REVIEW: “Public Enemies” (***1/2)

Posted by · 4:00 pm · June 23rd, 2009

Public EnemiesLos Angeles Film Festival

There is a moment very early in Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” featured today as the centerpiece exhibition of the Los Angeles Film Festival, when Depression-era criminal John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) stares into the dying eyes of friend and mentor Walter Dietrich (James Russo) as his band of cohorts flees the scene of a somewhat botched prison escape attempt. The sequence is at once curiously beautiful and unmistakably somber, of a piece with the filmmaker’s coldly calculated vision of a man caught up in the freedom of his rebellious lifestyle, yet haunted by the specter of his own obsolescence.

The film marks an exciting return to muscular, patient storytelling form for Mann. After dubious stabs at commercial appeal in “Collateral” and “Miami Vice,” films that certainly have followers and admittedly plumb thematic depths no other filmmaker would have reached, the director has painted his most resonant character study since 1995’s “Heat.”

Headlined by an emotive, at times unsettlingly internalized performance by Depp, the film amplifies Mann’s penchant for nuance while marrying it with a well-exercised gift for staging unique if not inimitable action set pieces. But for all the director’s classic cinematic accoutrement, the film nevertheless stands apart from Mann’s portfolio for its fully realized vision of a doomed romance highlighted by, rather than merely peripheral to, the machismo on display.

Depp is Dillinger, circa 1933. As The Depression holds the nation hostage, he is the best at what he does: robbing banks. He and his crew are “too busy having fun today to think about tomorrow,” as he puts it. Dillinger’s life is so streamlined that he’s whittled the particulars of courtship down to a few direct yet expressive interactions that recall James Caan’s modern urban version from 1981’s “Thief,” who implored of Tuesday Weld’s shrinking violet that they “cut with the mini-moves and the bullshit and get on with this big romance.”

The object of Dillinger’s affection is Evelyn “Billie” Frechette (Marion Cotillard), a half-Native American, half-French coat check girl who stands out to the mobster amid the Chicago nightlife. The temptation to develop an outlaw relationship akin to “Bonnie and Clyde” or “Badlands” is eschewed in favor of presenting Frechette as an anchor of sorts, a reminder of the life Dillinger might have if he wasn’t so good at what he does.

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesWith the rise of organized crime, Dillinger was seen as bad for business.  His interstate exploits led to federal laws that would eventually put the squeeze on Al Capone and Frank Nitti’s Chicago empire.  Mann focuses on less than a year of Dillinger’s life for the bulk of his narrative, moving from the harrowing Michigan City prison break he helped mastermind from the outside in 1933 through the bank robbing spree that landed him in an “escape-proof” Crown Point, Indiana jail, on to his fateful trip to the movies on July 22, 1934 at Chicago’s Biograph Theater.  By that time, with both the government and mafia for enemies, Dillinger was all alone, the last man living for himself in an era more and more defined by what, and who, you owe.

A post-robbery showdown at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin serves as the film’s most gripping sequence. Dillinger, wounded from a sloppy job in partnership with the radical “Baby Face” Nelson (Stephen Graham), holds off a number of FBI agents as gunfire rips and pops through the film’s soundtrack, recalling the gritty realism of “Heat” more so than the stylized examples of “Miami Vice.”  The eerie demise of one mobster in this sequence, his tommy gun splattering the earth, fire spitting from its muzzle, illuminating his face in sharp, terrifying bursts, reminds of Mann’s artistic attraction to the hyper-real.

Of course, Mann composites a number of elements for dramatic impact along the way, but his narrative is lean and purposeful, a perfectly composed stage for Depp to offer his finest performance to date.

Depp is incredibly restrained here, much like the film itself. He gives very little yet conveys a staggering sense of layering with every nuance; still waters seem to run quite deep with his Dillinger. Cotillard, meanwhile, doesn’t offer a stereotypical suffering girlfriend take on Frechette, yet isn’t overly creative with her choices, either. She nevertheless finds the right combination of frailty and strength that has defined the few well-developed female characters from Mann’s films.

Indeed, “Public Enemies” is perhaps the first Mann effort since “The Last of the Mohicans” to find feminine rhythms that have eluded the director for a great many years.  He has made a career of burrowing into the psyches of men, women typically positioned as transitional figments of the narrative.  But here, Mann paints Frechette with delicate strokes that mix a strong sense of loyalty and subtly justified rebellion with the required amount of delicacy that gives Cotillard an enviable opportunity.

