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Public Enemies [DVD] (2009)

Johnny Depp , Christian Bale , Michael Mann    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
Price: 2.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Public Enemies [DVD] (2009) + The Rum Diary [DVD] (2011) + The Tourist [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff
  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English, Hungarian
  • Subtitles: English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Nov 2009
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001N2MZSO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,608 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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

Product Description

Johnny Depp Public Enemies

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great 17 Nov 2009
By Mr. Blu
This film stars a wonderful Johnny Depp who pretty much carries the film for most of its near 2 1/2 hours. It is visually stunning (with a few caveats, of which more later) often compelling, but there seems to be something missing. A lack of "back-story" is not the problem as Depp makes clear in his own mini auto-biography delivered to Billie "What more do you need to know?". It seems to be a problem with tempo and the development of drama. There are too many shoot-outs, too much of a concentration of the scenes dealing with character in the early part of the film, and too little organisation of the order of scenes, leaving the viewer with a film that lurches from one thing to another rather than allowing a dramatic line to unfold.

Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis plays a rather dull character, and Billy Crudup (who "Watchmen" fans might recognise despite his failure here to turn blue and expose his genitals) was more engaging and watchable, for me. But there is no real sense of a dynamic, dramatic conflict between Purvis and Dillinger. Marion Cotillard is quite good as Billie, without conveying much of what is supposed to make her relationship with Dillinger work. It is a film with lots of great scenes, which don't add up to a great whole. Most viewers will surely empathise with Dillinger (the aspect that he is more hated by much worse criminals than by ordinary citizens no doubt helps) but since towards the end he doesn't seem that bothered about what happens to him, it becomes harder for the viewer to care.

On the BD side, this film was shot on HD cameras (apparently the 35mm scenes were tests and did not make it into the film). This makes for outrageously good visuals at times.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mmmmmm. 1 Aug 2010
I don't know what it is that's missing from this film but there's definitely something, Johnny Depp's pretty good, Christian Bale does his stock U.S. accent and Michael Mann could've left 15 minutes on the cutting room floor but what is actually missing, I'm not too sure.
If you want to watch something about this era of gangster, I'd recommend De Niro and Costner in The Untouchables or go right back to James Cagney but Public Enemies is a bit of a so what film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Dillinger !! 16 Mar 2014
By David H J Ashdown TOP 500 REVIEWER
A long film ( over 2 hours ) based on the life of bank robber John Dillinger with plenty of A listed stars. It's a mediocre account that tends to glamorise rather than condemn the actions of this criminal and spoiled by too much mumbling and generally poor sound - the background music is too loud and a lot of the dialogue is hard to decipher and in the end you tend to get bored and long for it to finish - that said it's worth watching but not a great film
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but no masterpiece 17 Nov 2009
An enjoyable gangster flick with a good cast, Mann's latest effort is however no Goodfellas (or even Heat for that matter). We do get wonderful, believable performances from all, although Christian Bale's hotshot FBI agent far outshines Depp's Dillinger in my humble opinion. Stephen Lane also excels as Bale's quiet, cold as ice, hard as nails, second in command (with a heart of gold too it seems by the end of the film). It was also nice to see Stephen Graham make good use of his perfectly cast role as Baby Face Nelson. In general, I believe this movie certainly has enough weight and quality to reward repeated viewings.

However, I don't like the digital video process Mann has used in some scenes, and think they clash rather severely with the standard film stock shots (particularly in the nighttime shootout in the forest - an action packed highlight). They lack the warmth of 35mm, and any bright light sources seem to burn unpleasantly across the screen whenever digital video is used. I have a feeling that we'll just have to get used to it, as we have done for CGI effects - another step back in movie making IMO.

Blu-ray presentation is strong; image quality is excellent with superb detail, although a little inconsistent (grain level can change from shot to shot, and not just because of switching from video to film stock either). Colours are well defined, although (deliberately) muted and slightly sepia toned. Sound quality is hit and miss; dialogue is clear, but the surround treatment lacks a sense of space. Bass extension is also a little disappointing; the horse race scene almost promises to bring the thundering of hooves into the living room, but doesn't quite deliver. Gunfire however, does have a realistic crack and pop in the action scenes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best 30's gangster movie 9 May 2013
The many reviewers of this movie are either too young, unfamiliar with the Midwest,or the depression atmosphere. Unlike numerous earlier movies and TV series about the depression era outlaws which were all shot in the Hollywood studios, here we have a fascinating recreation of the 1933 Midwest and atmosphere and the fatalistic life of the doomed killers/heroes. The background hit songs of the era are a delight. An exceptional movie, superb acting and cinematography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Gem 25 April 2013
'Public Enemies' is a widely-overlooked 'true crime' biographical film that dramatises the classic conflict between hunter and hunted. In a similar vein to his 1990s classic 'Heat', director Michael Mann pits the wits of an able criminal mind, John Dillinger (a real-life Depression-era bank robber), against a talented, slightly obsessive, law enforcement officer, Melvin Purvis, another real-life figure who was close to leading federal law enforcement official, J. Edgar Hoover.

The story in both the film and the non-fiction book of the same name is set in the 1930s and looks at the emerging American response to organised crime, spearheaded by Hoover and Purvis. I have some interest in Hoover, who is a fascinating character. The film subtly draws comparisons between "the war against crime" of that era (as Purvis calls it at one point) with the fight against organised crime and terrorism today, though this allegory is worn light and isn't central to the film.

I like films such as this that are brilliant but uncomplicated and respect the intelligence of the viewer in that they concentrate solely on plot and character rather than getting side-tracked with gratuitous violence or some social agenda. It's not challenging viewing, but it's interesting enough and provides a bit of escapism, which is what movies are supposed to do. No doubt this is largely because of who steered this: Michael Mann is a high-calibre film director who never fails in terms of production values.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look if you're into gangster movies:
Good movie.
Published 7 days ago by Geoffrey Garoghan
3.0 out of 5 stars Great acting from everyone but...
For me three finer leading actors it would be difficult to find and they perform brilliantly in this film.

The supporting cast is faultless also. Read more
Published 7 days ago by andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Master class from Depp
One of Depp's best ever performances. A thrill ride from beginning to end and fantastic story telling from Michael Mann. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great film
Published 12 days ago by chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
An okay film but a bit boring in the middle.
Published 23 days ago by sara walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by DH
4.0 out of 5 stars Close to a classic gangster epic
A powerful film that could have benefited from the additional half an hour of plot development. Strong period piece, fast action and absorbing characters.
Published 1 month ago by Rhodri J Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent film as it based on true story
Published 1 month ago by 3mayne
3.0 out of 5 stars Narrational Errors
I was disappointed at the lack of historical accuracy particularly at the beginning where Pretty Boy Floyd is killed by Melvin Purvis before Dillinger where in reality he died some... Read more
Published 2 months ago by ronald craze
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Michael Mann movie.
This is my favourite Michael Mann movie ... and considering the quality of his other work, that's saying a great deal. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher Garfield Allen
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language besides english? 1 24 Mar 2011
Portuguese subtitles?? 3 24 Mar 2011
language besides english? 2 18 May 2010
Subtitles ? 1 18 May 2010
german language? 10 18 May 2010
sound issues 0 22 Nov 2009
Can't access BD Live content on this disc! 0 7 Nov 2009
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