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Review: Public Enemies

Public Enemies felt strangely flat. It was almost like a movie of a movie. I can see the film that they were trying to make, but I almost feel like it needed to be in the hands of a different director, like Martin Scorsese, to achieve its intent. The cinematography made me feel distanced from the whole thing; my husband concurred. I had difficulty caring about the characters ... I felt uninvolved and removed. I certainly never felt like I learned anything at all about Melvin Purvis.

It wasn't a terrible film, it just didn't live up to the potential I'd hoped for from the trailers. It was okay, but not great.

Regarding performances, I thought it might be Johnny Depp's Oscar turn, but after seeing it, I don't think this is it, although he was very good, as usual. There's no question that he's remarkably talented, and to go from as cartoony a role as Jack Sparrow to something as pragmatically steely as this shows his tremendous range. I thought Marion Cotillard did a beautiful job of managing her accent, allowing just the faintest tinge to creep in here and there to remind us that the character's father was French. However, the real star performance in the picture, in my opinion, is Billy Crudup's portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover. He was excellent, and, wow, what a shift from Dr. Manhattan. I didn't recognize him at first even though I knew from advance press that he was playing the part.

Like I say, it wasn't bad. I just didn't think it was Michael Mann's best work, and, in hindsight, I would've been just fine with catching it on HBO.

I'm still waiting for the Great Summer Movie of 2009.

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