Christian Bale in Public EnemiesThe unexpected dead weight on the proceedings is Christian Bale, who, as FBI agent Melvin Purvis, brings nothing to an already underwritten role. Perhaps Mann was hesitant to cover similar terrain to “Heat” and overcompensated by sapping all of the intrigue out of Dillinger’s pursuer, but Bale unfortunately seems to be going through the motions rather than properly capitalizing on the opportunity to work with a master actor’s director such as this.

After proving his actorly chops early in his career, then becoming a star in the role of a rather subdued and morose character in Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, Bale seems to be sliding into an unexpected area of complacency in his work this year. His uninvolved deliveries here follow an equally confused outing in “Terminator Salvation” earlier in the summer.

As expected, all technical elements in the film serve as an extension of Mann’s unmistakable auteurism. His first collaboration with lenser Dante Spinotti in 10 years provides for more interesting composition than the increasingly experimental work Mann has sought behind the camera this decade. Design elements from production designer Nathan Crowley and costumer Colleen Atwood are impeccable yet refreshingly muted, while Kevin O’Connell’s sound mix puts the viewer right inside the action.

Elliot Goldenthal’s score is typically sparse for a Mann collaboration but used effectively. There are moments, however brief, that remind of the soaring elegance Trevor Jones brought to the soundtrack of “Mohicans.”

“Public Enemies” fits rather seamlessly into a line of filmmaking Mann has generated to represent, as F.X. Feeney has called it, “a profound, interactive, philosophical history of the United States.”  “Collateral” and “Miami Vice” served as stylistic, muscle-flexing diversions, but here the director seems even more thoughtful in his approach to character and structure.  As with “Ali,” he doesn’t succumb to the lures of the biopic.  He tells a story, directly, and without qualification or ornamentation.  The film is classic Mann.

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45 responses so far

  • 1 6-23-2009 at 4:30 pm

    JC said...

    I’m sure I’ll enjoy the film, but I’ve always had some reservations about Mann’s work on, say, Heat. To me, he just allowed Pacino to recycle his familiar cop persona in that flick, and the overall piece plays more conventionally than it should. I appreciate its scale, but it’s not a film I revisit often.

    It’s disappointing that Bale wasn’t given more to work with here, and apparently doesn’t do much with what he is afforded. He really needs to take on a few roles playing warmer, more charismatic protagonists in the next few years, to avoid full-on typecasting.

  • 2 6-23-2009 at 4:46 pm

    brian said...

    How are the many supporting performances, Kris? I’m thinking Crudup, mainly.

  • 3 6-23-2009 at 4:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    He’s serviceable. Nothing particularly spectacular. I tried to figure a way into talking about Mann’s steadily growing stable of actors, hearkening back to studio directors of old in some sense, but couldn’t figure out a good spot. Nothing is particularly sensational about the peripheral performances, though it’s nice to see actors like John Ortiz and Domenick Lombardozzi back for more.

  • 4 6-23-2009 at 4:50 pm

    ganonlink1991 said...

    a lot of reviews are saying that bale absolutely nailed melvin purvis and that he was as great as depp, it’s just that he isn’t flashy, as is usual with bale. also purvis family praised bale saying that he was spot on so..

  • 5 6-23-2009 at 4:53 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s not about a need to be flashy. He doesn’t do anything interesting in the role whatsoever. I don’t really care what the family says, if Mann was looking for realism he wouldn’t have made a drama, and what he got out of Bale was anything but drama.

    Not to harp on the one sore spot of the film, mind you, but I don’t want it assumed that I need flash to recognize a good performance.

  • 6 6-23-2009 at 4:54 pm

    JC said...

    And Kris, could you be a bit more specific with regards to Bale’s work? Is it truly “bad”, in that it takes you out of the film, or is it merely adequate, and you’d hoped for more?

  • 7 6-23-2009 at 4:55 pm

    Dignan said...

    I wouldn’t fault Bale so much as the hand he was dealt with in the script. He has no character to speak of, no internal character anyway. What drives Purvis, what consumes him? What does he think of Dillinger as an opponent? Who knows. He’s the Feds chasing Dillinger and that’s as far as the film goes with him which is a shame since they cast a real actor instead of an exposition-fount and gave him nothing to play with.

