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:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929301683
Original Release:
2001
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:11:00
Sales rank:
10,703

Special Features

Through the Crosshairs; Inside Enemy at the Gates; Additional Scenes; Theatrical Trailer

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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Enemy at the Gates 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether you know the story or not this is a great movie to own. For those that don't know the story line the movie beings in Russia during WWII at the battle of Stalingrad, the movie's main focus is a premier Russian sniper. The conflict begins when the Germans send in their own special sniper. Throughout the movie the two snipers come into many confrontations eventually leading to a final showdown. This is a very dramatic movie filled with lot's, and I mean lots, of action. If you enjoy action movies having to do with WWII or any war for that matter this is the movie for you. This is definaly one for your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie had to be one of my favorites. It told the true story of Stalingrad and of the Russian sniper. The settings were all so realistic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of this movie until my brother rented and I just started watching it because I had just studied th battle of Stalingrad in school. I wathched this movie three times in two days! My favorite character was Sacha, (Gabriel Marshall-Thomson) he was sort of like a double spy and Thomson was great acting in this one. I don't know to what extent how true the love story is though. Rachel Weiz, the character Tania is great in this movie and different from other roles she has been in. It you like true tories and history rent or buy this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellant war movie but the the best war movie. The movie had good action, suspense, and a nice romance to it. The ending was fantastic. It was a bit dull in some parts though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 12 and love this movie. Its a friendship of 2 friend gone to war with the Nazi. Its a GREAT story. Thats all I'll say. You have got to get this movie. Once you get it, you'll love it. I know I did. --Joel (Age 12)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The director, Jean-Jacques Annaud, did a wonderful job of re-creating World War II, the battle of Stalingrad, and bringing it to the movie screen. James Horner did a great job of creating the music that was played in the movie. I recommend getting the ''Enemy at th Gates'' soundtrack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie had me hooked by the first five minutes of it. The action in this movie is very exciting and Jude Law is just awesome. The only reason I gave this movie 4 stars is because it's not the best war movie out there just simply because there was some boring parts in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the worst theater war imaginable between the Soviets and the Nazis, there also happens to be lust, jealousy, love and several other modicums of the human experience. Who knew that could happen in a Communist paradise? I loved the subplot fight of wits between Jude Law and Ed Harris. Ed Harris was deceivingly complex, as I have come to expect.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Wholesome entertainment as you get grasped into the horrors of the second world war manifested in Stalingrad. The portrayal of the soviet ace sniper(played by Jude Law), who is young and well groomed by his father is good. But probably the most matured character in the movie is played by Ed Harris, the character of a crack nazi marksman, cold and calculating, and constantly trying to assess the strategy of his opponent. The movie provides a good clash of two thinking minds each trying to outwit the other. But the gravity of the movie tends to get light when a love triangle between three soviet soldiers emerges. Its a redundant and meaningless episode in an otherwise intense movie. It could have done without the passion and desire of Rachael Weisz coming into prominence.But as a whole, the movie is worth watching and is an excellent portrayal of the absolute cut-throat life of a soviet sniper of the times of second world war.