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Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (2010)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 85
Fresh: 70 | Rotten: 15

Vincent Cassel is mesmerizing in the lead role. Even if it's less focused than its predecessor, it's more fun.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 4

Vincent Cassel is mesmerizing in the lead role. Even if it's less focused than its predecessor, it's more fun.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 14,376

My Rating

Movie Info

Now back in France, Mesrine is finally in police custody and facing justice for his crimes. After escaping a courtroom and kidnapping the judge at gunpoint, Mesrine is declared Public Enemy Number 1 and is eventually condemned to a maximum-security prison where he writes his memoirs, establishing himself as a household name and the anti-hero across France. Mesrine stages another daring escape and disappears into the lawless underworld, taunting the police and reinventing himself as a celebrity

Mar 29, 2011

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All Critics (85) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (15) | DVD (1)

Yes, he was a bad guy; but what a great story.

January 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

His violent, pathetic end makes you sad not for the man but for a world in which such a creature could exist -- and thrive.

October 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You needn't have seen the first chapter to be swept up in this swirl of bloodletting and braggadocio.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Jean-Francois Richet and screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri's movie generates much heat, but little light.

September 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jacques Mesrine's end may be inevitable, but he certainly doesn't bore us along the way.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[It] doesn't dig deeply into why Mesrine was the way he was. It's propelled by such a forceful performance from Cassel that, in the end, it hardly matters.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once again Casell is phenomenal in the role and turns the film into a compelling and gripping ending to an epic gangster flick.

November 9, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Part 1 remains marginally compelling, if for no other reason than that it sets the table for the vastly superior Part 2.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

The only recent gangster film this one falls short of is "Killer Instinct," the first half of the epic.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Cassel tackles his role like it's the ultimate one-man show, filling his mustachioed character with a feral swagger that conveys tightly coiled threat and sexual charisma. It's not a particularly insightful performance, but it certainly feels authentic...

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

...both movies would have been better served had they been edited down into one consistently engrossing thriller.

January 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

... crackles with tension and violence, driven by [Vincent] Cassel's powerhouse performance.

December 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Director Jean-Francois Richet obviously has been influenced by the Arthur Penn/Beatty film Bonnie & Clyde (1967). His film has some of the tone, personality, and energy of the American crime classic.

November 8, 2010 Full Review Source:

This masterpiece combines the best of 'Scarface,' 'The Godfather' and 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Vincent Cassel tackles the demanding lead role and is simply magnificent. There is no shortage of action, violence and ...

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Richet is overly ambitious and often pushes too hard, but in that sense he's perfect for chronicling Mesrine's life.

October 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

... there's also a lot of fun to be had spotting the many references to other gangster flicks that Richet has planted throughout his film.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

The last half of the four-hour Mesrine is much better than the first half, but will anyone who sat through the first two tedious hours care?

September 17, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The second half of the French gangster series drags a bit at the end but is fun, macho stuff nonetheless.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Women cannot resist Cassel, even though he looks like he needs a bath. His sneer should win prizes. What a punim.

September 8, 2010 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

[Mesrine's] demise is foretold at the beginning of both films so the ending is no surprise. Getting there, though is full of surprises...

September 7, 2010
Reeling Reviews

The final scene, and all that comes before it, deservedly establishes Cassel as an international movie star and Richet as a stylish auteur-in-the-making.

September 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

According to this lofty mandate, the film shouldn't be judged as a historically meretricious account.

September 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The main and most enjoyable difference between the second installment and the first is the greater opportunity the latter provides Cassel to sketch some dimension into the coded mythologizing of his character.

