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Enemy of the State
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Enemy of the State More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fast-paced, edgy thriller that's surprisingly very post-modern

8/10
Author: tomb_92 from United Kingdom
23 April 2010

I was really surprised at this. It's one of Will Smith's lesser known films, but it has no right to be. It's easily one of his best, certainly up there with The Pursuit of Happiness. He gives a really strong performance without any of the light-hearted comedy slants he normally takes, not that I have a problem with that, it's just nice to see Smith acting seriously for a change. The story is really interesting and doesn't let you down like a lot of conspiracy theory films. It's really emotional at times and with Smith's acting you can really feel his pain and frustration. The story is also surprisingly post-modern, it feels like it could easily be set today rather than 15 years ago when it was made. This is a stunning thriller.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fresh Prince on the Run.

8/10
Author: Mr_Censored from Maine
23 December 2009

A film that was perhaps a bit ahead of its time, "Enemy of the State" stars Will Smith as a family man on the run from the government after unknowingly obtaining information about a politically motivated murder. Because the government (a.k.a. Big Brother) can see and hear virtually everything he does, he is helpless until he gains the assistance of an old, paranoid and tech-savvy character played by Gene Hackman.

Seeing as how it was made in 1998, it should be noted that "Enemy of the State" pre-dates the Patriot Act, making it relevant and powerful even 11 years after its release. Obviously much of what the government does in this film is exaggerated (is it?), but the script is whip-smart and thanks to brilliant pacing and a directing style from Tony Scott that shows restraint, you feel like you are there with the characters and the action never lets up for a moment. The paranoia built up within the film is contagious and what makes it truly great is that you'll walk away from it with something more to chew on than what the average blockbuster has to offer.

"Enemy of the State" is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, and is perhaps the smartest and one of the best films of its breed. The film is nothing if not consistent and despite a strong showing by Will Smith, Gene Hackman completely steals the show. Why he didn't win any awards for his performance in this film is beyond me. Jon Voight has a turn as the villain and Jason Lee gets an early but pivotal position early on in the film. Look out for bit performances by comedic actors Seth Green and Jack Black, too.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Under-rated and thought-provoking action thriller - 85%

8/10
Author: Benjamin Cox from Hampshire, England
29 June 2009

I remember going to see this at the pictures when it was released but over time, my memory of it began to fade save that my impression was that it was a great action thriller. Thankfully, the BBC were able to refresh my memory on Saturday night and therefore, I was able to watch this again with my Better Half. And you know what - it still is a gripping and classy action conspiracy film that surprises as often as it entertains, assuming you can stand Tony Scott's never-stand-still direction.

Will Smith plays hot-shot attorney Robert Dean, chasing mobster Pintero (Tom Sizemore) and unaware of the politically motivated murder of a congressman, instigated by shady politician Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight). But after a video of the murder is discovered, Reynolds sends his NSA guys after the tape which finds itself in Dean's unknowing possession. Soon, Dean's life falls apart and he finds himself chased by government agents wherever he goes. But as he desperately tries to discover why this is happening to him, his only hope lies with a shadowy individual known as Brill (Gene Hackman)...

The first thing that surprises you is that despite the director of "Top Gun" at the helm, this is a brilliantly written and thought-provoking thriller that doesn't patronise you with techno-jargon. The second thing that surprises you is the quality and depth of the acting - stars like Jack Black, Seth Green and Scott Caan pop up in the casting but all actors deserve praise as everyone is convincing. But the most surprising thing is how under-rated this film is. This film grips like a pair of Michelins and offers something more than your usual Jerry Bruckheimer helping of explosions and cool styling yet nobody seems to be talking about this like they should. There is a slight sense that this sort of stuff is out-dated these days as technology continues its relentless advance and the numerous gaffes about map coordinates and the accuracy of spy satellites may damage this films credibility somewhat but by and large, this is a quality film.

