This week at the movies, we’ve got crime and punishment (Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale) and prehistoric domesticity (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, with voice work from Ray Romano and Queen Latifah). What do the critics have to say?
Public Enemies hits theaters with an impressive pedigree — it’s directed by Michael Mann and stars two of contemporary cinema’s biggest names, Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. And although critics say the picture offers plenty to admire, it’s strangely muted overall. Depp stars as legendary bank robber John Dillinger, whose daring criminal exploits made him an American folk hero in the 1930s, while Bale plays g-man Melvin Purvis, who’s hell-bent on taking him down. The pundits say Public Enemies has impeccable period ambience, and Depp emits oodles of roguish charm in the lead. However, others say it never makes the leap from good to great; it’s a solid crime picture that never fully explores its characters or its era.)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third film in a series that saw its critical fortunes dwindle from the first movie to the second. And the scribes say that this one’s not much better, despite solid animation and a funny turn from Simon Pegg as a crazed weasel. Mammoth couple Manny and Ellie (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) are expecting their first kid, but find they must rescue their sloth pal Sid (John Leguizamo), who’s trying to raise some T. Rex babies, from an angry dinosaur. The pundits say Ice Age‘s 3-D visuals are often extraordinary, but the story is tired stuff, and even the irrepressible Scrat, so entertaining in the first two films, brings little levity to the proceedings.
Also opening this week in limited release: