It’s my favorite genre by far, but at this point in the game it is damn near impossible to break new ground with crime drama.  Public Enemies is a really good movie on its own.  Michael Mann, Johnny Depp and Christian Bale doing a film about the true life story of John Dilinger.  If that sounds like it can’t miss, it’s because this is one of those rare situations where it really couldn’t.  Greatest crime flick ever?  No.  Greatest crime flick about that era?  No, I’d actually rank The Untouchables and Once Upon a Time in America as better movies of this time period of gangsterism.  Best film I’ve seen this year?  Probably. 

I knew enough about Dilinger’s story before going into the theater that nothing caught me completely off guard (a little disappointing).  It’s a tribute to Michael Mann’s storytelling ability and the work of the cast that I was entertained for nearly the entire movie.  On top of the two leads, there are a lot of great performances and great character actors in this movie.  There’s an old saying that for actors, you should play your role as if you’re the star even if you’re aren’t.  Marion Cotillard and Billy Crudup stand out because of their name value, but there were at least three or four other ‘That Guys” in the film who got a smile out of me, just for showing up and being in this picture unannounced.

We’ll see what the box office is when that comes out Monday, but all in all a solid piece of adult entertainment.  A little on the long side, but if you know Michael Mann that’s to be expected.