Maybe I'm being harsh on Tony Scott - I'm a huge fan of his brother Ridley, though - because this film would be a fine addition to any directors CV. "Enemy Of The State" remains a class above most action thrillers, feeling more like "The Fugitive" than "The Running Man" which can only be a good thing. It's also good to see a modern film with Gene Hackman in, before his self-imposed retirement and we can only hope he changes his mind soon because he is a genuine Hollywood icon. In the meantime, enjoy a movie that thrills and excites but also makes you think in equal measures.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Quintessential Thriller For the Information Age

8/10
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
1 November 2008

Screenwriter David Marconi uses the thriller milieu to assault an America in which subversive computers tap our phones for trigger words. Will Smith showed early promise as an actor in his lead role as a D.C. lawyer named Robert Dean whose life is ripped apart because he has evidence that a congressman was murdered for going up against a bill that would enable the US government to spy on its citizens. Unrealistically, the noble congressman is mentioned as a Republican.

It's not the government that is the enemy, the script contends, so much as officials and bureaucrats who exploit the power of their positions to increase their own ends and cover their footprints. Jon Voight's murderous NSA official is actually acting in his own personal interest, doing anything he has to do to get a communications bill passed that will make his job easier and more lucrative. He has the congressman murdered because he's the crucial opponent. Everything else unfolds from the murder conspiracy.

This, the quintessential thriller for the information age, was directed by Tony Scott, who films technology the only way that doesn't diminish the charm of the film. As Will Smith's Robert Dean ducks through Washington, struggling desperately to decipher his sudden assailants, the story is unraveled before us with video recording from spy satellites, surveillance cameras, audio devices, bugs, wiretaps and other such domestic gadgets. As with nearly every Tony Scott film, no shot seems to last more than two or three seconds.

This enormously entertaining spy film is as briskly paced as one could ever expect, gathering around two hyperkinetic chase sequences, and coming to a head in a cunning deception that initiates a signature Tony Scott sense-bashing, ultraviolent shootout. Though the double- cross is clever and the gunfight is extremely intense, the situation borders dangerously nearby ludicrous, for a film that has made such an effort to be taken seriously. In its action and violence it is in too much of a rush to be much of a character film, but then that complements its paranoia.

On the whole, it succeeds. Aside from its central characters, Enemy of the State seems crowded with stars who, at the time, had yet to be stars, playing bit roles of all kinds: Seth Green, Jack Black, Jason Lee, Jamie Kennedy, James LeGros, Jake Busey, and Scott Caan, and fleeting roles by established stars like Gabriel Byrne, Jason Robards, Lisa Bonet and Stuart Wilson. Will Smith is sincere and human as a virtuous lawyer who is sucker-punched by the abused muscle of the nation. Gene Hackman, as I am coming to realize is his secret to such consistently persuasive and charismatic performances, feels outright doubtless of every line of dialogue and every nuanced action. Voight's bureaucrat seems firm in his mind that his work by some means transcends the law, resounding the true echo of more or less the entirety of neo-Conservative politicians in America. "We are at war 24 hours a day!" "You think we're the end of democracy? I think we're democracy's last hope!"

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie!

10/10
Author: from United States
29 August 2006

This was simply an unbelievable movie. From start, to finish, you will be held on the edge of your seat. Fast paced, and action packed, yet still with plenty of depth, plot, storyline, and suspense, this is likely one of my favorites. Will Smith does a great job in this movie, as does Gene Hackman. This film and the messages in it are far more relevant today than ever before.. and should be seen by everyone. How this movie managed to pull in a 7, while Dickie Roberts pulled in a 5-6 is simply unbelievable to me as well. This movie is severely underrated, and I highly recommend it to everyone. I don't know a single person who has seen this movie and didn't enjoy it. Two thumbs up!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining and fast-paced

7/10
Author: Mattias Petersson from Stockholm, Sweden
14 August 2006

When it comes to paranoia-thrillers there is a lot to live up to. In the days of the cold war these kinds of movies came in droves. There were communists, UFO:s and strange government agencies on every corner. This is very much an update of that classic genre, and a good update to boot.

Will Smith is the somewhat controversial but successful young lawyer that gets drawn into controversy by accident. Soon the Orwellian American government is chasing him with every means available to them. Including groups of seemingly cloned agents, satellites, helicopters and every kind of surveillance you can think of.

What makes this movie work is undeniably it's pace. This is a real neck-breaker almost all the way through. Sure, believability suffers sometimes (not least in the end without revealing too much) but this can easily be forgiven since this is such an entertaining ride. The mix is also given extra flavor by the use of a bunch of good actors. Gene Hackman, Jon Voight and Will Smith all do good work.