    Am I the only one who thinks Bale’s doing a Duvall impersonation in the film?

  • 8 6-23-2009 at 5:01 pm

    tim said...

    Kris, so you think Depp is memorable enough to find himself among awards talk at the end of the year? Maybe with good timing on a DVD release and a nice campaign?

    And I must say I love that Marion Cotillard is becoming a regular face in American cinema. Such a beautiful and wonderful actress. She’ll have a fantastic year with this and Nine, whether or not she does see any awards consideration.

  • 9 6-23-2009 at 5:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    If Green Zone doesn’t make it to theaters (which it’s looking more and more like it won’t), then this is Universal’s big hopeful and I think there could be a real campaign of passion. We’ll have to see what critical consensus is, first.

  • 10 6-23-2009 at 5:07 pm

    JC said...

    Anyways, we shouldn’t be asking such trivial questions, when there are so many other pressing matters in the world.

    Such as…

    Why is Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers starring in an upcoming film about a gay Austrian fashion designer? ;)

  • 11 6-23-2009 at 5:09 pm

    Kevin said...

    I also caught the early screening and I pretty much agree with almost all of what you have written, except for the Bale criticism.

    I actually found Bale to be quite fascinating in the role, and I think that there are going to be people who are split down the middle on his performance. Some may find it boring, others will find it great and restrained.

    I find myself in the latter camp. I found that he was far more subtle and there are a lot of layers of depth to the performance. For instance, there is a moment between the two as Purvis and Dillinger have their first face to face meeting in the jail. As Dillinger says to Purvis “See you on the road”, Purvis, having already told Dillinger goodbye, stops, pauses, looks down and before bursting out in anger and frustration with his enemy’s cavalier attitude, he simply says softly “No, you will not. The only way you would leave a jail cell is when we take you out to execute you.”

    You can hear in his inflection that he wants to reach into the jail cell and strangle Dillinger to death, but he holds back and simply reiterates his sense of justice and southern gentleman personality. For me, that is the definition of subtle and restrained.

    Anyways, aside from my admiration of what I find to be one of Bale’s finest performances to date, I again agree with almost everything you write. Depp is simply incredible and deserves an oscar nod if not the win. The film is easily Mann’s best work since The Insider, and is a return to form. I loved Collateral and found Miami Vice tragically flawed yet entertaining, and like all other Mann films, had a great sense of realism and good action. But Public Enemies is certainly a return to form for him and brings back fond memories of Heat.

  • 12 6-23-2009 at 5:13 pm

    Vito said...

    Wait Kris, I’m in the dark here about Green Zone. Why is it unlikely coming to theaters?

  • 13 6-23-2009 at 5:18 pm

    BobMcBob said...

    I didn’t know a critic was allowed to break the review embargo if a summer film was screened at a film festival

  • 14 6-23-2009 at 5:41 pm

    Rob said...

    I’m sure I’ll get talked down since mine is a (at least for now) a minority opinion, but this is the first Mann film I’ve ever seen that I could truly say I didn’t even like.

    Really curious what reaction will be as reviews start to come in, but I think they’re going to be very polarized, with most being underwhelmed.

  • 15 6-23-2009 at 5:47 pm

    M.Harris said...

    I agree with you Kris as far as “Miami Vice” being a dubious stab at commercial appeal.I don’t know if I could say the same about “Collateral.” I thought “Collateral” was a good character study that had some strong moments between Cruise and Foxx. Okay it did get a little commercial at the end of the film with the chase seen on the train.But other than that I thought that the film was solid.Just my opionion.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing “Public Enemies.” It looks good.

  • 16 6-23-2009 at 6:42 pm

    Danny said...

    Hey Kris:

    Just wondering if you think this could possibly garner any Oscar nominations? It seems from your review you were really high on Depp, do you think he could get a nom? What about Mann for director?

  • 17 6-23-2009 at 6:49 pm

    Jerry said...

    “Not to harp on the one sore spot of the film, mind you, but I don’t want it assumed that I need flash to recognize a good performance.”

    I assure you that you have nothing to worry about, Kris. Going strictly by your writing, no one here can ever discern how you ‘recognize’ a ‘good performance’.

  • 18 6-23-2009 at 7:04 pm

    MattyD. said...