September 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Movieline

Audience Reviews for Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

The second part of the life story of notorious French criminal Jacques Mesrine is very much a case of more of the same; more daring bank heists, more shoot outs on the streets of Paris and more prison break outs. It takes place over a shorter period of time than the previous film leaving more room to concentrate on the man and his motivations, particularly during the scenes in which he verbally spars with an ageing millionaire and kidnap victim and his brutal attempted murder of a right wing journalist. These scenes show all his bluster about being a "revolutionary" was really a smoke screen to cover his ever increasing ego and obsession with his own public image. The representation of his death is also very well done despite the inevitable conclusion, echoing the opening scenes from the first part except from the point of view of the pursuing police. It's a very tense piece of film making, very much from the Infernal Affairs school. Again it made not be the most in depth examination of the man's life but it's always entertaining and made all the more interesting by the fact that it's all based upon actual events.
August 5, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Second half to Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Mesine: Public Enemy #1 focuses on Jacques Mesrine on the run, and being pursued by the French authorities. A brilliant follow up to Killer Instinct, Vincent Cassel like I stated in my review for the first half is brilliant, and really he makes the part of Jacques Mesrine his own. No other actor could play that part any better. The film is brilliant in showing the criminal repercussions of Mesrine's lifestyle. Jacques Mesrine throughout the 1970's was the most dangerous criminal in France's history. He had a bone chilling reputation, and a knack to sell himself to the public eye to make him more popular towards France's population. This half concludes with the manhunt of Mesrine, and his eventual demise at the hands of French authorities. This is a fine film, a stunning crime film that redefines the genre. Public Enemy #1 is a thrilling conclusion to Killer Instinct. Since this is the second half, some viewers may find that this part is more thrilling and it is, but as a whole, and I really look at both parts as one film, as it should, Jean-Francois Richet has made a highly memorable picture, one of the finest gangster pictures that I've seen in quite some time. With a strong cast, Richet has made a film that will surely be destined to be a classic genre film. This is a must see film for crime film fans and is a near perfect film that is highly engaging from beginning to end. Mesrine is a delivers a raw, intense portrait of what it's really like to be in a life of crime. Richet's film shows us the ugly side of crime. Brilliant in showing Jacques Mesrine for whom he really was. This half focuses yet on other aspects of Mesrine's criminal exploits and viewers of the first half will likely be pleased with this second part. Definitely one of the finest crime films in recent memory, and worth seeing.
October 17, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Much like Che, the second portion of the Mesrine saga, while good, isn't as strong or as focused as the first portion. Still though, it's a lot of fun, and very watchable. The first is fun too, but the fun seems more evident here, mostly with the scenes of shopping, and of course the many scenes of armed robbery, kidnapping, and escapes.

Heck, since those last few things are the bulk of the story over deth, character, and substance, they pretty much have to be fun, otherwise what's the point? There's no drastic stylistic change this time around, though there's a more prevalent sense of doom. There are a few sequences where thigns got so tense and suspenseful, I almost couldn't handle it. How things end was not a surprise, but still, the final like 15 minutes are absolutely gripping.

Cassel once again shines as Mesrine, and he looks great with all his various hair styles, wigs, and varieties of facial hair. He was pretty well born to play this part. The cast ae mostly new this time around, and they too are all pretty good, especially Mathieu Amalric.

The music remains good, as does the camera work, and, as I state,d the only real downer is that this entry seems a little less focused and really seems to make the statements of "What's the point?", or "Why should I care?" a little more obvious.

Still though, this is terrifically entertaining stuff that is really well made and makes me happy that there are still directors out there interested in making cinematically excellent action and crime films.
December 6, 2011
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Sadly, this doesn't have a storytelling ability that the first part did. It doesn't have the source material to capture the same experience that the first part had; which was based on Jacques Mesrine's own writing. This has a really interesting opening part, but then goes nowhere after he's captured and finishes his autobiography. I understand why they split up the story into two parts, but honestly they could've just made the first part with this movie's first 45min and had a masterpiece on their hands. Ending it with him writing his autobiography would've been a perfect way to truly end the story. After that, it's just a prolonged chase and him being sent to the slaughter. The reason this movie works as well as it does is due to Vincent Cassel continuing to give his flawless performance as Mesrine; only this time with a giant beer gut. Sometimes a complete story just isn't the way to go, it feels like these movies should've only covered Mesrine's own account and not sort've just filled in the blanks using police reports as a timeline.
September 1, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Jacques Mesrine: No body kills me, until I say so.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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