Public Enemies

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Thriller
Running Time:  139 min.
Release Date: July 1, 2009
DVD: December 8, 2009

Current rating: Rating: 3.96
based on 688 votes and 96 reviews
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Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Jason Clarke, Rory Cochrane, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Lang, John Ortiz, Giovanni Ribisi, David Wenham, Shawn Hatosy, Branka Katic, Emilie de Ravin, Leelee Sobieski, David Warshofsky, Carey Mulligan

Inspiration: John Dillinger


The story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Johnny Depp)—the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), and a folk hero to much of the public.

No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone -- from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression.

But while the adventures of Dillinger's gang—later including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi)—thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw's capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America's first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing "Clark Gable of the FBI."

However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and outgunned Purvis' men in wild chases and shootouts. Only after importing a crew of lawmen from the Dallas bureau and orchestrating epic betrayals—from the infamous "Lady in Red" to the Chicago crime boss Frank Nitti—were Purvis, the FBI and their new crew of gunfighters able to close in on Dillinger.

Director: Michael Mann
Studio: Universal Pictures
Producer(s): Kevin Misher, Michael Mann
Screenplay: Ronan Bennett, Michael Mann, Ann Biderman
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  • 5 stars "awesome!!!!!!!!!!!"
  • 1 star "What a mess ! Everything is bad about that movie. Johnny Depp is not in shape again in a non-bizarre film. Some classic should be left alone."
  • 2 stars "A great bit of acting on Depp and Bale, but over all the plot felt very stiff and used to me. The story didn't hold my interest for very long, and it was a chore to sit through it."