    I’m sure that I’ll enjoy this film thoroughly and that it’ll definitely be in the top-tier for the year, I stand firmly by my belief that this is in no way an Oscar film…..but then again, who knows?

  • 19 6-23-2009 at 7:51 pm

    Alex said...

    What’s the story with Green Zone?

    The AICN reader review said:

    “this movie is well made at every level if a bit too dense and talky in parts”

    “I enjoyed this film, dense as it is. To be fair, one really can’t say its confusing because its very clear in its points”

    It might not pander to the audience, but it seems quite solid.

  • 20 6-23-2009 at 8:04 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    BobMcBob: Thanks for playing, but I have the studio’s email stating today and 4:00pm as the appropriate time to publish a review. No embargo was broken here. And others went before I did, actually. Anything you want to add to the actual discussion of the film?

  • 21 6-23-2009 at 8:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The deal with Green Zone, by the way, is all inside industry chatter and nothing worth publishing. Fact is, I’ll bet a lot of eyes are on The Hurt Locker to see if it can make any considerable coin in a summer slot, and if so, watch Green Zone slide to next June or so.

  • 22 6-23-2009 at 8:30 pm

    kitty said...

    a french journalist saw the movie and said it’s a very great movie with a very great Depp(except he romantize too much his Dillinger)and a very good Bale(he acts subtly a real bastard in a policeman suit )

  • 23 6-23-2009 at 8:30 pm

    Al said...

    I’m sorry, but the digital photography in this film just makes it look so cheap. The cinematography is awful. What happened to film? Film is so much more beautiful to look at. This film looks ugly. Not to directors: Please do NOT shoot with digital cameras!

  • 24 6-23-2009 at 8:32 pm

    Ricardus said...

    Miami Vice is Mann’s LEAST commercial film. But I love how the “haters” (for lack of a better term) justify their view of the actual product by pairing it with the TV show and the marketing. Mann didn’t care one iota about reaching out commercially with Vice. And no, the gun shots in Vice are not some wimpy stylization; they’re specifically made to pop in the night, using the actual gunfire from those weapons in that setting to make the small seem menacing and alienating like the entire world of that film.

    Anyway, I’m no means a Bale fan, nor do I follow any actors, but hearing Kris quite simple take on Bale and his character being dull doesn’t sell me. Knowing Mann, there is more there. The guy doesn’t rest on character, never has, certainly won’t now. After reading the more detailed observation by Kevin in the comments, I’m kind of anticipating his character to serve the story more than most viewers will see. Mann is so detailed even devotees miss three-quarters of the character beats in his films–at least Heat onward.

    The one thing I am excited about from this review is Depp. Again, I couldn’t care less about following Depp as an actor, but I’ve always saw him as a Mann lead and called for it for quite a few years before this film started production. Plus, I don’t think Depp ever gets to use his skills, and I’m pretty sure Mann will force him to do so. So there’s nothing I’m too worried about for this one. The only thing that would worry me is if it WASN’T shot on digital.

  • 25 6-23-2009 at 8:37 pm

    Jake said...

    Lol gotta love the anti-digital people. Oh boy a period piece on film. Glossy and pretty. Haven’t seen that before. Pfft.

  • 26 6-23-2009 at 8:39 pm

    Al said...

    digital sucks. It’s good for youtube videos, though.

  • 27 6-23-2009 at 10:16 pm

    Hans said...

    Ah, this gets me excited. I hope the best for it at year’s end, and if not, then I hope it’ll be remembered as an underappreciated work a la Zodiac. I’ll reserve judgment on Bale until I see the film, as I simply refuse to believe that the Batman fame has somehow hindered his ability to deliver a powerful performance.

    Glancing quickly over at your sidebar Oscar predicts, Kris, think you might be making room for Depp? The five actors I see listed now seem to be there because of baity buzz, so it’ll be interesting to see where Depp’s performance fits in the grand sceme of things.

  • 28 6-23-2009 at 10:39 pm

    D said...


    I don’t think there is anything wrong with Bale’s acting. I think his infamous tirade on the Terminator set has given many people an inability to objectively judge his work at this point. I thought he was fine in Terminator. The movie sucked but it wasn’t Bale’s fault — it was the writers’ and McG’s.

  • 29 6-24-2009 at 12:12 am

    adam said...

    I have seen lots of digital films that have looked fine.

