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I liked it but...

    by Opt

    I read the book Public Enemies, and I know that movies take artistic license with the source material, but it was so historically inaccurate, that it was hard for me to get past. First off Pretty Boy Floyd died after Dillinger, he was the person dubbed public enemy #1 after Dillinger had been shot, and he was not shot by Purvis. Baby Face died after Floyd, on a high way between Lake Geneva, Wi and Chicago, and none of the gang died at Little Bohemia, not Nelson, not Homer Van Meter, not Red Hamilton...none of them did. So, from a fan of the book, and the history of the events, having grown up in the area which these events took place, I was really disappointed that they weren't atleast a little more accurate. I know that the film version of the book never lives up to the actual book, but I thought that Mann would have atleast stayed a little more true to the source material. They were all very good performances by the actors, and I liked Depp a lot, and Stephen Graham as Baby Face...but I was very disappointed with the inaccuracies.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    HEAT yes MOHICANS yes VICE no thanks

    by soloaj

    Vice was a hot mess - I mean If Jamie Fox and the supporting ladies are the best thing in your movie it may be in trouble = that needed another script edit before it was shot - still some of the shots where beautiful - Mann can shoot the heck out of movie. Guilty Pleasure with Mohicans = maybe cause it is one of the 1st & only films to capture that era's battles in a coherent and well shot movie. Wish another good director would take a shot at such a time piece movie - a good revolitionary war pic based on "Angel in the Whirlwind" would be Fantastic! And do not mention the "Patriot" cause that is just all the bad parts of Braveheart pieced together to make garbage. Will check out "Public Enemies" and do not miss "Hurtlocker" going wider soon - excellent movie!

  • July 1, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    RIP Karl Malden

    by chrth

  • July 1, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    ... and it's MyrNa Loy

    by chrth

  • July 1, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Saw an early screening of Public Enemies and

    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    It was not very good. Great acting and some great scenes, but overall not all that good. This is NOT even close to being one of Mann's better films and ranks slightly higher than Miami Vice. We all knew these reviews would be positive at AICN due to interview and schwag!

  • July 1, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST

    i just watched On the Waterfront and...

    by Lashlarue

    Streetcar Named Desire. I was also listening to a lot of Michael Jackson a week before he dies. Weird.<p> Anyway, Karl Malden was one of Hollywood's finest and most likeable actors.<p>"You don't think Jesus is down here on the docks with you. Well, I'm telling you he is!"

  • July 1, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by palpatinefuckedmydog

    Did they show his big dick?

  • July 1, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    HEAT is vastly overrated...

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    Unecessarily long, trying to find the nuance of criminal undertakings. It has a first rate cast but a second rate script. No need to hype on it, not my fault you shelled out 25 bucks on the video.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Heat overrated in comparison to

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Another film released the fall of 1995, Casino. Otherwise, an excellent film.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    HEAT is appropriately rated

    by YackBacker

    Who's running around calling it the greatest movie of all-time? A couple of lunatics, right? Most of us just really enjoyed it when it came out. I mean are there HEAT conventions I don't know about? Relax, Fooey, nobody is encroaching on your view of the world.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Just watched"Thief" again. WoW. Great movie!

    by jah_kingdom

  • July 1, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Righteous Kill was superior to Heat

    by Samuel Fulmer

    If you are a fan of seeing 50 Cent fly through a window. I also like the fact that 70 year olds were still serving on the force with no explanation.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    I also saw an early screening

    by maxbrown

    This review is completely biased concerning a number of factors. Capone should have pointed this out more clearly. This movie sucked, by the way. I have a full review at my site

  • July 1, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    I need to attend the Heat convention

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Maybe they'll have the Hank Azaria action figure? I also want to pay 25 dollars to get Bud Cort's autograph.

  • July 1, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Talking Al Pacino Vincent Hana doll

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Another Heat Convention exclusive.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Mann needs to direct a fantasy film

    by ganymede3010

    I would love to see him take on a Comic Book movie or hardcore SCI-FI. How awesome would that be?

  • July 1, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    A "Talking Al Pacino Vincent Hana Doll"?!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Where do I get one??? Sign me up!<P>"Don't waste my motherfuckin' time!!!"<P>"I just had coffee with McCauley HALF AN HOUR AGO!!!"

  • July 1, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    you want an amazing pacino fig? check out this $1000 thing

    by ironic_name

  • July 1, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Fuck you maxbrown

    by YackBacker

    I went to your site, against my better judgment- you don't have a review of PUBLIC ENEMIES up at all. What a liar! Go do more articles about Atari box art or some other useless musings.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    you need to be a k-citizen to even be in the lottery to win one

    by ironic_name

  • July 1, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Saw Thief on Showtime for first time last week.

    by GQtaste

    It was a total badass film. Jimmy Cann was great and I recoginzed when he called somebody slick two or three times from Heat. But nontheless it was a graet film.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    60% on Rotten Tomatoes

    by WalkenLives

    Borderline Average. I think I'll rent it.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    So CAPONE likes a movie about Chicago gangsters?


    I'm SO the opposite of surprised.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    "Who? Who?"

    by Mosquito March

    "What are you, a fuckin owl?"

  • July 1, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Cotillard is a crackpot

    by rainbowtrout1265

    A 9/11 "truther" who thinks the US blew up the towers. Plus, her accent becomes obvious near the end of the movie.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    The Lady in Red - movie about Dillinger's girlfriend

    by johnnyangelheart

    Pamela sue Martin sure was hot. Just saying.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    ironic_name, that Vincent Hannah doll creeps me out

    by YackBacker

    It's insanely well-done but... A little unnerving to be honest.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    every other review ive read has panned this

    by aclockworkkebab

    dont get me wrong generally speaking i agree with most of the reiews i read on here it just makes you wonder sometimes if critical recation to a movie is coralled in some way, so many hacks out there not wanting to sound out of touch so stay in line with what they have already heard ie depps worst performance in years, its amost like they have decided to pan the fim before they have seen it, like Alexander (which i really liked by the way) i get the def inpresion that its already been decided that depp's long over due a flop so thats whats gonna get written.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Will see it tomorrow or Friday.

    by ClarenceBeaks

    It really looks incredible and I just cannot resist a gangster movie.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Depp's had plenty of flops in his career

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Sweeny Todd anyone?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Capone does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    "He pulls a knife. You pull his wife. THAT'S the Bale way."<p> I really like the sound of this flick. Looking forward to it.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Heat beats the living shit out of Rightgeous kill!

