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Public Enemies (2009)
I saw this film in theaters during the summer, and didn't know what to expect. I was excited for the film when I first heard about it, I loved the idea of Johnny Depp, one of the best actors out there, playing the infamous John Dillinger.
I was disappointed when I read a review of 2 stars in People Magazine, so I thought that the film might not have lived up to all of the hype. I still wanted to see it (I usually don't agree with People) and when I read the Rolling Stone (who I usually DO agree with) of 3 1/2 stars I was sure I needed to see it.
The first thing you should know about this movie, is that it feels unlike any other gangster movie around, sure it has all the typical mob stuff, entourage of interesting characters, supportive spouse who you can tell is hurting deep down, and totally bad-ass heists, but this film shows the true colors of mob movies like Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Donnie Brasco.
In one scene, Dillinger laughs at the way Hollywood depicts gangster life while at a movie theater. The gangster life in this film is unglorified, brutal, and honest. If you come to this movie expecting giant mansions, armies of thugs, and supermodel mistresses you will be very disappointed. This movie shows the truth on America's most infamous bank robber, and the fear behind the life.
Johnny Depp is phenomenal as John Dillinger. He understands that this is a different kind of gangster movie, so he doesn't act like everyone else in these roles. Depp could pull off a good performance by just being cocky, but Depp goes deeper, finding the man behind the fame and the fear in his eyes is just barely noticeable if your paying attention.
Depp is not the only great performance here, Christian Bale is the enforcer of the law with hardly any similarities to Bruce Wayne, he's dedicated to stopping crime and steps in when he sees a lack of the law within the police. Billy Crudup is almost eerie as J. Edgar Hoover, in his hunt for Dillinger. Marion Cottilard, who I was not familiar with prior to this movie was also fantastic as Dillinger's love Billie, and shines throughout the film but her talents really shows toward the end.
This is a fantastic film through and through, I recommend this to anyone and everyone. It may sound a little bit like this movie may take itself too seriously but there is still a myriad of hilarious moments that are there to solidify Dillinger as the biggest bad-ass of the last century.