    This on the other hand just looks like it was shot as some low budget police drama that I would find on UK TV. Anyone in the UK? I’m thinking of The Bill.

  • 30 6-24-2009 at 12:19 am

    Brian said...

    Strange that Universal and Focus’s slate is so small/unimposing on the award circuit this year, isn’t it.

    I’m eager to check the film out. The digital aspect has not won me over at all via commercials, but I’m willing to not hold an opinion until seeing scenes play out in theaters. And I definitely hated Miami Vice for the first two thirds, because they were fucking boring. Loved the last third immensely, so the movie remains a weird schizo in my book.

  • 31 6-24-2009 at 12:45 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ricardus: Miami Vice is not Mann’s least commercial film, not by a longshot. It was nevertheless, in my view, a stab at popular success, as was Collateral. Why do you think he’s been aiming for a hit all these years? Projects like For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Few, long on deck for Mann, don’t exactly finance themselves.

    I don’t think Collateral and Miami Vice are overtly commercial films, but they are a breed of commercialism that Mann has rarely tapped into.

    Also, you unfortunately think that “stylization” means “wimpy” in my book, and that my designation of Vice’s sound editing as “stylized” is in some way a slight. Don’t assume.

    Additionally, I’m not trying to “sell” anyone on anything. You’ll make up your own mind. And I agree, “knowing Mann,” you would THINK there was more there. But most of it, unfortunately, is left off the screen in a way that drowns the character in unnecessary ambiguity. And, mind you, it’s hardly a unique criticism.

    D: Speaking purely for myself, Bale’s tirade has nothing to do with how I view his work.

    By the way, the digital looks fine. Stop judging it based on internet clips and trailers. It didn’t take me out once.

  • 32 6-24-2009 at 6:18 am

    Ricardus said...

    I’m not the only one who thinks Miami Vice is his least commercial film. The Insider is more commercial and conventional by leaps and bounds. I know hordes of people that found it utterly bewildering to watch that film at the multiplex. I’ve seen alt-critics explore the film way more than any other set. I’ve even seen reviews, from people that love the film, make fun of how intentionally alienating it is. All the typical reviews? The all say the same boring thing.

    Mann doesn’t make films that aren’t what he’s envisioned. The suggestion that he’s sacrificing his work over and over to make these “more ambitious” films is ludicrous. The guy simply doesn’t have it in his gut to sell out (he cut out probably the most expensive part of Vice just because it wasn’t as boldly ‘in media res’ as he wanted the opening to be), and listening to the painstaking detail he puts into his frames makes this quite clear. Vice was simply too nebulous for most people. Mann got his money and made the film he wanted to make. Half of the film is in dialogue that no one can understand. It’s intentionally more grainy than Collateral when it didn’t have to be. The plot could teach you how to run a trade drug. There is almost no character exposition and a whole lot of character subtext–so many details that, no matter what, average viewers or viewers with expectations in the other direction are never going to notice. Etc.

    On Bale, I’ve simply seen you miss out on describing something of Mann’s before. I kind of trust his work over what you’re saying (and the more specific descriptions by some that have seen the film). The fact that the criticism isn’t very unique is precisely the point. I simply doubt that Mann left nothing there and believe it’s more probable that this “unnecessary ambiguity” is you failing to see the film, what actually was left on the screen, just not in a presentational manner (Mann is closer to the Dardennes than Hollywood at this point). You see the obvious more often than not in your reviews. But that’s just my opinion, and if Mann did try and it just did come together in assembly, then that’s that.

  • 33 6-24-2009 at 6:28 am

    Ricardus said...

    By “that film” in the first paragraph, I meant Vice not The Insider. Sorry for the Mann on-set tirade, but had to speak for those who think the film is incredibly misunderstood. Out.

  • 34 6-24-2009 at 9:06 am

    Mike_M said...

    Glad to hear the digital didn’t take you out of the picture. It is hard to ignore the trailer and clips when that is all we have seen and to many (including me) the trailer looked jarring.

  • 35 6-24-2009 at 9:32 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ricardus: Clearly you’re taking something a bit too personal here. And stop putting words in my mouth. When you want to have a civilized discussion that doesn’t drastically assume so much about me, I’ll be here.