Whether this is a good commentary on the increasing surveillance we face in our everyday life i won't say. I recommend instead that you watch this because it's a thrilling and fast-paced thriller that entertains the whole running time. 7/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Pulsating Action Thriller.

9/10
Author: GameOvais from Bimringham, United Kingdom
4 May 2006

I have seen EOS 3 times now, I watched it last night and enjoyed it more than I did before.

EOS is simply a riveting action thriller which goes at the speed of light. It is the best part of a decade since the movie came out, but if even half of what we saw in EOS is to believed then it is frightening to think of what technology is out there today and what it is used for.

The acting led by Will Smith, Jon Voight and Gene Hackman is top notch. The action scenes are roller coaster like and the climax of the movie is one of the best for an action that I have seen.

All in all EOS is a thought provoking action thriller, a very good one at that.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

10/10

Author: loi7 from Wyoming
28 October 2001

This has to be one of the best movies I have ever seen. Certainly one of the best, if not the best movie of the 90's, along with Office Space, Jurassic Park, and Terminator 2, to name a few. Though I want to make one thing clear, I am NOT a Will Smith fan. A lot of reviewers go on about how they love Will Smith, and saw the movie just for him. Will Smith is a good actor, but a lot of things he does simply suck. I feel he has made some of the worst music ever created, and has done some very bad movies and TV Shows (Fresh Prince of Bel Air...that show makes me vomit). Now that I have made this clear, I can go on with the review.

Though, as unfond of Will Smith as I can be, I have no problem with his performance here. I actually think he does a terrific job, as he does in Indepedence Day, but other than that, well, you get it. Gene Hackman also does an outstanding job as does everyone else. The acting in this movie is great.

The storyline in this movie is as far as I can tell, pretty original. But I'm sure someone somewhere knows about a movie that they "totally ripped off", as it seems it is the same situation with every movie. But whatever, it doesn't matter. The storyline is so compelling it will get you absolutely stuck in it. Irrisistable.

All in all, this movie is fantastic. Great chase scenes, and an incredible ending. This is one of my all time favorites, and everyone should rent this movie and see if they like it. And remember, there watching you...(it's cheesy, but since almost every reviewer has done I felt the need to include it.)

10/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Whoah, great surprise

9/10
Author: Breydel from Mol, Belgium
20 May 2000

Enemy Of The State is a great movie. I rented the VHS today with the intention to get a mediocre action movie but I was pleasantly surprised. I never liked Gene Hackman's acting much but I think he performed one of his best in this movie. Will Smith on the contrary felt a bit misplaced in this role. He truly shined in Bad Boys which is in my top 3 favorite movies of all time but here he didn't seem to fit in much. Thumps up as well for the woman who acted Smith's wife in this movie. The scene where she and Smith were arguing was very well done. And last but not least John Voight was a great bad guy as usual but he will never be as good again (at least for me) as his performance of the blind man in U Turn. That was truly superb.

As for the rest of Enemy o/t State I really liked the way the movie evolved towards the end. I must have thought about 3 or 4 times "this is it, they're going to get the bad guys and the movie is over" but something unexpected always happened and made the movie go on. Something I've never seen in a Hollywood action movie before which I can only applaud for.

Also the guy who played the character that gets killed in the very beginning of the movie is a great actor. I just can't find or remember his name but I've seen him in a lot of other movies. It does surprise me however that he signed to play such a small role in this movie since he's among the big stars in Hollywood.

All things together the movie was a great enjoyment. I rated it 8/10 which is certainly not bad on my action movie scale. A recommendation for every fan of the action or thriller genre.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Surpisingly good

8/10
Author: Joe Morris (joeydvdmo@aol.com) from Hazlet, New Jersey
11 April 2000

Enemy of the State stars Will Smith as a normal guy, with a normal job. Then one day a friend from college comes and sticks evidence in Smith's bag. This is leading to a murder, by a muli-millionaire. So then the people who work for the millionaire, try to do anything they can, to get that from Smith's bag. Along the way Smith meets up with Gene Hackman, who helps Smith along the way.

Suprisingly good pyschological thriller, has Smith and Hackman in good roles. Very intelligent, and smart at times, although in my opinion their were to many endings. Also starring John Voight.

***

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