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

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Government sponsored technical tricks.

Author: billfitch7 from Australia
25 August 2012

Probably, I have seen this movie before within the intervening 14 years, but I didn't remember it in 2012. There's the rub: the movie was made circa 1998 but what happened three years later?? (Clue: 11th. of September.) I am amused at the fact that I just accept all this technical trickery in 2012, and yes, I can look for any address on this planet by searching with Google Earth in my living room. I don't think it is too far fetched to believe that the US Government (or others) have the abilities of surveillance and control that this movie portrays, and I am slightly amused now that it is probably necessary, and desirable. I don't care - as long as they don't do that to me.

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Taut, intelligent thriller!

Author: Hephzibah Jason
27 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Enemy of the State" puts Will Smith in a classic Hitchcockian situation. He's in the wrong place at the wrong time and nefarious government agents are after him. The electronic hardware they use to track Smith and tear apart his life is frightening. This film might have been an above average thriller, but the introduction of Gene Hackman as a retired agent who helps Smith elevates it to sublime levels. Hackman subtly invokes the character of Harry Caul, the reclusive snoop he portrayed in the 70's classic, "The Conversation". Jon Voight continues his second, or is it the third, career as a villain. Lisa Bonet, who should be making more movies, is fine as a mysterious woman from Smith's past. Regina King provides solid support as Smith's beleaguered spouse. All in all, a classy ride. I give it an 8/10.

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Good movie...not THAT good.

Author: dewdude2112 from United States
15 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Big stars....up-n-comings (Jack Black-lol NOT very good!). Tight script...big action. High Tech. What's not to like? However...the holes are there if you care. Like when his brief case was stolen at the hotel. Maybe in the end, it wouldn't matter...but why not file the report? Look at the security tapes to see who took it? And if I were him..and Gene Hackman gave me the pat down, removing a handful of tech, and told me to bet your sh!t I'd strip! And how the heck did he re-find Gene when he gave him "the toy"?

No movie is perfect...but I hate it when the movie overlooks common, logical actions to serve the plot. And one more thing....

You're being watched right now. :)

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Fun and Entertaining!

Author: g-bodyl from United States
20 December 2011

Enemy of the State is a really fun and entertaining movie. This film is good to watch especially since it comes out in the middle of awards season and people would want to see a film like this. It contains plenty of action and thrilling moments.

The plot could very well be true. It's about how one lawyer accidentally ends up with a government tape and the government is chasing him down in order to get the tape back. Basically, the movie talks about the government spying on people.

The acting is very good. Will Smith proves that he is action star we all like him to be. Gene Hackman is very intense in every scene he's in. Jon Voight also reminded me of his character from the first Mission Impossible which was released two years previously.

Overall, this is a great movie. I would want to watch this again. I rate this film 10/10.

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One of the best action movies because its so seriously funny in places

Author: johnlmodra from SW Victoria Australia
19 November 2011

Edgey, novel and fast moving,full of great original gags around well framed personal and political struggles. A great achievement, the authors hold the accelerator right down well when moving and take it right off to build creative pace for some personal moments. The film is notable for its many well bound creative sequences and screen shots like the incomplete dialogs between Smith and Hackman and the uncertain case for the object of the chase. One of the most convincing and engaging sequences is the rapid and convincing way the team are able to follow the carrier using satellite - mirroring in practice the reality of the extensive future use of GPS, as it develops now.

This film is well worth watching by a wide range of people. For those sensitive to violence and bare body moments there is nothing gratuitous with the normal level of both for that genre . Some of the sexual references are, like the one raised by a child at the end, really funny serious moments. While the orange moggy should take an Oscar for setting one of the unexpected scenes of clever pace craft and character, our little moggy would have done just that bit better lying upside down in Hackmans lap while he set the time bomb off in his own home . What a clever twist (" I told you not to use the phone!")

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One of the best in this genre.

Author: dokha
9 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I gave this movie an 8 not more. it could have been better if not of its flaws. Certain events and characters just seem to appear in the movie spontaneously confusing the viewer by means of clouding the previously clear storyline. I.e Rachel Banks ; in this movie she didn't fit in, i wasn't comfortable with her role, so either the director should disregard the character completely or give it the time and development the role deserves. i the whole movie she appeared like 5 minutes in total and every time i see her i get mentally and logically uncomfotable. how come such a role that has huge impact on the plot appears so little? i hate it when film makers do that! so she died so i thought, OK now ill just enjoy the rest of the movie without the confusion surrounding her (i have no idea how she has any affiliation with the main structure of the plot) so i watch and towards the end pops up another character (mafia boss which i didn't even know existed) without any preface/ pre- familiarization and its not one of those movie twists that explains who he is after a confusing scene. and TBH the whole ending was down right unsuitable for all the work up that preceded it since the beginning. Around the last 25 minutes the movie feels obviously rushed. still i think there is no movie post 2000 in this genre that does it better, this movies has all flavors of thriller and suspense. the part when tony says he sold the tape to the mafia boss, why don't we see that? still most of the flaws is towards the end probably because of this rushed state.

