why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

stoning soraya m.
Click for full sized poster

Public Enemies

Starring Johnny Depp, Christia Bale,
Screenplay by Ronan Bennett and Michael Mann & Ann Biderman
Based on a book by Bryan Burrough
Directed by Michael Mann
website: http://www.publicenemies.net/

IN SHORT: zzz. [Rated R for gangster violence and some language. 140 minutes]

Ah the wild and wooly 1930s. The Great Depression. Robin Hood-type outlaws steal from the rich (the banks) and give to the poor (usually themselves) with dozens of newspapers and magazines, legit and pulp making oodles of dollars reporting and or embellishing upon the events put in motion by Baby Face Nelson(Stephen Graham), or Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi) Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum) or, as far as this film goes, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and his Chicago based gang.

Aside from being on the wrong end of a bullet, the excitement of the era came in the purple prose of tabloid newspaper reporters or radio newsmen like Walter Winchell. They built the reputations of bank robbers who could not be caught into something akin to criminal supermen. To balance it off, Winchell helped promote Federal officers, G-Men who would come to be known as the Untouchables. This story is not about the Untouchables, who aimed mainly at Al Capone's gang. Nor is it about Walter Winchell who is mentioned only in passing. Instead, it is about G-Man Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) and the scientific method for tracking seasoned criminals like John Dillinger via the things he left behind. Like a coat.

So much for the only interesting part of Public Enemies, which spends the rest of its time pointing out how clumsy and ineffective the early days of the G-Men squad were. When we first meet Dillinger, he is engineering a major break of his gang out of a state penitentiary in 1933 -- theoretically you remember all this from history class because there is absolutely no kind of usable background development to help you build connections to any of the characters in this film, good or bad.

As for Dillinger, he runs his band of brothers with an democratic (sic) iron fist. When one member screws up an operation, Dillinger polls the rest of the gang before dumping the lout out the door of his roadster, at high speed. Dillinger's personal love live is pretty much the same. One day at a high class restaurant he spies one Billy Frechette (Marion Cotillard) a poor girl in "a three dollar dress" who works for tips checking coats at a different night club. Dillinger decides that Billy will be his girl. When she complains she knows nothing about him he responds something along the lines of: "I was born on a farm. My mom died. My father beat me. I like movies and music and robbing banks. What else do you need to know?"

Unless you know the rest of Dillinger's story before walking in, what is presented to you is done so in a sloppy and confusing manner. We're not even going to all what we saw "wrong," since it's been a very long time since we memorized every book on 30s mobsters we could get our hands on circa age twelve. We sat twitching in the seat. Those expecting a Bonnie and Clyde style blow out from this film are really going to be disappointed.

There's not much more to say here, folks. There isn't much to this film at all.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Public Enemies, he would have paid . . .


A waste of your time and money.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Michael Mann
Click to buy films starring Johnny Depp
Click to buy films starring Christian Bale

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.