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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat & Mouse suspense ... all too possible in real life
This film took a little time to take off in the beginning, but it was necessary to stage the action that would come later.

The movie opens with a powerful politician, played by John Voight, killing another politician who refuses to support a bill that would allow spying into people's lives to protect the country. That killing is caught on tape and the tape...
Published on 23 Jan. 2008 by Mary Chrapliwy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly silly but pretty watchable thriller
Vaguely Hitchcokian with a nod to Gene Hackmans previous role in The Conversation, Enemy of the State is a slick enjoyable paranoid conspiracy thriller that in some ways is more credible now then it was in when it was made. However it's let downby a rather simplistic clunky script that isn't as clever as it thinks it is - though the breakneck pace helps cover some of...
Published 1 month ago by Lendrick


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat & Mouse suspense ... all too possible in real life, 23 Jan. 2008
By 
Mary Chrapliwy (NJ, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This film took a little time to take off in the beginning, but it was necessary to stage the action that would come later.

The movie opens with a powerful politician, played by John Voight, killing another politician who refuses to support a bill that would allow spying into people's lives to protect the country. That killing is caught on tape and the tape falls into the hands of a researcher who then slips the tape into a shopping bag carried by Will Smith's character.

From there the action takes off at a breathtaking pace. The parts are flawlessly acted - John Voight is the perfect embodiment of the stereotypical evil politician, Will Smith is the helpless victim, and Gene Hackman is the brilliant strategist who pulls the entire film together. I won't say more as I wouldn't want to spoil the suspense.

The thing about this movie is it seems so terrifyingly real. They show throughout the film, the tracking systems used (satellites and high end computer programs). I found myself thinking about this one for days after seeing it. It made me pause and wonder just how real the scenario could be and what it would mean to the general population.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 25 July 2006
Enemy Of The State is a perfect example of how to pace an intelligent thriller. Right from the off this film is absolutely gripping. The plot is fairly complex yet such is the skill with which this film has been put together that the viewer never gets lost. Early on in the film when Will Smith realises that someone is after him there's a heart in your mouth chase scene that never seems to let up. This is part of the films strength, because the viewer is always aware that Smith is only ever minutes away from being caught. Even when things slow down momentarily to let the viewer catch up with any plot developments there's always an air of menace at what waits around the corner. Smith's performance is excellent and Gene Hackman as always does a sterling job as an ex CIA man. The ending is very nearly a tribute to director Tony Scott's own True Romance. If you like a decent intelligent thriller they don't come any better than this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Paranoia If They're Really After You, 20 July 2001
By A Customer
For all the hi-tech people out there this film is definately for you. The tension is amazing, Will Smith shines in possibly his best role after Men In Black and Jon Voight is on the best bad guys I have ever seen.
The action is great, especially the gun fight at the end, and also the chase near the start of the film with Danny Zavitz being pursued by NSA agents.
Sound wise this is also excellent. The opening credits throw bass at you from every direction. Crank up the volume.
The only reason I am giving this the 4 star treatment is because of the lack of extras, something that is quite usual for a Touchstone Pictures DVD. Not even a trailer. Come on Touchstone, release this again as a Special Edition and add some extras, commentary, trailer, documentary.
All in all a good film for all the Jerry Bruckheimer fans.
Buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Brother Is Watching, 29 Nov. 2001
By 
After a spectacular opening sequence involving sirens, traffic jams, shootouts, tunnels and the Washington DC monument at sunset, Enemy Of the state provides fast paced action throughout, and a worrying plausibility.
Will Smith stars as Robert Dean, a wealthy DC labour lawyer who innocently becomes embroiled in the murder conspiracy of a congressman.
Gene Hackman appears as "Brill", a former NSA agent now working underground for his own personal financial benefit. Brills only friend is a cat, all to similiar to Crimson Tide(the animal being a Jack Russell there). Co stars include John Voight (Roosevelt in Pearl Harbour) who plays Thomas Reynolds, the man behind the conspiracy, and Jack Black from High Fidelity.
Hackman (as he usually does)steals the show as the hot tempered Brill who has been hiding from the world for 20 years. He is completely convincing in every line and action. Voight is also extremely convincing. His character is rigid and emotionless and not only does he play this personality trait well but he also physically moves rigidly as if made out of wood!
When it comes to Will Smith, one has to wonder why anyone would cast a hip-hop star into a tense and by no means funny political thriller. He just doesn't convince me as a successful lawyer who could command a court room hearing. Anyone who saw independence day can expect to see Smith in the same light in this film. He's the innocent bystander who knows nothing at the start and everything at the end.
Enemy of the State is a genuinely excellent film and one of the few i've seen in this Genre that suceeds in being both plausible and entertaining. Its also one of those films that leves you thinking after you've seen it, in this case about what goes on behind the closed doors of the intelligence community and what our taxes are really being spent on.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 April 2009
By 
mr david cairns "wesnut" (kennoway, fife Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enemy Of The State [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I completely agree with the previous reviewer,Enemy of the State is tremendous viewing,with great performances from all.
I have read a lot of reviewers saying that certain blu-ray films should be used as demo,s for the format,well,in my opinion,the blu-ray transfer of Enemy of the State is "up there" with almost any other disc,sharp,and I mean SHARP!!!
I,ve had the standard dvd for quite a while,and I was very pleased with the picture quality,and,if truth be told,I was very dubious whether the blu-ray version would be better quality,how wrong I was,the quality of the blu-ray version is stunning,imo.
If,like me and the previous reviewer,you like this film,you have to buy the blu-ray version,it,s one of the very best examples of the blu-ray format.
Davy,Scotland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good conspiracy thriller, 28 July 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Enemy of the State is a surprisingly good modern conspiracy thriller and one of the few that, for the most part, gets away with its `happy ending' as the tables are turned on the watchers with their own technology. But it's the early sections that impress the most, with Tony Scott embracing the visual possibilities of the plethora of different forms of everyday surveillance without losing sight of his plot. There's little doubt that Hackman's surveillance expert is two-parts The Conversation's Harry Caul a quarter of a century on, a justifiably paranoid watcher living off the net in an almost identical warehouse and cage, but this is much more of a populist entertainment than a character study, so rather than tearing up the floorboards he's more likely to blow up the whole building.

