Bob Cannon
July 16, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Public Enemies

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/01/09
performer
Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Billy Crudup, Emilie de Ravin, Leelee Sobieski, Channing Tatum
director
Michael Mann
distributor
Universal
author
Ronan Bennett, Ann Biderman, Michael Mann
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an A

No bank was safe during the Depression so long as folks like Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Clyde Barrow, the Barker gang, and John Dillinger were on the loose. Hot on their tails, though, was the then-new FBI, the original gang that couldn’t shoot straight. However, after seeing innocent bystanders slain and letting Dillinger slip away twice in 24 hours, J. Edgar Hoover whipped the bureau into fighting shape and put the killers out of business in his ”war on crime.” Burrough (”Barbarians at the Gate”) paints chilling portraits of the dapper Dillinger, the psychopathic Nelson, and the wannabe Barrow, exposing some of their legends as total bunk. Enemies is an amazingly detailed true-life thriller that puts us on a stakeout alongside the feds, inside the banks while bullets fly, and inevitably, next to the criminals’ bloody corpses.

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