Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    100
    Intelligent and challenging: Mann's crime epic could take two viewings to fully absorb, but it's worth every devoted minute.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    100
    This is the purest of American narratives, and this, indeed, is one of our finest storytellers.
  3. A grave and beautiful work of art.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    Mann's exhilarating movie exists in a state of perpetual forward motion.
  5. Simultaneously an art film and a crime film, Mann's latest work may not give you a ton to hang on to emotionally, but the beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp.
  6. 88
    This is a very good film, with Depp and Bale performances of brutal clarity. I'm trying to understand why it is not quite a great film. I think it may be because it deprives me of some stubborn need for closure.
  7. 88
    Michael Mann's extraordinary Public Enemies is an unusual sort of gangster picture, a near-impressionistic recreation of the last year in the life of one of American history's most notorious bank robbers.
  8. 88
    Public Enemies comes at you like Dillinger did: all of a sudden. It's movie dynamite.
  9. 88
    Without ever telling viewers what to think or how to feel, it raises more questions about the corruption of crime and crime fighting than any expose or thesis.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 351 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 122
  2. Negative: 30 out of 122
  1. Jan 31, 2011
    5
    Public Enemies is really just another forgettable Gangster movie, with the exception of Johnny Depp there really isn't very much to like aboutPublic Enemies is really just another forgettable Gangster movie, with the exception of Johnny Depp there really isn't very much to like about this film. Full Review »
  2. Rita
    Jan 16, 2010
    3
    All style, no substance. Paper thin characters. A long music video passing itself off as a movie.
  3. May 21, 2013
    10
    Honesty is a rare and often sought after trait in any individual, and when we see Johnny Depp portray one of the most notorious criminals inHonesty is a rare and often sought after trait in any individual, and when we see Johnny Depp portray one of the most notorious criminals in American history, we see exactly what Depression era bank robber John Dillinger was all about, upfront and straight to the point...honest.
    Whether he was a bad person or a man simply following what he was good at is anyones guess, but Michael Mann brilliantly focuses on exactly what Dillinger was known for, holding up banks. We don't need a backstory or a setup for how he took on such a job, we just see what we expect to see, but with Dillinger we see someone who isn't someone we would expect.
    After a daring escape from a penitentiary, Dillinger and his friends, including Red (Jason Clarke) and Harry Pierpont (David Wenham), Dillinger is already setting up his next heist, during a great crime wave in the midst of the Depression.
    Dillinger uses his charm to woo Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) who he is entirely honest with in his robbery prowess. She accepts his life and his determination to be with her, while Dillinger and his friends continue to evade the Bureau of Investigation, leading the hunt is Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) who took down Pretty Boy Floyd and is now on the hunt for Dillinger.
    After several near misses and even a capture, Dillinger brims with confidence at how everyone seems to be at his feet, which Depp perfectly encapsulates. He brings the slick, handsome and straight cut personality to the role that we know from the history of John Dillinger, but with so much more, a scene where he walks freely through the department searching for him is tense, wonderful and also a perfect rendition of how Dillinger liked to live his life. But to quote the film, bank robberies are not getting any easier to pull, and when the Bureau lands down hard, tragedy and blood follow Dillinger wherever he goes. But his only wish is to be with Billie.
    Shot in digital high def, Public Enemies looks truly dazzling, the cinematography added with the intense close-ups create a documentary type feel that is reminiscent of the story that is on show. The big cast includes Channing Tatum, a very underrated yet brilliant turn of J. Edgar Hoover by Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Lang.
    We can only go by what we are told by the history books, but Dillinger was indeed a colourful character nonetheless and Michael Mann has told an excellent story and created a moving and focused film.
    Full Review »