    by darwinmayflower

    Righteous Kill ate balls. Heat should have conventions.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    lockesbrokenleg Depp was INCREDIBLE in SWEENEY TODD! Your critical faculties scare me.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    how accurate was this historically?

    by rainbowtrout1265

    Any history/Dillinger buffs out there?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    COLLATERAL was a great Mann Movie and Cruise's best

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    I've heard that Bale (who insists on staying in character the entire time on sets and has everyone refer to him solely by his character name) didn't speak one work to Johnny Depp while filming other than the scenes they were in. I re-watched HEAT the other day and I think I find the North Hollywood shoot out that really happened more interesting than the scene in HEAT that was based on it. Also, the way MANN likes to show L.A. lights twinkling in the background in so many shots was weird because it's obvious that he zooms in on the lights and then films the actors against a greenscreen with the oversized lights in the background. A little disconcerting. MIAMI VICE remake just sucked balls.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "And now I have to demean myself with Ralph just to get closure with you."<p> I wonder if the guy who played Ralph would have a long autograph line at the HEAT convention? Probably not. Poor dumb sap.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Finally a movie I would spend $ to see

    by kafka07

    I say that because Hurt Locker hasn't reached my town yet.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Depp may have been good in Sweeny Todd

    by lockesbrokenleg

    but the movie was shit.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    The handheld camera stuff REALLY bothered me

    by CherryValance

    <p>So much so that it was FUCKIN' DISTRACTING! Seriously I couldn't focus on the movie because I would focus on what was going on. About an hour and a half in I finally was able to pay attention so either I got used to it or they calmed down with that crap. There could have been a good movie in there I dunno. The last half seemed pretty good. I could make out that the performances were there. But I didn't get a sense of who John Dillinger was or why people liked him. I mean he didn't look like Johnny Depp in real life right? Otherwise I saw no reason for his popularity and I didn't even see that he was popular within the film. But again it could have whizzed by me while I was looking for my air-sick bag. (And after reading Capone's interview with Mann I knew to sit further back. It didn't help.) A lot of the time I spent in the beginning was questioning why someone would do that. Why put together that cast and get all the bells and whistles just so you can't see them properly. At one point I started to feel bad for the design team because I didn't feel like their work could be appreciated, until the end. This was what was going through my head instead of whatever plot was in front of me. I mean it should be obvious from what I just wrote but for me the visuals are of the utmost importance in a film. So to not be able to make out what's going on is bad, really bad. Also you can't help but think of 'The Untouchables' when watching something like this and although that story was meh, it looked friggin' great. Doesn't help to think of that when you're looking at a fuzzy orange Depp. </p> <p>When the first trailer came out everyone was complaining about how shitty it looked and I didn't see it. I didn't catch on. Maybe because it was on a small screen but I get it now. But again only in that first half of the movie because later it seemed like they started to figure out how to light at least some of the night scenes. But some of the scenes looked like re-enactment videos from crap like E! True Hollywood stories or something. Why is it so hard to make digital photography look good at night? And if it looks so bad why use it? I'm not a filmmaker so I don't know.</p> <p>On the whole, I don't know how to rate this movie. Or how to fit it in a list of movies this year. I don't know if it's a 8 or a 3. I don't know if it would improve on second viewing if I could manage to choreograph myself to shake in synchronicity with the film thereby making it seem to stand still. I just wish you could fix that for the DVD or something because I really sort of feel like I don't know what I saw. It was kinda like when Johnny and Benicio went into that crazy carnival in 'Fear and Loathing' and Benicio couldn't get off the carousel. I felt like that. And at the end of the film something made me want to go home and watch 'Johnny Dangerously' for the hundred and umpteenth time. The worst part is I thought this was going to be my favorite movie this year. </p>

  • July 1, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by NoHubris

    Mann's version of Dillinger is based on a well reasearch book by Bryan Burrough.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Cherry does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Cherry, make up your mind - is it an 8 or a 3?<p> If you don't decide soon i'm just gonna have to put you down for a 5.5<p> Apart from the shaky cam, what did you think of the rest of the movie, plot, performance, script, pacing, etc?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    So white makeup equals not real acting?

    by MattmanReturns

    Yet another boneheaded remark from a "critic" at Aint it Cool. If Sweeney Todd wasn't acting, I dunno what is.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Lockesbrokenleg, Sweeney Todd made $152 million

    by MattmanReturns

    It cost $50 million. How is that a flop?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I thought box office didn't equal quality on this board?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Silly me. It still sucked shit.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:35 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "Depp's had plenty of flops in his career. Sweeny Todd anyone?"<p> by lockesbrokenleg Jul 1st, 2009 05:03:21 PM <p> Dude, you made a bogus comment and you got called on it. Man up and move on.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Lol, man up and move on

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Sweeny Todd sucked! How could anyone enjoy that shit. Also what about Ed Wood? that sucker flopped too.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Great review Capone. I'm going to this.

    by hallmitchell

    Hopefully this film will go a small way in making up for a overall soul crushing 2009. I exempt Land of the Lost and Star Trek.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST


    by CherryValance

    Dude, that's what I'm saying. I can't tell what I think about the movie because I couldn't see half of it. If I'm put on the spot I have to say it was bad because the shaky cam overwhelmed everything else making it kinda unwatchable. But maybe for people who aren't as destracted by it, it'll be really great.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Cherry. You ain't the cherry on top. You da cherry on the fence right now boy. 'unwatchable' and 'really great'. Damn! Way to hedge your bets son.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Martin Landau won the Oscar for Ed Wood you jackass

    by GQtaste

    and the film won another one for Rick Baker. Johnny was f'ing brilliant along w/ Billy Murray, Sara Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette. Face it, lockesbrokenleg, you know nothing of film and Depp. If you want to say Willy Wonka was suspect, then I'll concur but not much else.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    Maxbrown does have a Public Enemies review up on his site. He is overly critical and the site is pretty bad, but the review is there if you scroll down a bit. He called it the worst Johnny Depp film ever, which I highly disagree with. I saw Public Enemies and it is OK, nothing more, nothing less. However, the praise is will get from this site is funny because once you watch it you will see it is an over long movie of the week with great acting and a few exceptionally well shot scenes.