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Big Brotherly State

Author: the_weirdo from India
15 September 2011

Those people who are in the field of IT like me, would definitely wonder at the extent of sophistication in the use of technology in the movie. Just to add a field in the database table, intelligent developers in my team would say - it would take 2 days.Now, tracking every muscle movement of any person in US of A in real time - I am wondering which year we are talking about.They say "Not a single leaf moves without Allah's wish". I might not be sure about that statement, but from movie I can safely say, "Not can a single leaf move, without the NSA's notice." There is nothing great about the plot. One lawyer gets entangled in the affair of the State inadvertently and seeks the help of a proficient ex-Security professional to get out of the mess.

Star of the show is clearly Gene Hackman, without doubt, in this high-profile thriller. Will Smith, as a sometimes-clever-sometimes-stupid lawyer gives a very usual performance. Others are OK.Some of the sequences in this seemingly high-octane thriller might look little far-fetched, but nevertheless it is an enjoyable. And if you really loved the movie, it won't be too difficult to guess your age.Tony Scott (Man on Fire) is known as the master of espionage thrillers, knows quite well how to hook his audience.

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Entertaining enough potboiler

Author: Cheese Hoven from United Kingdom
19 June 2011

There are many references in this film to the 70s paranoia classic "The conversation". This comparison is so unflattering to EOTS that one wonders why the film makers harp on about it so much. If anything it proves the decline in artistry, ambition and intelligence in the intervening decades, a decline which has if anything accelerated since EOTS was made.

A routine and hackneyed plot concerning Will Smith happening upon an incriminating piece of evidence leads to the usual harum scarum chase. Some of the action sequences are well done, but of little originality. Scenes from The Fugitive came to mind at certain points and cab scene with Gabriel Byrne reminded me of a similar one in Marathon Man.

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One of the Best Action films ever!

Author: Gunn from Minnesota
19 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen this film at least 8 times and it just gets better every time, and that's my criteria for a 10. Longevity is the key to a classic film. Take for instance North by Northwest, I saw it in 1959 as a teen and just saw it recently for over the 40th time and it's still as good as it ever was. Enemy of the State is in the same genre and 10 years plus after it was released, it's as great as ever. How can you go wrong with Wil Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight heading a topnotch cast where Gabriel Byrne, Jason Robards and Tom Sizemore play small, but key roles and Jack Black, Barry Pepper, Jake Bussey, Seth Green and Jason Lee are in the supporting cast. The story itself is well written, highly engrossing and superbly directed by Tony Scott. This one has everything a proper action-adventure thriller needs to achieve success and it keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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Fast thriller with privacy at stake

Author: Stampsfightclub from United Kingdom
15 March 2009

A political murder video ends up in lawyer Robert Dean's hands and makes him the target of the NSA The invasion of privacy, the question of politician's concerns, the drive to survive is Tony Scott's crime thriller.

Opening with a controversial political assassination, Enemy of the State is instantly engaging and what follows is an intense and opinionated open plot that makes you wonder about political agendas and the much talked about invasion of privacy.

David Marconi's script investigates the devices used by the NSA to track anybody who's an everybody and the investigation into the lives of the organisation is almost spooky with the technical devices used and the fact that anyone could be listening to your conversation. Whilst many may argue it is obviously sceptical, you cannot help but wonder what happens behind closed doors.

The pace is consistently active with an investigation into the murder of a congressman turning into a thriller and drama once Independence Day actor Will Smith enters. The plot revolves around a man who finds a tape of the murder in his possession and then turning it over to Dean with his awareness. The NSA then track Dean into finding this tape that will unravel their organisation if ever exposed. The chase scenes at the beginning are well handed, maintaining enough realism without diving too far into exaggerated stunts or technical superiority. Dean's story adds drama to the mix with his business dealings with an ex-girlfriend and a struggling home life because of it.

Smith's charm isn't fully active but he gains enough good will and drama to maintain the clueless act of a man who really does not know what is going on. Gene Hackman's Brill is one of the closed off intelligent guys that you have to love. That hard hit business like style with an own agenda and the little cheek the Unforgiven star brings is exquisite.

There are lapses and unrealistic moments. You have to wonder if the NSA could have done more to obtain the tape in a more quicker fashion and the final showdown is an overstretched coincidental mismatch that you have to feel is too finely played, as if it is purposefully played without consideration of realism.

Regardless this 1998 picture is a timeless thriller that generates high drama and tension through a controversial ideology and engaging narrative.

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