Neither profound nor subtle, it's not quite as superficial as the average blockbuster and is definitely a lot better than it has a right to be. It also boasts a surprisingly large number of unbilled players in its impressive cast, Tom Sizemore, Jason Robards, Seth Green and Philip Baker Hall among them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD but no extras!, 18 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This is a great DVD but lacks the extras. This means there is no in depth analysis of the film by its makers. However this action film (starring Gene Hackman and Will Smith) is one of the most exciting and suspenseful films ever made and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Wish We Had This Stuff, 28 Nov. 2002
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
"Enemy Of The State", is a good piece of entertainment from a duo of filmmakers that have brought many such pieces to the screen. Having said that, if we had 1% of the gee-whiz gadgets that this film had, and they worked with 1% of the efficiency that the film portrays, Osama Bin Laden would have been apprehended before midnight on September 11th. The balance of Al Qaeda would have been rounded up within a day or two. Orwell's vision in, "1984", is tame when compared to the absolute instantaneous control this film portrays the US Government as having over any citizen they pick.
A good story needs good actors and this film has at least a trio of fine performers. Will Smith is a man whose career is still just in the early stages of what should prove to be decades of success, and he already has one Oscar Nomination to his credit, Jon Voight already has an Oscar on his shelf, and one of my favorite actors without condition, Gene Hackman, adds yet another great performance to his resume of films.
There are real government agencies portrayed in the film, but they are portrayed in a science fiction like manner. No film crew is going to get inside of The NSA, and no amount of name dropping of publicly known satellite names, like "Keyhole", make this film's portrayal of data gathering any more believable. The NSA wishes they could do what this film gives them credit for. However if you really want to know what they can and cannot do, there are many very good books that share the little information that is in the public domain. Much of it is dated, but like the first Stealth F117-A fighter, when we (the public) were finally shown the plane, it was already an antique, an incredible and still very useful aircraft, but one that had been around for many, many years, and was already several generations old.
Watch this film for the pace and entertainment of a great chase from beginning to end. Just do not take the technology too seriously, and don't allow it to raise any level of paranoia you may have. One fact about The NSA that has been documented is that they can review less than half of what they collect. This is not due to their competence level, rather the shear volume their systems flag for review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Your Either Incredibly Smart Or Incredibly Stupid", 1 Oct. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Enemy Of The State (Extended Edition DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, PAL
Language: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: 15
Studio: Touchstone
Running Time: 134 minutes

