Monday, July 13, 2009

Public Enemies

'Public Enemies' is the latest in a long string of films about John Dillinger's life and brutal death. In many ways it's a pretty standard 30s gangster flick, but several things set it apart.

One is the performances. Johnny Depp is exceptional as always, and Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") brings a special humanity and hard-edged grace as Dillinger's girlfriend Billie.

What also makes this film a little different is it's focus on the FBI investigation and the implementation of J. Edgar Hoover's 'modern methods' such as wire tapping and surveillance. These techniques are presented as a counterpoint to Dillinger's own unique methods and style.

Some of the other historical details were apparently fudged, but even if you don't care about the history, 'Pubic Enemies' still has plenty of action and strong characters to keep you entertained. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

(and Murray liked it too.)

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