Customer Reviews for

Enemy at the Gates

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    5-star opening 20 minutes, 2 stars almost all the rest of it

    The opening sequence is one of the most horrifically realistic ever committed to film - if you didn't know the true story of the battle of Stalingrad, you would think that it was an impossible fiction - e.g., one in two soldiers arriving at the front is given a rifle, and the second man is told to stay behind the first man and pick it up when the first man is shot; or when the KGB sets up a machine gun at the rear of a charge to shoot any Russian soldiers who are forced back by German fire. Sadly, after that astonishing opening the film deteriorates into a 'love triangle in time of war' story, which shows that the producers didn't have the confidence in the real tale. There are other ridiculous scenes, like Bob Hoskins as (a badly cast) Khrushchev telling the officers that he's here to save them - which caused Russian audiences to burst out laughing. There's a question over the historical accuracy of the battle between snipers - the book from which the film was made assumes the story is right, but Beevor, in his book Stalingrad, doubts whether it happened at all. But I'll give the producers tolerance - it might have happened, and it's a fine story. Could have been a great film - but wasn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Trapped In Hollywood Cliches

    Jean-Jacques Annaud directs this movie surrounding true characters and events during the WWII campaign for Stalingrad: the turning point against Germany in the Eastern Front. Jude Law plays Vassily Zaitzev, the legendary Red Army sniper who fought in Stalingrad. Zaitzev was one of the best marksmen in the Red Army and frustrated the German army's morale. The German command in turn sent their own specialized marksman to dispose of Vassily. German Major Konig (Ed Harris) takes the challenge and vows to kill Vassily and bring honor back to the Wermacht. The movie tries to capture the audience into the horrors of Stalingrad but becomes trapped by its own Hollywood style. The characters quickly become two-dimensional stereotypes lost in conventional and predictably boring Hollywood sub-plots canned with the usual cliche dialogue. The love story was unecessary, stereotypical, and just plain irritating. Throughout the movie, the director seemed more interested at making humorous jabs of Soviets and communism instead of emphasizing the dramatic elements of the plot. This undermined the director's attempts at presenting the story as a true drama and instead reduced it to the credibility level of a generic Rambo 3 movie. For a more sober portrayal of this decisive battle and its effects on the human condition, I would recommend the German film 'Stalingrad' instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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