Melvin Purvis

Execution Without Conviction
July 08, 2009

On a Wednesday night in San Francisco, opening night, in a theater no more than half full, the truth was as inescapable as rain at a picnic. Johnny Depp just wasn’t cutting it. He wasn’t even making the attempt. Once again, Michael Mann had poured his nearly liquid talent over a gangster picture without ever thinking to ask himself why. That oddly vague title Public Enemies--why isn’t it called Johnny D. or just Dillinger?--was turning into a startlingly detached and affectless movie.

The Movie Review: 'Public Enemies'
July 02, 2009

It's taken countless hours of TV crime-drama ("Crime Story," "Miami Vice") and nearly a dozen feature films (Heat, Collateral, Miami Vice again), but in John Dillinger, Michael Mann may finally have found an ideal vessel for his particular vision of masculine cool: stylish, charismatic, unflappable, adept at violence but not hungry for it. After spending nine years in prison for his rookie robbery (a grocery-store heist that allegedly netted him $50), Dillinger emerged in May 1933 to launch perhaps the most storied crime spree in American history.