Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies “marks an exciting return to muscular, patient storytelling for Mann,” writes In Contention‘s Kris Tapley. “After dubious stabs at commercial appeal in Collateral and Miami Vice — films that certainly have followers and admittedly plumb thematic depths no other filmmaker would have reached — the director has painted his most resonant character study since 1995’s Heat.

Public Enemies “fits seamlessly into a line of filmmaking Mann has generated to represent, as F.X. Feeney has called it, ‘a profound, interactive, philosophical history of the United States.’ Collateral and em>Miami Vice served as stylistic, muscle-flexing diversions, but here the director seems more thoughtful in his approach to character and structure. As with Ali, he doesn’t succumb to the lures of the biopic. He tells a story, directly, and without qualification or ornamentation. The film is classic Mann.”