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Public Enemies (2009)
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Public Enemies (2009)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  1 July 2009 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 215,250 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 580 user | 352 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Cast

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John Judd ...
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John Kishline ...
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John Scherp ...
Elena Kenney ...
William Nero Jr. ...
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Storyline

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

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America's Most Wanted


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemigos públicos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$97,030,725 (USA) (28 August 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Billie Frechette was never given "third degree" interrogation by the FBI as shown in the movie, the FBI agents did in fact perform similar tactics on Helen Nelson (the wife of Baby Face Nelson), Alvin Carpis, and a John Dillinger associate in Chicago named James Probasco. In the instance of Probasco, he ended up falling to his death from a upper-floor window. Offically, it is believed he committed suicide in order to avoid further interrogation. However, some historians believe that the FBI agents interrogating Probasco attempted to make him talk by hanging him out of a window and that the agents lost their grip on Probasco. See more »

Goofs

The film opens in 1933 when Dillinger escapes the first time, there is a 1935 Plymouth PJ in several shots. See more »

Quotes

John Dillinger: [approaching group of police officers] What's the score?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Tavis Smiley: Episode dated 20 January 2010 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground
(1927)
Written by Blind Willie Johnson (uncredited)
Performed by Blind Willie Johnson
Courtesy of Yazoo Records/Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Good, but not without flaws
6 July 2009 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Public Enemies, this film has been built up for quite a while, why not? It stars Johnny Depp as one of history's most famous bank robbers. Also the city of Chicago has been excited to see this, in some strange way we considered Dillinger to be a Robin Hood as he never took money from the common man, just from the banks. He also was clever enough to escape jail by making a fake gun out of a soap bar, I lived in Indiana for a year and people are incredibly proud that Crown Point was where Dillinger had fooled everyone, lol. So naturally I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, especially with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, it's a can't miss. Unfortunately for me, the film fell short of our expectations as the way it was made and how there is lack of material for Depp and Bale to work with to give these characters any depth. Mann makes a film that is using a digital camera for a film set in the 1930's and doesn't really bring his A game to the film as it's more like "Here's Dillinger's story… enjoy".

Set in 1933 John Dillinger is brought to a penitentiary, but is there to break out the rest of his gang. After loosing a few of his friends, he's headed to Chicago to make his mark on the banks. Melvin Purvis is upgraded by J. Edgar Hoover, who is protecting the FBI from scrutiny by politicians, to lead the hunt for John. John later meets Billie Frechette, whom he takes to dinner. He states plainly what he will do for her and how he will treat her if they are to have a relationship. After a shoot out gone horribly wrong and making the police look more incompetent, Purvis demands that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive. Though Hoover had hoped for more pristine agents, he agrees. While John and Billie are enjoying the luxuries across the States, the police finally find Dillinger and arrest him and his gang in Miami. However, Dillinger and a few inmates escape from prison using a fake gun. He is goaded into a bank robbery job by an acquaintance, Dillinger agrees. The robbery goes fine until Nelson impulsively kills a nearby police officer, alerting more of the robbery, making Dillinger Public Enemy Number 1.

Now Public Enemies is by no means a bad film, some of the actors were terrific and the sets were perfect as well as the whole feel of the film. But it just won't stop with the "Run! Chase! Run! Chase! Shoot! Shoot!" scenes that seem to dull down after a while. The love story between Dillinger and his gal, Billie didn't seem too necessary, it added to the story but for me felt a little out of place at times. I have to tell you that I'm feeling so incredibly bad for Christian Bale this year as it seems like he's been given characters who are not well written, but I'm starting to wonder if the Batman voice is his new trademark because he was starting to use that voice again in a few sentences. Depp does the best he can, but once again with the lack of material; he's made out completely as the hero of the film, instead of maybe having more of a documentary feel to it and being biased on how cool Dillinger was. Maybe he's Mann's personal hero, who knows. But over all the film is decent enough for the watch, I'd just say if you want to see it, go for a matinée or a rental, it wasn't worth the full price.

7/10


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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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