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Public Enemies (2009)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  1 July 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 217,505 users   Metascore: 70/100
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The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Judd ...
John Kishline ...
John Scherp ...
Elena Kenney ...
William Nero Jr. ...


This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


America's Most Wanted

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for gangster violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemigos públicos  »

Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,271,675 (USA) (3 July 2009)


$97,030,725 (USA) (28 August 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On the commentary, Michael Mann reports that a crew member pointed out that the date was April 22nd. Mann then realized, that they were actually filming on the anniversary of the actual shootout of the Little Bohemia lodge. See more »


On 22 July 1934, Dillinger asks the cops in the police station what the score of the baseball game is. They say, 3-2 in the top of the seventh. In fact, the Cubs were up 9-0 in the game. See more »


John Dillinger: [nodding at money left by a bank teller in front of his booth] You can put it away. Not here for your money. Here for the bank's money.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is not shown until the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Garbage Day (2012) See more »


Hanna Shoots Neil
Written and Performed by Elliot Goldenthal
From the Original Motion Picture Heat (1995)
Courtesy of New Regency Productions, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Johnny Dillinger and other characters
2 July 2009 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Digital is the world of Michael Man with all its drawbacks. It works up to a point, if you don't mind being distracted by the make up on the actors faces, pimples and blemishes. The final adventures on John Dillinger's life look and feel like a work of fiction and I suspect that in "Public Enemies" they are, 50/50, fact and fiction. Johnny Depp is marvelous no matter what and his is a star performance. There is only a vague approach to a real characterization, but I didn't care because I go wherever Johnny Depp wants to take me. It was like that with Gary Cooper too, wasn't it? Part of the sneaky narrative is to have Dillinger the criminal played by the angelic Depp and Purvis the noble FBI guy played by Christian Bale that emanates evil without even trying. If you're interested in performances, like I am, Billy Crudup is the thing in a sensational turn as J Edgar Hoover in spite of the digital thing, that makes him look as if Hoover suffered from some rare skin condition, damn shame if you ask me. Marion Cottillard is absolutely lovely but we knew that already and the rest of the characters remain an enigma, they enter and leave the scene without us ever having a clue who they are. Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Dorff, Jason Clark, who were they and Lelee Sobieski? It was startling to see her appear on the third act. Who was she suppose to be? In any case, the film has a Michael Mann feel and it's technically great. The shootings are extraordinary and Johnny Depp totally beautiful. I suppose that should be enough to applaud and recommend "Public Enemies". I did and I will even if, I must confess, I expected more or maybe less.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Worst cinematography in recent memory. backofthemind
Am I the only one who actually likes this movie? ritarams
Only the most ardent Mann fans will dispute this randywst16
What would be different if the events of the movie happened today? dmcreif
I hated Dillinger and wanted him to die. What did I miss? iamdoingthat
Why was Carey Mulligan in this movie? rediguana
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