  • July 1, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    lockes doesn't like movies...

    by WillardGreensThunderballs

    He likes explosions and racial stereotypes.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    No, I think people here don't like movies

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I love Depp. I love the Pirates movies, and even Scissorhands. I don't like weird movies either.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Like he's going to critcize the movie after sucking Mann off

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    Not on this site

  • July 1, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST


    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak

    People here love movies, but they like to bitch about them even more. I am willing to bet more than 80% of the people who botched and moaned about Transformers 2 loved the living shit out of it and were there opening day. As for this movie, it is OK. If you thought TF2 is long wait til you sit through this. Man it made my check my watch repeatedly. In fairness though, this is probably a film that plays better at home than in the theater and I will probably check it out again on Blu Ray!

  • July 1, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by MattmanReturns

    Well the term "flop" generally implies it wasn't a success at the box office, regardless of the quality of the movie. That being said, I loved Sweeney Todd.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    And Ed Wood was fucking brilliant too

    by MattmanReturns

  • July 1, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    The Hard Way

    by planescrashdown

    now that's a good Stephen Lang film!

  • July 1, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    In fact, I'd say Ed Wood is Burton's best film

    by MattmanReturns

  • July 1, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Mann is my pick to direct CONAN

    by Logan_1973

    He'll treat it right.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    I'm a HUGE Mann fan and Miami Vice is underrated!

    by Dogmatic

    I love Mann's use of atmosphere and music in that flick but just the right amount of gritty documentary style cam to keep it grounded. It has a great tone in balancing a style that reflects the super-cool ultra-high life of Miami with a style that reflects the down and dirty parts of Miami. <p> As with the colonial Northeast in Mohicans, L.A. in both Heat and Collateral, the south in The Insider, Zaire in Ali....Mann makes Miami the main character....and i thought that Farrell and Foxx were great in there.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Logan_1973... except he'll film it digitally

    by MattmanReturns

    Which will look weird I think...

  • July 1, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Why Mann's HEAT is important:

    by Logan_1973

    Christopher Nolan has said several times TDK was directly inspired by HEAT. If there was no Mann/HEAT, TDK would not have been what it was. <p> And as far as the pussies around here complaining about "movie was too long"...It's a crying shame mainstream Hollywood panders to the Twitter Generation, who can't handle a movie over 80 minutes. Sadly, the days of the epic film are dying. Wherever have you gone, LOTR, GODFATHER...

  • July 1, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    I saw this movie already

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I won 2 tickets to an advance screening last week. It's all right. Depp is the best thing about it.

  • July 1, 2009, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I don't think the Epic movies are dying, either

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Star Trek was pretty damn epic this summer, and it was damn good too. Also Watchmen was epic in scope, but well kind of shitty.

  • July 1, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    A yawn fest

    by jcrewrower2

    This just didn't click for me. The shoot outs were repetitive and there was not nearly enough regarding Dillinger being reveled at by the country. These bank robbers are famous because people took a liking to them and that was only hinted at. Cotillard's scenes were the best part of the movie. I was hoping I would be able to replace Collateral with this as my favorite Mann film but I can't.

  • July 1, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    DUDE-IT IS 'PEEKS', NOT 'PEAKS'!!!!!!!!!!!

    by akiraclass

    Capone-Nice review, but are you a professional writer or aren't you? FOR THE RECORD: PEEK=A QUICK GLANCE PEAK=MOUNTAIN TOP OR HIGH POINT A 'professional' journalist that doesn't know simple second grade word usage is like a professional accountant that thinks 2+2=Jello (to quote Chris Rock.) Sorry to be harsh, but you're better than that--aren't you?

  • July 1, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Bale is always getting outshined by his co-star

    by zooch

    The Dark Knight: Heath Ledger, Terminator: Sam Worthington, 3:10 to Yuma: Russell Crowe, Public Enemies: Johnny Depp

  • July 1, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Just saw it. 8/10 in my book.

    by Kief_Ledger

    The handheld wasn't disconcerting to me at all, but I'm sure that will vary with viewers. I found the movie very interesting. Depp does some great, subtle work in it and reminded me of De Niro in Heat; that pure professionalism and always feeling like the smartest guy in the room. It's also Mann's most action packed movie, which will probably be a plus for some of you. Overall, I thought it was very good. It hits a few snags with minor characters becoming too essential, but I'm sure Mann had to cut this down to fit studio demands. Regardless, I liked it.

  • July 1, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    aintitcool will suck this mediocre films cock for sure

    by TheDark0Knight

    I love Michael Mann but this is no doubt his worst film...IT IS looks great & sounds even better but the writing is mediocre at best. The pacing is off the score is terrible at some points incredible in others...Cotillard is almost cringe worthy in some scenes, shes great in one scene...thats it. aintitcool will no doubt give this rave reviews though...they got to interview Mann, why wouldnt they?

  • July 1, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    No Action Scenes for Nick Fury in Iron Man 2

    by IHaveSeenEveryEpisodeOfPrisonBreak is reporting this, what a waste. Sam Jackson tells MTV of his eyepatched agent, he won't necessarily be battling baddies alongside armored Tony Stark in IRON MAN 2: "Not this time, not yet. We still haven’t moved Nick Fury into the bad-ass zone. He’s still just kind of a talker."

  • July 1, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Sweeney Todd a flop?

    by Noddy93

  • July 1, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Sweeney Todd a flop?

    by Noddy93

    yeah... i don't thing a $3 dollar return on every $1 invested a flop. and that's box office

  • July 1, 2009, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Why Michael Mann is up to stuff...

    by Sithtastic

    Michael Mann has always impressed me as a film maker. This man makes up psychological profiles for his characters from childhood for cryin' out loud. Which certainly proves my theory: Michael Mann is up to stuff. That said, I'll see this.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    if notm2 can beat t4

    by Jesiah

    Then I have hope Public Enemies >tf2 this weekend. I'll take Johnny Depp as a mafioso over shit lequeef any day.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    bale is my generation's penn

    by Jesiah

    Critically lauded, not doing a lot of interviews, kicking a lot of ass. Hopefully he doesn't marry an attention whore though.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:48 p.m. CST

    I saw it today...a TOTAL DUD

    by Tarl_Cabot

    I love Heat, Collateral and Miami Vice. This was another "Ali".Pointless and added nothing to the genre. I wish he had made Killing Pablo instead.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:10 p.m. CST

    re: Bale getting outshined by co-stars

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    He MORE than held hiw own with Russell Crowe in 3:10 To Yuma. A seriously great performance in a terrific movie.<BR><BR>As for Public Enemies, as a film, it was fine, but the HD camera look BIT ASS. How can you have a movie directed by Mann and shot by Dante FUCKING Spinotti and have it look like amateur videotape of Little Billy's piano recital? Go back to FILM, Mr. Mann.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    I wanted it to be longer

    by lokiboy101

    Same as the above user, I wanted more time dealing with Dillinger as a folk hero/courting the press, and the deterioration of his group. I also wanted more with Melvin Purvis - more about his suicide/ his guilt over what he'd become. I enjoyed the movie and will enjoy it again once it comes on DVD (hopefully a longer cut).

