Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates

3.9 15
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Cast: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Joseph Fiennes, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz

     
 

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A turning point in 20th century war history is the focus of this fact-based account of the 1942-1943 battle of Stalingrad, in which the Germans were finally defeated by Russian influence -- one of the bloodiest battles in World War II history. The film stars Jude Law as Vassili, a marksman from the Urals who is transported to Stalingrad in 1942, and a master German… See more details below

Overview

A turning point in 20th century war history is the focus of this fact-based account of the 1942-1943 battle of Stalingrad, in which the Germans were finally defeated by Russian influence -- one of the bloodiest battles in World War II history. The film stars Jude Law as Vassili, a marksman from the Urals who is transported to Stalingrad in 1942, and a master German sniper, Major Koenig (Ed Harris). Koenig, an expert German sniper, is determined to eliminate his formidable opponent by any means necessary; meanwhile, Vassili has joined forces with Danilov (Joseph Fiennes), a young Russian political adversary, who is impressed by Vassili's skills and raises his profile in the Soviet Union. Both Vassili and Danilov become involved with Tanya (Rachel Weisz), whose Jewish parents have been captured by the Germans and have forced her to take up with the men on a sniper expedition. Koenig and Vassili begin to develop traps for each other, until fate inevitably must bring the two sharpshooters together. This large-scale production, financed mostly by Teuton companies, also features Bob Hoskins as Nikita Krushchev and Ron Perlman as an aging Russian sniper.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A sober, thoughtful, non-jingoistic World War II movie, Enemy at the Gates views the last century's bloodiest conflict from a different perspective and tells a remarkably absorbing story based on actual people and events. It takes place in 1942 during the siege of Stalingrad, which finds poorly supplied Russian soldiers mounting a valiant defense against relentless and overwhelming Nazi forces. Jude Law stars as a young Russian sniper whose unerring marksmanship claims the lives of innumerable German officers and thus makes him an invaluable asset to the propaganda machine run by Joseph Fiennes. Ed Harris plays a celebrated Nazi officer, also a distinguished marksman, sent to Stalingrad and charged with eliminating the now-legendary Soviet sniper before he can further demoralize the invaders. Writer-director Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Name of the Rose) dramatizes the Russian resistance with a documentarian's zeal, painstakingly noting the privations endured by Stalingrad's defenders. The suspenseful cat-and-mouse game between Law and Harris is skillfully developed, as is a romantic subplot in which Law and Fiennes compete for the affections of gorgeous Rachel Weisz. Enemy at the Gates never flinches when presenting war's horrors, but it acknowledges the essential humanity of the combatants on both sides -- an achievement that makes Annaud's film one of the very best of its type. The DVD edition includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, cast and crew interviews, additional scenes, and theatrical trailers.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
If one thought the backlash against Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan was unwarranted, then it would be best to channel those negative feelings toward Jean-Jacques Annaud's crude, poorly cast World War II drama. Using Ryan as a primer for faux jingoistic wartime clichés, the film never makes the brutality of Stalingrad palpable on any sensible level, merely wallowing in mediocrity from one ill-conceived scene to the next. The casting is equally baffling, with Brits Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes playing Russians and all-American Ed Harris playing a German. The film may have paid off if any actor were properly suited to his role. As it is, the leads are not nearly commanding enough to convince as battle soldiers, and Harris fails to make his ruthless sniper much more than a stock villain. A few scenes have requisite suspense, but are quickly undone by the director's unsteady hand and the silly screenplay, which makes it nearly impossible to comprehend the characters' actions. The movie is reportedly the highest-budgeted European feature in history, due to its lengthy, violent scenes of combat, which also seem directly inspired by Spielberg's picture.
Hollywood Reporter
A considerable achievement, a thinking man's war movie with a more compelling story than that of Saving Private Ryan. Kirk Honeycutt

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/19/2009
UPC:
0097361429144
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Time:
2:11:00

Special Features

Through the Crosshairs; Inside Enemy at the Gates; Deleted scenes; Theatrical trailer HD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Fiennes Danilov
Jude Law Vassili Zaitsev
Rachel Weisz Tania
Bob Hoskins Khrushchev
Ed Harris Konig
Ron Perlman Koulikov
Eva Mattes Mother Filipov
Matthias Habich General von Paulus
Sophie Rois Ludmilla
Mikhail Matveev Vassili's grandfather
Gabriel Marshall-Thompson Sacha

Technical Credits
Jean-Jacques Annaud Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Noëlle Boisson Editor
Peter Chiang Special Effects
Chris Carpenter Sound/Sound Designer
Humphrey Dixon Editor
Robert Fraisse Cinematographer
Gerry Gavigan Asst. Director
Alain Godard Executive Producer,Screenwriter
James Horner Score Composer
John Hubbard Casting
Ros Hubbard Casting
Eddy Joseph Sound/Sound Designer
Wolf Kroeger Production Designer
Steve Lawrence Art Director
Dominic Masters Art Director
Martin Mueller Sound/Sound Designer
John D. Schofield Producer
Alisa Tager Executive Producer
Janty Yates Costumes/Costume Designer

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