Johnny Depp and Christian Bale emerge from two of the biggest blockbuster series of all time (Pirates of the Caribbean and Batman, respectively) to star in this crime drama from HEAT director Michael Mann. Depp stars as charismatic 1930s gangster John Dillinger, whose notorious bank robberies have turned him into a celebrity during the Depression era. The rise in crime has J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) desperate to have his newly created FBI take down gangsters such as Dillinger, "Pretty Boy" Floyd (Channing Tatum), and "Baby Face" Nelson (Stephen Graham). Enter Agent Melvin Purvis (Bale), an ambitious crimefighter sent to Chicago to capture Dillinger and his gang. The criminal has evaded the law before, but he is drawn to the Second City by the beautiful Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard).
Though PUBLIC ENEMIES boasts big names, it feels more like an arthouse offering than a typical gangster picture. With its intimately shot violence and 1930s setting, the film is more BONNIE AND CLYDE than GOODFELLAS. Mann and director of photography Dante Spinotti alternate between hand-held, high-quality digital cameras and more traditional film stock, giving this crime drama a carefully composed, thoroughly modern look. But the casting of the leads is vintage Hollywood: Depp could be the modern incarnation of silent star Rudolph Valentino, and Cotillards wide-eyed beauty--and talent--would fit right in with the starlets of the golden age. Everyone else, including Bale, fades into the background, but its hard to complain when Depp and Cotillard give such magnetic performances.
Michael Mann - American Director/Producer
Christian Bale - Welsh actor, BATMAN BEGINS
Johnny Depp - American Actor - SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STR
Jason Clarke - Actor, RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (2002)
Rory Cochrane - Actor/"Dazed & Confused"
Billy Crudup - Actor
Stephen Dorff - American Actor
Stephen Lang - American Supporting Actor
Giovanni Ribisi - Actor
John Michael Bolger - Actor
Matt Craven - American actor
Emilie de Ravin - Australian actress, LOST
Don Frye - Martial Arts Star
Shawn Hatosy - Actor, JOHN Q, FAITH OF MY FATHERS
Peter Gerety - Actor, HOLLYWOOD ENDING (2002)
Stephen Graham - actor
Ronan Bennett - Screenwriter, LUCKY BREAK (2002)
Ann Biderman - Writer/"American Dreamer"
Kevin Misher - Producer, SCORPION KING (2002)
Bryan Burrough - Author
G. Mac Brown - LUCKY NUMBERS
Dante Spinotti - Director of Photography
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Depp and the vibrantly touching Cotillard give the relationship a potent intimacy....It's movie dynamite." - 07/09/2009 Rolling Stone
3 stars out of 4 -- "Director Michael Mann mounts a technically proficient, visually enthralling crime drama anchored by the low-key but captivating performance of Johnny Depp..." - 06/30/2009 USA Today
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This Johnny Depp performance is something else....This is a very good film, with Depp and Bale performances of brutal clarity." - 06/30/2009 Chicago Sun-Times
"[A]n impressive film of great formal skill, one that inescapably has a brooding dark-night-of-the-soul quality about it....The beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp." - 07/01/2009 Los Angeles Times
"Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES is a grave and beautiful work of art....It revisits with meticulous detail and convulsions of violence a short, frantic period in the life and bank-robbing times of John Dillinger..." - 07/01/2009 New York Times
"[M]arvelously detailed and meticulously crafted, an elegant evocation of Depression-era America and its fascination with crime." - 07/02/2009 Wall Street Journal
3 stars out of 4 -- "Johnny Depp continues to make great choices and plays Dillinger as both charming and sinister." - 06/30/2009 Premiere
4 stars out of 5 -- "[O]rdinary scenes become electrifying experiences as Mann takes an old story and makes it feel new and unexpected....Packed with fresh tension and atmosphere..." - 06/16/2009 Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "[Mann] has a strong eye for forensic detail that ramps up the vividness of the film." - 06/26/2009 Uncut