  • July 1, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Saw it today

    by IamZardoz

    Very good movie with only two things that bothered me, historical inacuracies and that HD film, I wish he'd just use regular stuff.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    I expected to "like" it as I do Manns weak films, but I LOVED it

    by flickchick85

    And I agree with Capone, Depp was truly great, but I think Cotillard may be the MVP of the movie. She was so wonderfully subtle in that last scene, and throughout the entire movie, we always know what she's thinking, even when it contrasts with what she's saying or outwardly projecting. So many things to pick up on in her performance. Bale had some nice subtle moments, too - he's not wooden like some people are claiming. But Depp and Cotillard really shined in this. This came out in the wrong season though - it's not a blockbuster.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    FFS Capone-

    by Squilookle

    You should have called Spoiler on this. You may not have realised, but for many of us- particularly us outside the 'States, this is NOT "a film whose ending we already know" I knew nothing about Dillinger and that was why I was so interested in seeing this. Sure, it's almost a given that the criminal gets killed at the end, but now that you've just blurted it out, I can't even hope for a final escape scene when I see it. Thanks Capone. Thanks a BUNCH

  • July 1, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    And the HD cinematography was CRUCIAL to my enjoyment.

    by flickchick85

    The dreamlike quality the film had was totally due to the shooting style and the medium. Sometimes I almost forgot I was watching a movie and felt like someone took a video camera back into the 1930's and recorded these events on the spot. It wouldn't have felt that real and immersive if shot in a more traditional way.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:34 p.m. CST

    I actually think Bale out shined Depp in this movie

    by odo19

    Not sure why but Depp's heart just didn't seem to be in it. Felt like he was just going through the motions for me. Then all of the sudden he seems to have woken up for the last half hour or so. Bale is good in every scene he's in and even though he doesn't have a lot to do you can't take your eyes off of him. Just my two cents though.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:55 p.m. CST


    by Charger26

    and pedophile!

  • July 1, 2009, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Pee Wee is still Burton's Best

    by lockesbrokenleg

    anyway, this is a DEPP movie, and he kills in anything even if its shit.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by CherryValance

    I agree that it looked like someone took a video camera back in time and shot it. But I didn't like that look. The other thing is I know people think that the documentary style ala "The Office" and hand-held camera makes it like you're there. But I don't think so unless you're a bobblehead. People manage to walk with their heads straight and therefore your view of life doesn't bounce around like that. Either way I didn't want to be immersed and I wanted to know I was watching a movie.</p> <p>I agree about Bale, odo19. I thought Bale had the better scenes. The one with Cotillard, you know which. And all his reactions to his guys F'in up. Especially when that one dude showed up hat in hand. I thought that guy was gonna get his lights trashed for sure from the look on His Lordship's face.</p>

  • July 2, 2009, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Friend I saw it w/said it was the worst film of the summer......

    by The Dum Guy

    I told him he was goddamned idiot.<br><br>I just got back from seeing it.<br><br>The weakest thing (if you can say it) about the movie is how close it follows the real events, so if you know the story you know the story (that was his complaint).<br><br>I actually didn't hate the HD look in this unlike Miami Vice.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:27 a.m. CST


    by flickchick85

    Fair enough, but for the record, I don't believe it makes ME feel like I was there (it wasn't "first person" b/c you're right, that would make the viewer a bobblehead); it makes me feel like it was SHOT by someone who was.<p>I understand why you and others don't like the look, though. I just do like it. A lot. I love film cinematography, too. IMO, both styles serve different purposes very well, and they each have their merits.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST



    Even if a nuclear war occurs, he will outlive us all! Nothing can stop THE BALE! His fists of steel will continue punching the human race in their collective faces until they can take no more.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:59 a.m. CST

    maybe Ill have to go see this again

    by TheDark0Knight

    I cant stop thinking about it, maybe its a grower.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:20 a.m. CST

    The Greatest Review

    by VWantsRevenge

    I've read on this site in a long while. I agree with 100% of what you said Capone, and thank you for delivering a coherent, point-driven review of a movie instead of a meandering masturbation fantasy diatribe about personal BS.<br> <br> On another note, about the only think I had a problem with was the HD cameras. Sometimes I felt like I wanted a nice long pan, or tracking shot instead of the bouncy, grainy HD video. But hey, in a lot of the scenes, especially the gun fight at the lodge, it added to the tension by making it seem so realistic.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:31 a.m. CST

    I for one....

    by Uridium

    ...will be paying my £££ to see this rather than that waste of screentime transformenrs.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:50 a.m. CST


    by Sgt.Steiner

    No love for "The Keep"?

  • July 2, 2009, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Just finished..

    by Youngdog

    ..reading the Bryan Burrough book of the same name and this has a lot to live up to - a great read for those still enjoying more archaic forms of entertainment media.<P>I hope the heist scenes are not too polished - a lot of the time things went tits up and much claret was shed. Some of the discriptions in the book (especially the Bonnie and Clyde stuff) are harsh. Hands being blown off, brains hanging out etc. <P>It also does a great job of taking away the romantic elevation of these people as folk heroes. They were just a bunch of chavs with guns. It also explains how Hoover was able to take a string of one fuck-up after another and build the FBI's reputation as one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the world.

  • July 2, 2009, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Really well written review

    by zapano

    probably the best writer on this site

  • July 2, 2009, 4:08 a.m. CST

    New Avatar poster...

    by henrydalton

    As it doesn't seem to be on here yet...

  • July 2, 2009, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Couldn't believe audience reaction to this tonight

    by drturing

    saw it NYC with a sold out crowd. there was APPLAUSE. At a Michael Mann movie. I've never seen anything like it in my life, and I saw Heat in theaters (with two vietnam vets who were going apeshit over how accurately portrayed the tactical gunfire stuff was realized in a movie). First time was when Johnny Depp said something so disarming the girls in the audience CHEERED, which in my generation of actors I've never fucking seen. Second was at the epilogue of the movie, this no summer feel good blockbuster at all. No what this is, is a fucking MASTERPIECE of texture and perspective and acting. It's experimental, with some of the most insanely rule breaking cinematography seen in a studio film since Paul Greengrass' Bourne Supremacy. You see clouds in skies and pores and hairs on actors faces. Closeups framed against an actors jawline. Crazy shit. But it fucking WORKS. The movie is spellbinding, taut, flawless. Just go with it. It's about being in the moment as those who felt it did. It's as much about the types of walls in apartments people in 1933 experienced as it is about robbing banks. And the casting is sublime. I forgot that Depp can be a badass.

