The Public Enemy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Public Enemy Reviews

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September 21, 2017
1931's The Public Enemy is still at this stage one of the best gangster films ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
January 14, 2016
In spite of woodenness, creakiness in plot, and unintentional humor in printed piety, ' The Public Enemy,' a film of its time, was a sensation at that time, and is still not to be missed today.
August 12, 2011
This early sound film, which made a star of James Cagney, remains one of the most influential crime-gangster films ever made, establishing the basic narrative format of the popular genre.
Full Review | Original Score: A
July 5, 2009
Crime may not pay, but The Public Enemy was one of the first pictures to recognize that it sure can be exciting to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
March 2, 2008
Top notch Cagney gangster flick with memorable final scene.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
December 15, 2007
The film's juiciest scene has the misogynist Tom squeeze a half a grapefruit in his nagging girlfriend Kitty's (Mae Clarke) kisser.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 30, 2007
Still a classic of the gangster genre, showing neither glorifying the life nor pulling its punches.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 30, 2007
There's no lace on this picture. It's raw and brutal. It's low-brow material given such workmanship as to make it high-brow.
April 9, 2006
Its success proved, if by then there was any doubt, that audiences will go for a charismatic lowlife over a dull hero any day of the week, a lesson Hollywood never forgot.
February 20, 2006
The implication is that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of guys like Tom Powers, little criminals living fast and dying hard.
Full ReviewRead More | Original Score: 88/100
February 9, 2006
Cagney's energy and Wellman's gutsy direction carry the day, counteracting the moralistic sentimentality of the script and indelibly etching the star on the memory as a definitive gangster hero.
January 20, 2006
The film set the template for the likes of "Scarface" and "GoodFellas."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 11, 2005
Contrary to popular opinion, the best moment in the film isn't when Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in his girlfriend's face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 30, 2005
...it was Cagney's film from beginning to end, to win or to lose, and he came out one of the biggest winners in Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
November 10, 2004
Overripe, rigid, and at times clunky ... and that's part of the enjoyment.
| Original Score: 4/5
July 31, 2003
One of the essential gangster films.
| Original Score: 5/5
July 30, 2003
Fascinating and brutally realistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
May 24, 2003
A riveting story told in 84 minutes.
March 10, 2003
Now a classic, this is the movie in which Cagney famously crams a grapefruit into Mae Clarke's face.
September 8, 2002
A stunning starring vehicle for Cagney that shaped his career. Dated and a bit slow, but Cagney magnetism shines through even then.
| Original Score: 4/5
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