    Nothing you’re telling me on Vice, by the way, is anything that isn’t painfully obvious. You’re not putting on a clinic here. And none of it, by the way, negates what I’m saying. You seem just pissy that I didn’t give Public Enemies a four-star pass.

    I already sense the Mann cult will be as annoying as last year’s Batman and WALL-E cults. Ironic considering it is, in many ways, preaching to the choir (in the case of Batman and the case of Mann, for me). But I imagine I’ll field more and more of this.

    By the way, the lamest rebuttal in these kinds of discussions is: “You just don’t get it, man.” Try again. Actually, see the film first, then counter my points. Otherwise you really have nothing to offer, do you?

  • 36 6-24-2009 at 9:42 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’d like to be clear, here. I don’t think there is any way in hell Mann and Bale didn’t do the usual (when it comes to the director) mining to settle on character particulars. But none of that layering and nuance comes across. This isn’t a mild, reserved performance coming from a place of depth (like Depp’s work). It is a much more confused performance. In my opinion, it just didn’t come together.

  • 37 6-24-2009 at 10:30 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Nice review, Kris. It’s good to hear that Cotillard’s character is much more layered and developed than most female characters in Mann’s films. But I can’t engage into the debate until I see it. Ugh.

    Empire has a glowing review of PE. I like this line: “This is not a film about the ’30s — it is a film in the ’30s.”

    I hope all is well in the Green Zone. Like, I hope it comes out this year, not freakin’ June of 2010.

  • 38 6-24-2009 at 10:35 am

    The Dude said...

    Another nice review, Kris. Whether or not I agree with what you say, I usually enjoy reading your viewpoint. I’m surprised that, of the three leads, Bale’s is the one whom you felt was the weak link. Based on the trailers it looked like Depp, not Bale, was the one who was going through the motions. But then again, I’m basing this off a friggin’ trailer. Can’t wait to see this, I’m a big fan of Mann’s (and I’m one of the few who actually really enjoyed Vice…so shoot me, it entertained me!).

  • 39 6-28-2009 at 3:20 pm

    maria said...

    Hi all

    Good to hear PE being reviewed, I have waited ages to see it, I have heard alot of people complaining about use of digital, I myself would prefer film, but I haven’t seen the film so I wont comment, if its good enough I probably wont have any complaints, loved Collateral but hated Miami Vice, Heat I felt was overrated, it was good but not fantastic, something about the relationship between De Niro and Pacino didnt work for me, it was a bit too cosy, I am waiting for an excellent film from Michael Mann, I am hoping this will be the one, he has a great opportunity with this one, I hope he hasnt messed it up. I have heard Depp talk about the performance and I think he has under rather than overplayed it, very difficult for him to be as creative with a real person, not as much room for manoevre. He tends to be at his best when he has free rein to create what he wants, I would nt think he had the same freedom. Its the only area that he is lacking, playing an ordinary individual, extraordindary isnt a problem to him, down to earth he hasnt quite convinced me yet. I did love him in Donnie Brasco and also Al Pacino, Als finest performance I think

  • 40 7-01-2009 at 10:12 am

    Dave & Nic Main said...

    Nic & I saw this today. Liked it a lot despite hand held C/U almost falling over the actors camera action.
    Why did D of P use one ‘clean’ digital and one ‘grainy’ camera? Found it spoilt the film for us despite enjoying it. Try to persuade Johnny to watch his own films & believe how good he is.


    Dave and Nic

  • 41 7-01-2009 at 10:16 am

    Dave & Nic Main said...

    Not to confuse you on my previous reaction, I was talking about ‘Public Enemies’.



  • 42 7-01-2009 at 10:18 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Portions of the film were shot in 35mm, which could give some insight there.

  • 43 7-19-2009 at 1:28 pm

    carrie said...

    i believe in Bale’s Purvis (the one character with a real depth)as a ferocious cop ” a pitbull with a good education”(dixit my friend)and “a b*stard”( for me) and i believe in Cotillard ‘s Frechette as realistic and touching lover (even if she has a bad american accent) but i don’t believe in Depp’s Dillinger,he’s too likeable,never menacing and even when he tries to be less “likeable”,he’s boring.His Dillinger only is good in action scenes.Happily Depp is a charismatic actor.

  • 44 7-27-2009 at 5:56 am

    f. h said...

    johnny depp is the best actor in public enemies

    and i think he will take his first oscar next year for his great performance