  • July 2, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST

    And after watching Transformers 2

    by drturing

    this feels like dining on a fucking porterhouse after eating fucking taco bell at 3am.

  • July 2, 2009, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Needs more GIANT PIG

    by GIANT_PIG

    GIANT PIG!!!

  • July 2, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    "a film whose ending we already know"

    by Al_Shut

    I didn't. Until now.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:19 a.m. CST

    ok let me spoil every movie with a protaganist who

    by drturing

    was in their thirties in the 1930s... They are dead.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Agreed On Stephen Lang as Winstead

    by SoupDragon

    Best character in the film. He even got some fine action beats. Like that slow-mo barrel roll in the woods outside Bohemia lodge.

  • July 2, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Saw it yesterday, great movie BUT...

    by Kenshiro_187

    The HD really was annoying. Why didn't Mann go to 35mm for this? And, as Opt has said, they deviated from the book which is a shame but overall, best movie of the summer. And that's not saying much considering all the trash that has come out.

  • July 2, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST


    by JDanielP

    That would be cool. But I'm waiting to see what Nolan does with the Batman franchise. <P>My vote: Continue the theme of escalation...and include Superman. See the "DISTRICT 9" trailer if you disbelieve that Superman CAN blend into Nolan's Mann-influenced style.

  • July 2, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    This movie is racist and misogynistic!

    by SnowDogs

    Makes as much sense saying that as in Harry's review.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    My favorite film of '09

    by Stuntcock Mike

    So far. Winstead needs to have his own film.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST


    by Stuntcock Mike

    Poor Ralph.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Akira Class

    by evil dead 3d

    I always thought we were a little less spelling and grammar (not grammer) nazis on the ole AICN site then out in the real world..have you READ ANY OF HARRY's REVIEWS..i think it's his site still...feel free to police your own writing tho is if makes you feel warm and squishiy inside, but here it's like honking at someone for making an honest driving mistake...

  • July 2, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Response To ZombieHeathLedger

    by inhumans99

    You said: <I re-watched HEAT the other day and I think I find the North Hollywood shoot out that really happened more interesting than the scene in HEAT that was based on it.> <br><br>Heat was in theaters well before the NH shootout. Many folks commented that the robbery reminded them of that scene in Heat. Fyi, before I came up to the bay area to attend college, I lived in the San Fernando Valley (parents still do), and my boss had to pick up her kid early from schools that were locked down because of the chaos. <br><br>Some shows tried to do a decent job of recreating the shoot-out, but the attempts alway fell flat. It would have been cool if the NH shootout inspired the scene in Heat, but alas, that is not the case.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Response To ZombieHeathLedger

    by inhumans99

    Oops, this was cut off my response: I re-watched HEAT the other day and I think I find the North Hollywood shoot out that really happened more interesting than the scene in HEAT that was based on it.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by evil dead 3d

    yipes that is all... oops...

  • July 2, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST


    by Kief_Ledger


  • July 2, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Best 'Heat' quote...

    by itsjust_notcool_anymore_baby

    Don't waste ma motherfuckin' tiiime!"

  • July 2, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Can't fuckin wait to see PE...

    by itsjust_notcool_anymore_baby

    finally a REAL movie this summer and not a 2-hour kiddie commercial.

  • July 2, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Was going to wait for video...

    by fassbinder79

    ...But a friend of mine who shares my love for Mann told me its much better than it appears. I hate Vice and he really dug that but I'll give Mann benefit of the doubt since all his other films are pretty fantastic. Will be seeing this. Hopefully I won't regret paying the money to see it in theaters. The digital still scares me though...And Depp hasn't been good since From Hell.

  • July 2, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Watched HEAT for the first time last week

    by estacado1


  • July 2, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Why all the TF2 hate???

    by Ash0k

    Team Fortress 2 was amazing, imho.

  • July 2, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by Reckoner


  • July 2, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    It was great, but...

    by stones_throw

    ...I have to agree, on occasion the handheld HD cameras took me right out of it. You build up a good sense of period and then a few shots look straight out of COPS. On the best recent movie about the myths around a folk-hero criminal, I'm going with THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. Was that also shot in digital? Dunno. But it generally had a more experimental visual style, so I didn't find any modernisms as distracting.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    estacado, you watched but you did not see. Try again.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST


    by Youngdog

    That is harsh mate. But IF your friend was so bothered about history he should have read the Bryan Burrough's book 'Public Enemies' the film is based on. Then would have known the truth behind the colour of her dress. Such an oversight is FUCKING AMATEUR.<P>Hold your head up high. If an amateur calls you a prick its sort of a compliment - you know you are doing something right. And now you have a reason not to bother talking to that prick calling fuck ever again.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Painfully Tepid

    by LosVientos668

    For anyone who is a fan of the source material, this film woefully underepresents it. Burrough's book was originally slated to be a 10 part HBO miniseries and they declined. Too bad...the film loses much of the spirit of the era and connectivity of outlaws such as the Barker Gang, Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, Nelson, and Dillenger. Characters and relationships are also grossly misrepresented. Bale's Purvis was not some super crimefighter...he was a fuckup who lucked into many of his arrests. Dillinger's relationship with Billie also wasn't his world, as the film suggests. Extreme license with facts was also taken, which for cinematic sake I can forgive but it's tough when the book was so thorough. Just very disappointed with the finished product. Depp also seemed to sleepwalk through the role. Definitely not his best stuff.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    SexyWhisk's early review had it right

    by SexyWhisk

    all you haters - my review was right on the money - looks like they didnt change a thing... The movie's a snoore fest with no one to root for or cling to... sucks...

