Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
The films never lose sight of Mesrine the man, a fascinating character in that he's brutal yet extremely intelligent, has a skewed but discernible conscience, and, under the right circumstances, can be warm and generous.
In most movies, we know the police bullets will never find their target. With Mesrine, (1) sometimes they do, and (2) in real life, he survived an incredible 20 years with the police firing at him at least annually.
Public Enemy openly raises the question of why officers of the law hated Mesrine so much that they were willing to turn his death into a block party.
An instant gangster classic.
Although Killer Instinct is the better of the two parts, Public Enemy No. 1 is a worthy continuation, providing closure to a tale that was interrupted just as things were getting really interesting.
The Hollywood Reporter
Director Jean-Francois Richet shows a career in crime with pulse-pounding moments of pure cinema, then lets you decide what to make of this homicidal sociopath.
Performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless.
Vincent Cassel sets a new standard for Gallic cool as the title character.
Simply skip the first part entirely: "Killer Instinct" bulges with a disconnected jumble of nightclub attacks and fence-clipping escapes you've seen better elsewhere. Yet a tide change happens with the superior Public Enemy No. 1, which takes the subject's raging ego as its cue.
Village Voice
Mesrine's promised end in November 1979 arrives as history recorded it, but, by that time, you're hoping the next vogue in biopics is the short film.

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