Cast.
Will Smith as Robert Clayton Dean
Gene Hackman as Edward "Brill" Lyle
Jon Voight as Thomas Brian Reynolds
Barry Pepper as David Pratt
Regina King as Carla Dean
Ian Hart as John Bingham
Lisa Bonet as Rachel F. Banks
Jascha Washington as Eric Dean
James LeGros as Jerry Miller
Jake Busey as Krug
Scott Caan as Jones
Jamie Kennedy as Jamie Williams
Jason Lee as Daniel Leon Zavitz
Gabriel Byrne as Fake Brill
Stuart Wilson as Congressman Sam Albert
Jack Black as Fiedler
Anna Gunn as Emily Reynolds
Laura Cayouette as Christa Hawkins
Loren Dean as Loren Hicks
Bodhi Elfman as Van
Dan Butler as NSA Director Admiral Shaffer
Seth Green as Selby (uncredited)
Tom Sizemore as Boss Paulie Pintero (uncredited)
Jason Robards as Congressman Phil Hammersley (uncredited)
Philip Baker Hall as Attorney Mark Silverberg (uncredited)
Brian Markinson as Attorney Brian Blake (uncredited)
Larry King as Himself (uncredited)
Ivana Miličević as Ruby's Sales Clerk

Budget: $90,000,000
Box office: $250,649,836

Trivia.
1)Seth Green, Tom Sizemore & Jason Robards are all uncredited in this movie.
2)Gene Hackman turned down the film several times, but was ultimately convinced to sign on after a phone call by director Tony Scott. Will Smith later signed on at a relative post-Independence Day (1996) bargain price because he wanted to work with Hackman.
3)Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer began developing the story for the film in 1991.
4)Sylvester Stallone was considered for a role.
5)Director Tony Scott initially turned down producer Jerry Bruckheimer's offer to direct the film.
6)George Clooney was considered for the lead role.
7)It's rumoured Gene Hackmans character Brill could actually be an older Harry Caul living under a pseudonym & he even wears the same translucent raincoat worn by Caul in The Conversation.

What's The Story.
Robert Clayton Dean is a successful lawyer who runs into an old college friend who's in a big hurry, Unknown to him, that friend secretly drops a disc & viewer containing footage of a political assassination overseen by the senior advisor to the National Security Agency.

Unfortunately, that politician soon learns what Dean has in his possession & secretly uses the vast resources of the NSA to find, investigate & stop him before he goes public.

Soon, Dean finds himself on the run, with his assests frozen, his loved ones under surveillance as Dean is actively hunted by NSA agents using all the survellience technology they have & the only help Dean has is from a former government operative & surveillance expert named Brill who is his only chance of a way out of this dangerous situation.

Timelord Thoughts.
Enemy of the State is quite a scary movie that plays on our paranoia as it's plot describes anyone with powerful connections can have access to such technology to track down anyone who knows far too much which & expose them to the public which is a scary thought more so of today's technological advancement never mind in 1998 when this film was made.

Will Smith & Gene Hackman deliver two excellent & believable performances, with Smith showing great emotion & believability as Robert Clayton Dean, Smith tones down the comedy & instead allows his character to become fallible & show desperation of being framed becoming the centre of a perilous situation he has no control over, while Gene Hackman gives grit & conviction to his performance as Brill who is cynical & very pessimistic of todays world trusting nobody.

Jon Voight is superb as Thomas Brian Reynolds a cold, calculated, fiendishly clever villain who completely seems to justify his characters motives.

Seth Green, Barry Pepper, Jake Busey & Jack Black get small but important roles as part of Reynolds surveillance crew & all share a bond & great chemistry together bringing moments of much needed humour to a otherwise dark paced thriller.

The late Tony Scott's direction is extremely entertaining, fast paced & intense while the script by David Marconi is fresh & original adding plenty of drama & nerve bitting suspense to the screenplay intercut with the films tension fuelled action sequences.

Overall, Enemy of the State is a gripping suspenseful thriller that's very smart and doesn't dumb down to it's audience, featuring great performances by the entire cast plus a solid script chock full of paranoia & tension by David Marconi which is brought to life by the late Tony Scott's excellent punchy paced direction which makes this action thriller five star unmissable entertainment.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the late Tony Scott's best, 24 Sept. 2013
By 
robert stirling (tarn,s.w.france) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is a forerunner of 24 - Complete Season 1-8 + Redemption (New Packaging) [DVD] in it's hi-tec portrayal of surveilance by the authorities of suspects(innocent or not).
The differance is that the baddies are the manipulaters of the cameras and satellites here,not CTU.
Extremely well done and exciting from start to finish,with superb performances from Smith,Voight and Hackman.

The question I ask is how does one megalomaniacal US politician get control of a whole department specializing in covert operations, with the use of sophisticated equipment, to further his agenda?

Heaven forbid.Thank goodness this is fiction.Or is it?

Highly recommended.
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