  • July 2, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    I need to talk about Mann's influence on BATMAN.

    by JDanielP

    For the record, I look forward to anything from Michael Mann. Count me in. <P>As to Michael Mann's influence on Batman, I love it. (The box office of THE DARK KNIGHT speaks for itself.) Yet, I do realize that some people are resistant to such superhero fantasy being so close to a life-like reality. Believe it or not, there are SOME people who actually prefer a more playful interpretation, with visuals that reflect the fantasy. Some people want artistry within fantastic visuals and highly choreographed action. And those styles have great potential, too. But I'm not going to sit here and choose sides...because I do appreciate what both sides have to offer, just as I can appreciate the blending of styles. In the end, it is the final product that matters. <P>As for Nolan's next Batman flick, I get goosebumps for the great potential it has. I see the potential of a Batman movie SO incredible...that it could eclipse both the critical praise and the box office success of THE DARK KNIGHT. For me, the key to such success is a combination of three reasons: 1.)Escalation. 2.)Superman. 3.)Plausibility through visual interpretation. <P>Escalation: It HAS to happen. Batman is NOW the villain (though we know different). Visually (as an artist, myself), I would take advantage of the design of Batman's costume, as Batman is more feared/fearsome than ever. (Note: I would make Batman's costume more creature-like to reflect the public attitude,...the ears more like the '89 costume, with the suit having built-in musculature, though perhaps less human.) <P>SUPERMAN: As a character within the DC Comics universe, Superman is your answer to Ledger's incredible performance as the Joker. Do NOT... I repeat, do NOT... allow acting talent (or past performances) to influence the story to come, no matter how great this influence may feel. <P>Plausibility through visual interpretation: Simply put, the style needs to remain consistent, despite the inclusion of Superman. --Some people disbelieve that this blending of material can be done successfully,...because Superman, as a character, dips far more into the realm of fantasy. But I disagree. (And the trailer for "DISTRICT 9" should be enough to prove my point.) And I have enough faith in Nolan to take us to that place, and to blow away the expectations of those who disbelieve. <P>FINAL THOUGHTS: I have these visual flashes of a movie that doesn't exist,...of the once standing Superman falling to the ground, on his side with his head against the cave floor, a turned sideways P.O.V. shot of the approaching Batman. With my mind's eye, I "see" a movie that begins with the terrifying image of Batman, as the villain,...which escalates into the inclusion of Superman, as the hero,...into the eventual discovery of truth and a new friendship established. And wouldn't it be interesting if the true villain was revealed to be Gotham City's NEW Mayor, Rupert Thorne (for those of you who know your Batman history)? Can't you imagine a crooked Mayor requesting the help of this so-called Superman of Metropolis,...which leads him to using Superman like a dog (with lives at stake), in an effort to take down the Dark Knight once and for all? <P>Good luck, Mr. Nolan.

  • July 2, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Worst Movie So Far

    by Gordak

    This film felt dead on arrival. There was zero life to the scenes. There was NO personality in any of the characters. And the HD was HORRIBLE. How can you spend so much money on a 30's period piece and not foot the bill for film? The lead girl was laughable and people in the theater were laughing and groaning at her performance. There was zero chemistry between Depp and her. These were dynamic people! What was their life? How can you have a movie that was so long say absolutely nothing?

  • July 2, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    So sad/ It made even Gangsters boring!

    by lockesbrokenleg

    What is this? a two hour crime drama, or a study of a gangster.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "Do NOT... I repeat, do NOT... allow acting talent (or past performances) to influence the story to come, no matter how great this influence may feel."<p> JDP what you mean? Don't get this line? (nice post btw).

  • July 2, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Superman does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Seeing a character as fantastical as Superman appear in Nolan's TDK universe... hmm. The execution would have to be SO perfect for that to play. Either genius or massive fail. Nothing in between.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Best "Heat" quote?

    by ebonic_plague

    How can anything compete with, "She got a GRRRRREAT ASS! And you got your head... ALL THE WAY UP IT!"

  • July 2, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Very dull, HD Video very weak in dark scenes

    by Metropolis

    It's such a shame that with all the amazing craftspeople at Michael Mann's disposal that he attempts to capture a great story on a medium that occasionally looks cheap, muddy, "TV-cop-show-reinactment-like", and just plain wrong. The muzzle flashes from the machine guns look odd to say the least, expecially in the night scene at the hideout. It just doesn't look right. It just doesn't look cinematic. The acting is strong, but the characters lack any qualities that would make one root for them. If anything, Dillenger doesn't seem so brilliant but rather makes the police force and the feds look like buffoons. Bale is a zombie in this one, not likeable at all. Depp is hard not to love, but his character, motivation, relationship with Freshette are all luke warm. Crudop is solid here, but doesn't have enough screen time to matter. I thought that Dillenger was supposed to be a "hero" to the public, but you never once get a sense that the people or nation even cared, except for the fact that they see him occasionly as a wanted man in movie theatre news reel previews, and brief radio updates. It seems no one cares for Dillenger except for his crew, random coat check girls, and the odd mobster here and there. The audience was quiet as a tomb, no one clapped, people kept checking the time on their watches and cell phones, it was disappointing. If car chases and bank robberies can't excite an audience than something is very wrong. This film will have people divided amongst the Heat worshipers and the Michael Mann devotees (no matter what it is even if it's shot in HD we love you Michael Mann). I do find Michael Mann to be slowly evolving into a boring filmmaker, as I think he's said everything he needs to say -- the "cop and robber are both cool lets see who wins" setup is getting played out. Look at Ridley Scott for example, or Danny Boyle, so many great stories to tell, so little time, but if any of you Heat worshippers haven't seen Thief you'd be amazed how similar it is to your beloved Heat. Oh well, enjoy at your own risk, but one of you talkbackers put it best, Michael Mann's work at it's best is top notch, and should be given the "film" treatment to make it look it best, because the tv style reinactment look of the action scenes really took me out of this one. "And I'm Donald Duck" - Det. Vincent Hannah

  • July 2, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    "Drop of a hat, these guys were rock and roll"

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • July 2, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by JDanielP

    Considering the next Batman flick, I think one might hesitate to include Superman due to the weight of performances in THE DARK KNIGHT,...even if the inclusion of Superman makes the most sense, along with the theme of escalation. I feel that Nolan is entirely capable of getting what he needs from actor Brandon Routh (or other choice actor). <P>Judging by past talkbacks at AICN, I'm sure there are those who believe that the talent isn't there, for the casting of Superman. But if I had my say, I would urge Nolan to utilize Routh as Clark Kent/Superman, while having no connection to SUPERMAN RETURNS (and including a more familiar design of Superman's costume).

  • July 2, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Don't forget Waingro!!!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    "The guy was making a move, man. I had to get it on."

  • July 2, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    JDanielP, great points about Batman

    by MattmanReturns

    I'm one of those few people who likes both Tim Burton's original Batman AND Nolan's Batman. But I prefer Nolan's because I feel Batman is more of a "real-life" hero. He has no powers. He does do some incredible things that would probably kill a real person, but it's much easier to believe a Batman could exist than a Spider-Man.

