Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Michael Mann's Public Enemies is a masterpiece and the best film of 2009 thus far. From first frame to last, I was totally engrossed in this sprawling yet intimate crime saga. I'll be seeing this one again in the theater a few times. Dante Spinotti's electrifying cinematography is a sure-bet for an Oscar nom (if not win). Mann stages some of the best shoot-outs of his career (with one set-piece coming close to the downtown-LA shootout in Heat) in Public Enemies, and he's helped enormously by Johnny Depp's charismatic and showy lead performance. The screenplay is intelligent, economical, and always engaging. As Dargis in the NY Times said, it's a work of art, and unlike any gangster film before it.


Joel said...

You know, for all its ambitions, I found the film flawed. Brilliant for the most part, definitely, but kind of slow-moving at times and it could have had at least ten minutes shaved off at the middle. 3.5 stars for me. I know, I know...yell, curse, and scream at me for thinking a Michael Mann film wasn't quite as good as the Michael Bay movie this summer, LOL. But yeah...Depp and Cotillard need to be nominated--though Cotillard just needs to win already.

Breedlove said...

Nick, totally agree. Jaw-dropping masterpiece, best film of the year, Mann has done it again. Needed to see it again about 2 minutes after it ended.


Congrats on the wedding, buddy.

I wish I was getting married...TO MICHAEL FREAIN' MANN!!!!

Breedlove said...


Lemmy Caution said...

I have all the love in the world for Michael Mann....but Public Enemies just left me a little cold.

The photography, as you point out, was excellent, the direction was spot on, and the performances (for the most part) were up to the task.

The story just lacked any real urgency or excitement. Sure, the gunfights were top notch, but in between those scenes we were left watching Dillenger look bored.

I wished Depp would have thrown a little of the menace and fun that Warren Oates brought to the role years back.

Good, but not great in my book.