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Public Enemies

Johnny Depp's tommy gun weighs a ton.

Public Enemies

Director:Michael Mann
Cast:James Russo, David Wenham, Christian Stolte, Jason Clarke, Johnny Depp, Stephen Dorff, Channing Tatum, Christian Bale
Release Date:2009

Opens Aug. 28 at the Charles Theatre.

By Bret McCabe | Posted 8/26/2009

Michael Mann's visually stunning and surprisingly incurious exploration of the final nine months in the life of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) is a joy to watch and a distressingly superficial crime story to consider. Mann's crime flicks always feel like something more than mere crime flicks, but here his sly investigations--J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) consolidating the Federal Bureau of Investigation into a national police force to launch a "War on crime;" shining-star G-man Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) finding it harder and harder to live with himself in order to do the things he has to do to catch the criminals he has to catch; organized crime expanding into a coast-to-coast operation; the role of radio and newsreels in creating the national myths of the era's folk-hero criminals; shooting a 1930s-set gangster picture with in-close, hand-held intimacy on digital video--remain mere window dressing to Depp's cavalier, self-consciously movie-star performance.

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