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Enemy at the Gates (2001)

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A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.
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3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eva Mattes ...
Sacha Filipov (as Gabriel Marshall-Thomson)
Mario Bandi ...
Hans Martin Stier ...
German NCO (as Clemans Schick)
Mikhail Matveev ...


In World War II, the fall of Stalingrad will mean the collapse of the whole country. The Germans and Russians are fighting over every block, leaving only ruins behind. The Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev stalks the Germans, taking them out one by one, thus hurting the morale of the German troops. The political officer Danilov leads him on, publishing his efforts to give his countrymen some hope. But Vassili eventually start to feel that he can not live up to the expectations on him. He and Danilov fall in love with the same girl, Tanya, a female soldier. From Germany comes the master sniper König to put an end to the extraordinary skilled Russian sniper. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A hero never chooses his destiny. His destiny chooses him. See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic war violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

16 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemigo al acecho  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,033,164 (UK) (16 March 2001)


$51,396,781 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the characters in the film are based on real people. Nikita Khrushchev was indeed a political commissar in the Red Army who popularized and promoted sniper Zaitsev. See more »


In the scene where Vassili shoots the five soldiers, right after Danilov says "Don't shoot, don't shoot, he's looking right at us." You can see a foot moving amongst the dead bodies. The foot moving has a light brown sole, and Vassili's is much darker so it cannot be his foot. See more »


[first lines]
Grandfather: [whispering to boy aiming rifle] I am a stone. I do not move. Very slowly, I put snow in my mouth. Then he won't see my breath. I take my time. I let him come closer. I have only one bullet. I aim at his eye. Very gently, my finger presses on the trigger. I do not tremble. I have no fear. I'm a big boy now. Ready Vassili? Now, Vassili, fire!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are slanted and curved See more »


Referenced in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - Spearhead (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tense war drama that centers the viewer in the German invasion of Stalingrad
5 February 2005 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

I simply want to weigh in with a very positive response to Enemy at the Gates. Taken as a historical drama rather than an attempt to flawlessly depict an historical incident, this is topnotch entertainment. "Enemy" portrays the conflict between a young Russian sniper played by Law and the German sniper (Harris) who is sent to kill him during the German attack on Stalingrad during WWII. Apart from a scene which awkwardly caricatures the Russian field commanders and the occasionally distracting accents, the film successfully immerses the viewer in this tense war drama. Appreciate it it for its tight focus, uncompromising realism, and fine characterizations by the main actors. Research the historical accuracy later, if you must, but don't let it spoil the film.

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