  • July 2, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    "Gangsteriffic" - that's so non-hetero

    by Puddleglum

    Maybe if your handle is "Capone" you can get away with it...

  • July 2, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST


    by Reckoner


  • July 2, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Why aren't there more Public Enemies reviews

    by NoQuarter

    on AICN?

  • July 2, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST


    by JDanielP

    I'm willing to bet that there's a great many more people who appreciate ...BOTH... Burton's BATMAN and Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT,...than people who dislike one or the other. <P>For me, "THE DARK KNIGHT" stands head and shoulders above the rest. However, in my opinion, as much as Nolan got right with BATMAN BEGINS, the things that Burton got right with his own visual interpretation outshines the lessor leap of Nolan's original outing. <P>That's just my opinion. (And I recently picked up the BATMAN ANTHOLOGY on Blu-ray.)

  • July 2, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by JDanielP

    Sparring with swords, on the ice. "The training is NOTHING! The WILL is EVERYTHING!" Every scene that includes Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. "You know, I've got just the thing." --"Its called Memory Cloth." --Wayne: "Does it come in black?" The very solid acting all around.

  • July 2, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    What "BATMAN" had that "BATMAN BEGINS" didn't.

    by JDanielP

    Very interesting visuals, from costuming to set design. Why can't Nolan's Bat-suits look that good, while maintaining functionality?

  • July 2, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Why no Public Enemies reviews?

    by Metropolis

    Because the writers of are s__t scarred of pissing Michael Mann off. He knows people, so I doubt they're eager to reveal their true opinions. FYI - Michael Bay knows nobody.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    But Michael Bay knows

    by CherryValance

    awesome. *explosion*

  • July 2, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    More HEAT quotes

    by pubasnacks77

    GF: I talked to you boss today... Dennis Haysbert: I did time for what the muthafucka does everyday.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Great film just fantastic

    by andrew coleman

    Just got back from it. So far best movie of the year and of course this summer. I like commenting on Miami Vice that movie was way too stretched out and with a little more action that movie would be beloved.

  • July 2, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    GQ taste - re: "slick"

    by DennisMM

    That's Mann's favorite word, sometimes, I think. It appears in a number of his films, not just those two.

  • July 2, 2009, 7:45 p.m. CST

    heat quotes

    by Bladernner79

    "this shit is just out their you have to know how to get it, i know how to get it"

  • July 2, 2009, 8:40 p.m. CST

    PUBLIC ENEMIES: Mann's Best Since The Insider

    by Dresh

    This is a tough, engaging, fast-paced film. I love the way Mann breaks with tradition by immersing you in the action; setting this film apart from other modern period gangster flicks like The Untouchables or Road To Perdition. Though I still think some of the HD cinematography looks crappy: it does work here by creating a real sense of immediacy. A solid, visceral experience.

  • July 2, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    Wow, this thread died,

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Movie must really suck.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by Bladernner79

    no but the majority of guys in here are fanboys, so if a movie doesn't have loads of cgi, fantasy, comic book heros, they don't care

  • July 2, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Mann And Digital Photography

    by Dresh

    I'm not a big fan of the way Mann uses digital. Obviously it's intentional, and in the case of PE, it's intrinsic to the immersive approach of the film, but digital photography can and HAS looked much better. Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscar last year and Benjamin Button looked fantastic. I particularly love the way Guy Richie's RockNRolla' looked. Mann just chooses to go for this 'verite' vibe and it kinda works in PE, but it's just so damn uneven. Some shots (usually the ones where the camera has plenty of stop) look great; the racetrack, for example. Other times, the medium just falls apart. I heard through the grapevine that Michael Mann has the patience of a gerbil on crystal meth and the only way he can keep engaged is if he could instantly see the playback. Film doesn't really allow for that, but digital does. He's never going back to film.

  • July 2, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Band of the Hand

    by Henry Fool

    Does this mean that Hollywood will finally remake Band of the Hand? Okay, I hope not. But I just thought I'd throw that out there in case there's anyone who reading who watched cable in the 80's.

  • July 3, 2009, 12:46 a.m. CST

    I remember Band of the Hand

    by CherryValance

    wasn't James Remar in it too? What were they like teen sandinistas or something? I forgot the plot.

  • July 3, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST

    When Marion Cotillard gets slugged

    by Anything But Tangerines

    You can hear the pussies sitting in your vicinity let out a sudden and revealing queef.

  • July 3, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST

    This movie is garbage

    by Robert_Downey_in_blackface

    There's only one review I trust... How could anyone enjoy this film..

  • July 3, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I hope to see PUBLIC ENEMIES this weekend.

    by JDanielP

    Even though I still haven't seen TRANSFORMERS 2. --Not all "fanboys" are alike.

  • July 3, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST


    by moneymouth77

    I don't think this'll be as popular as you think... it doesn't look that brilliant. SkyMovies' review is much more relaxed:

  • July 3, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by fuldamobil

    This film was boring as hell, but it did look great. I actually thought the use of hd for a period piece was interesting. Unfortunately, the material was not interesting. Having read about Dillinger, it seemed like Johnny Depp did not base his performance on the actual person, but on what would come across as cool. His laid back demeanor is the complete opposite of the real John Dillinger, who was a pretty intense fellow by most accounts.

  • July 3, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Wow, this fucker bombed worse than Terminator

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Opened in third place. Ouch.

  • July 4, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    there still aren't any other reviews here

    by CherryValance

    so you can't expect normal people to see it, if this crowd didn't. I thought it was gonna be huge. I guess all of Johnny's fans are little kids.

  • July 4, 2009, 6:22 a.m. CST

    JDanielP - Supes in Nolan's Gotham

    by Youngdog

    I have been sceptical about that idea before but I can't get your idea about having BR as Clark out my head.<Br>I keep thinking about a face off between them - Clark interviewing Bruce for the Daily Planet. They both have their suspicions about the other so it turns into a mindgame.<Br>That would be sweet.

  • July 4, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Goddamn was this movie boring as hell

    by SoylentMean

    Some of the shootouts were nice, but jeez, this movie crawled...

  • July 5, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Huge disappointment

    by m_prevette

    Slow paced and un-involving. I see Mann's idea that these are the characters In This Moment, so no need to even try to flesh out any of the characters at was shallow. The supporting roles, who were these people, am I supposed to care for them when we can't even get their names? Plus the HD...please...the look was so shaky and harsh at times...I want Film, not more shaky-cam-shot-on-my-SamsClub-HD-Camera crap. Some great set pieces, the scene at the Biograph was nice, but a missed opportunity. Heat was a masterwork ( even with Pacino doing his best to ruin the movie), this one, not so much.

