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Public Enemies (Single-Disc Edition)

4.0 out of 5 stars 595 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From award-winning director Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral) comes the film inspired by one of the country’s most captivating and infamous outlaws — John Dillinger. Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean series) stars as the charismatic and elusive bank robber marked by the FBI as America’s first “Public Enemy Number One.” Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) plays Billie Frechette, the only woman capable of capturing his heart. Hunted relentlessly by top FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale, The Dark Knight), Dillinger engages in an escalating game of outrunning and outgunning the FBI, culminating in an explosive, legendary showdown. “It’s a landmark crime saga” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

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Since crime auteur Michael Mann, like his protagonists, plays by his own rules, Public Enemies eschews back story and motivation for a closely-observed, action-packed examination of men at work. FBI supremo J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) kick-starts a nationwide manhunt when he proclaims John Dillinger (Johnny Depp, in top form) Public Enemy #1. Hoover taps Agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) to bring the Tommy Gun-toting bank robber in by any means necessary (the agency also targets Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson). If Dillinger had split the scene then and there, he might have enjoyed a happier fate, but he falls for beautiful coat-check girl Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard, whose open-hearted performance makes her the most sympathetic character in the film). In the end, though, Dillinger is the captain of his own destiny: his loyalty to his girl and his gang overpowers his desire to live free. Though the director also set his first film, Thief, and third series, Crime Story, in his native Chicago, Public Enemies plays more like Heat in Depression-era garb. In that L.A. policier, Al Pacino's cop develops a grudging respect for Robert De Niro's criminal, but letting a lawbreaker go free isn't an option. In this case, however, the tight-lipped Purvis never develops the same sort of esteem for Dillinger--or Hoover--making him the more tragic figure. If Public Enemies is less overtly commercial than The Untouchables or Bugsy, it's still the best mainstream gangster epic in ages and ranks among Mann's finest works. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Public Enemies (Click for larger image)

Special Features

Larger Than Life: Adversaries -- Johnny Depp and Christian Bale face off as the legendary Dillinger and Purvis. Feature Commentary with Director Michael Mann.

Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Rory Cochrane, Matt Craven
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Black & White, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QEHPQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,538 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Public Enemies (Single-Disc Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on July 3, 2009
"Public Enemies" proves that Michael Mann is right up there with Martin Scorsese at directing compelling crime dramas. This film, based on a book detailing the nexus of John Dillinger, J. Edgar Hoover, and Melvin Purvis, covers the last year and a half in the life of the famed bank robber, who was branded "Public Enemy Number 1" by Hoover, who was building what would become the FBI. Chasing Dillinger for Hoover was Purvis, who relentlessly pursued Dillinger until the fateful night outside the Biography Theater in Chicago.

Johnny Depp plays Dillinger as a fun-loving but dangerous criminal whose only plan seems to be to live life on the edge until he falls off. As usual, his performance is engaging and utterly believable. Billy Crudup wonderfully plays Hoover as a man obsessed with growing the Bureau, obsessed with public relations, and obsessed with capturing John Dilliger, and Christian Bale plays Purvis as an intelligent, capable, and caught in the difficult position of trying to catch Dillinger while at the same time pleasing a demanding, overbearing publicity seeker.

The film features great supporting performances from Marion Cotillard as Dillinger's girlfriend, Billie Frechette, and Stephen Lang as a veteran Bureau agent assigned to hunt Dillinger.

This is film has plenty of action and thrills, but also possesses great acting, intelligent writing, and masterful directing by Mann. Public Enemies is one the best films to come out in the summer of '09.
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"Public Enemies", helmed by famed director Michael Mann, is a thriller of the most testosterone fueled variety. It's a fast paced actioner brimming at the seams with intense shootouts and a well-stocked cast of steely-eyed, square-jawed men harboring classic narcissistic complexes. Johnny Depp makes a suave, calculating Dillinger. It's more of a manufactured character than an interpretation of the real life Dillinger, but this is of little consequence because Depp achieves grand theatrics with his sullen glare and devil-may-care attitude. He plays it much as I imagine Steve McQueen would've in his heyday, plowing through his world with a sort of darkly cool, apathetic demeanor that suggests he doesn't care one way or the other about anything.

The supporting characters are superlative as well, particularly Stephen Dorff as Homer Van Meter. There's an intensity to his character that Dorff really brings out. In fact, I didn't even recognize him at first (interestingly, he looked very similar to actor Tim DeKay). Jason Clarke, who portrays John "Red" Hamilton, is an actor primarily known for his television work. I surmise he was chosen for his striking resemblance to the real life criminal; just compare his photograph to the infamous mug of Hamilton. He's probably the most featured gangster, other than Dillinger, being that Hamilton is portrayed as his right hand man. Of course, Christian Bale turns in an able performance as respected G-Man Melvin Purvis - donning yet another one of his famed accents for the role.

The film begins in medias res with an exciting jailbreak, something which I greatly enjoyed. I was happy the film didn't waste time trying to explain Dillinger's childhood and upbringing.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This doesn't work at all for the "digital copy" and Amazon should not be allowed to advertise that is does work. Power PC is no longer supported on a newer Apple computer so adding it to iTunes doesn't work. There is no code given to redeem in Ultraviolet or VUDU either. I opened the package so it probably can't be returned now but we shall see. I am not happy.

They did give me a immediate refund with AMZN credit. I don't even have to mail them item back. Point to them in my book
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Already have a DVD of this movie...bought the Blu ray for the improved video quality.

Very disappointed. The video quality of this Blu ray is worse than my DVD (tested on a 60 inch plasma HDTV).

Skip this one if you are looking for improved video quality.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I felt this Michael Mann film was a fairly good and entertaining story of the man once called "Public Enemy Number One" - John Dillinger.

I thought Johnny Depp did a fairly good job of portraying John Dillinger while Christian Bale gave a creditable performance of his FBI nemesis - Melvin Purvis. The clothing, sets, weapons, cars are all period correct for the most part and very well done. The viewer gets a sense of life in the 1930's. John Dillinger was a very smart criminal and I think the Johnny Depp performance correctly showed that Dillinger wasn't the trigger-happy gangster that sprayed bullets around at every opportunity and, therefore, the violence level is lower than many rated-R films.

Does the film remain true to actual events? No, but it is quite close and gives the reader the basic "highlights" of John Dillinger's criminal career during that time when he captured the attention of the nation - and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. michael Mann's direction is quite good, balancing action sequences, romance, introspection and the FBI's implacable pursuit of every clue or lead.

I thought it was an enjoyable movie and one that captured my attention and pulled me along with the story. Four stars.
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