  • July 5, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    individual performances were great

    by nametaken

    but i did not like this movie.

  • July 5, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    The HD camera use was jarring and ugly

    by SoylentMean

    Especially during the last scene with Dillinger, it just looks washed out and like someone filmed it on their camcorder. In fact, it reminded me of the early street scenes in Cloverfield, except in Cloverfield that specific look was kinda the point.

  • July 5, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    The best Michael Mann movies are...

    by SoylentMean

    The Last of the Mohicans and Heat. I liked The Insider and Manhunter some but I wouldn't buy them. Collateral was actually kinda cool but improbable.

  • July 5, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    "...and to a lesser degree, Miami Vice"

    by TheLastBoyScout

    Go fuck yourself Capone. Aside from Thief, Miami Vice was Mann's best movie. An utter masterpiece.

  • July 5, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    "...and to a lesser degree, Miami Vice"

    by TheLastBoyScout

    Go fuck yourself Capone. Aside from Thief, Miami Vice was Mann's best movie. An utter masterpiece.

  • July 5, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    I thought this film was superb

    by emeraldboy

    Talkabackers some of them hated tf2 and harry called it racist. I am not really sure anymore what sort of films talkabckers want to see these days. Some hate bay and his robots and TBs find public enemies boring? make up your damn minds people. I know they are two totally different films. This was a very intellingent piece of filmmaking. unlike the hasbro wrestle mania bay fest from last week.

  • July 5, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    The opening for batman returns

    by emeraldboy

    is the best opening to comic book film ever , yes the movie had too many villians. But I love the opening. I got annoyed at Pfeffiers over acting in that role.

  • July 5, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Saw Public Enemies on Fri

    by darthSaul666

    It was OK. Kinda suffered from the clihce of Throwing shit on a wall to see what sticks too often for me. Depp kicked as always though.

  • July 5, 2009, 11:17 p.m. CST

    It is not an autobiography !!!!!!

    by Stan Grossman

    There is a reason the film is called "Public Enemies" And not "John Dillenger". It is not an autobiography. For all of you people who can't stop griping about the fact that the film did'nt enlighten us to exactly which cereal dillenger liked the most,or how many times a day did johnny boy take a dump,or if he was really as hung as they say he was. If you want a deeper character study then go watch the infirior John milius directed, warren oates acted version titled, Ahem, "Dillenger". An ok flick to be sure(Speaking of which, What the hell happened to Milius and why cant HE direct the new conan movie)but Mann's film approaches the material from a completely different direction, and a more interesting one in my opinion. Like the majority of his films the central theme here again is crime. Not really the Who's and the why's of it but the how's and the when. This is period piece about, like capone said, the birth of modern law enforcement. Crime has been around for way to long to call it modern. just different tools for different times. Look at the beginning and hoovers utopian dream of solving crime through wit and resourcefulness. Bookworms thumbing through receipts. Triangulation. Revolutionary. Then juxtapose that with the moment purvis tells him he cant do it that way and accomplish the goal. To catch Criminals we need the billy club. So now combine the billy club with the aformentioned techniques and what we have is our modern nightmare. A dystopian vision of black bags and harsh interrogation methods. And im really drunk so im going to lay down now and pass out. Long story short. Michael Mann has given us his second masterpiece. So for all of you who felt slighted for details or bored stiff then I say this, Go see transformers 2 again. There's plenty of character development in that right???? And if there is'nt then at least you have 2hrs and forty five minutes of non-stop explosions,yelling,running,stupidity,shapeshifting and coolagen lip injections(megan fox what were you thinking) then the human brain should ever be asked to endure. Nite geeks...

  • July 5, 2009, 11:24 p.m. CST

    There's more fucking character development in Star Trek

    by lockesbrokenleg

    than there is in Public Enemies.

  • July 6, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Depp is no Warren Oates!

    by Modulok

    Depp looks like a cheerleader in drag in this.

  • July 6, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Good but not great

    by Logan_1973

    Liked it a lot, although the lack of character development is glaring. Not an Oscar contender in the main cats, but it may do well in the technical awards (especially sound). People looking for a balls-to-the-wall action flick will walk away disappointed. It's far from that and chooses to be a serious, down to earth crime drama. Overall 7/10, with major pooints going towards the last 10 minutes. EXCELLENT scoring/editing.

  • July 6, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Saw the movie yesterday

    by Jor-El23

    Then read about all the historical inaccuracies in the movie. Really really bummed about that. Did Mann just spend so much time on the look of the film that he forgot the whole thing about how Nelson and Floyd were killed AFTER Dillinger? C'mon! I can't believe there is that glaring of a historical inaccuracy in this movie!

  • July 6, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I cant really pinpoint why I didnt like this movie...

    by Mrhazard

    Its not a bad movie but its definitely not a great movie. I dont even know if its a good movie. Its decent and there are definitely good scenes in it. But on a whole, I cant say that I really liked it.<p> One major problem is the lack of character introduction and development for ANY supporting characters. With the exception of Depp, Bale, and the lead actress, the rest of the characters are window-dressing. People are constantly either showing up on screen or dying and I was constantly asking myself, "Who was that again???"<p> Besides that tho, I really cant say why I didnt like it... Depp is good. Bale is good. But I cant say that I was extremely interested in what was going on during the movie for most of the time I watched it. It just wasnt all that interesting and I dont know if that's the fault of the screenwriter or the director or what but something was missing. I dont even know if I would want to see it a second time...

  • July 6, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Someone told me that they didn't like

    by Cujo_Fugate

    Public Enemies. They told me they didn't like Michael Mann. So I sat them down, nailed their feet to the floor, and then set the house on fire.

  • July 7, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    I really did not like this film

    by superfleish76

    It just didn't flow from one scene to another. I felt like there were whole parts that were left on the cutting room floor (a criticism that I had of "Ali" as well.) The extreme closeups created a claustrophobic feeling for no reason, and made it hard to distinguish different supporting characters. Add in that there was no development of any secondary characters and you are left with a bunch of people I barely recognized and cared nothing about. To top it all off the whole thing seemed to lack any energy whatsoever, even during the "action scenes." I normally love this type of film, but this one could not be saved even with decent performances by the cast. I am by no means a Michael Mann hater, but this film just seemed badly put together all around.