Enemy at the Gates (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Atmospheric and thrilling, Enemy at the Gates gets the look and feel of war right. However, the love story seems out of place.


Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: R (for strong graphic war violence and some sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Alain Godard, Jean-Jacques Annaud
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 14, 2001
Box Office: $50.5M
Runtime:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site

Cast


as Zaitsev

as Danilov

as Konig

as Khrushchev

as Koulikov

as Mother Filipov

as Von Paulus

as Ludmilla

as Volodya

as Red Army General

as German Nomcom

as Grandfather

as Young Vassili

as Comrade in Train

as Fat Colonel

as Aide de Camp

as Blond Captain

as Captain with Lighter

as Stubborn Feldwebel

as Politruk/Sniper

as Russian Noncom

as Political Officer

as Sweating Officer

as Stammering Officer

as Corpse Robber

as Female Russian Typis...

as Paulus' Aide de Camp

as Stealing Photographe...

as Captain at Headquart...

as Russian Lieutenant

as Comrade in Shelter

as Pravda Interviewer

as Izvestija Interviewe...

as Kranaja Zvezda Inter...

as Russian Reporter

as Footsoldier

as Woman Plucking Eyebr...

as Woman Officer

as Athletic Female Snip...

as Politruk

as Politruk

as Politruk

as Politruk

as Politruk

as Junior Politruk

as Senior Politruk

as Russian Trench Offic...

as Russian Officer

as Russian Noncom

as Russian Noncom

as Tchechen Sniper/Snip...

as Gaunt German Prisone...

as Female Russian Radio...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Enemy at the Gates

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (34)

There's never much risk of reality intruding--just a lot of histrionic James Horner music nd plenty of designer stubble on the soldiers' faces.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Set-pieces get you so far (and Annaud delights in blowing this set to pieces), but the script's shortcomings aren't camouflaged by the decision to adopt Home Counties' accents as the film's lingua franca.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's as if an obsessed movie nut had decided to collect every bad war-movie convention on one computer and program it to spit out a script.

Full Review… | September 26, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

more character development and depth would vastly improve this

Full Review… | March 4, 2011
Old School Reviews

Tense and violent WWII movie.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

it could have held back on the parts featuring boredom because they did tend to drag the suspense down a bit

Full Review… | January 9, 2010
7M Pictures

Audience Reviews for Enemy at the Gates

½

Well acted but grim, violent and depressing.

jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

½

I was unaware that this film was based loosely on real soldiers, I had an idea it was close to reality but didn't realise the main characters were real, well Law's character. The film is woven into the intense Battle of Stalingrad and is solely about the duel between one Russian sniper and one German sniper.

I think this films suffers in the same way as some other historic films in the way they add a mushy love story. I can understand why they do this but it really does drag the main premise of the plot down, especially here. The setup is perfect for a real tense nail biter, the setting is a war torn Stalingrad and the effects/location teams have really done their homework here. Creeping in n out of bombed out buildings, masses of rubble, skeletons of buildings adorn the landscapes, bodies strewn around, the whole city is a shell of a former existence, a former life.

Into this land of ruin we have Jude Law as real Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev who is pitted against German sniper (supposedly real) Major Erwin König. When you see either character on screen and lurking about it gets your heart racing, you wanna see what will happen, who will pick off who, predictably we know of course but the atmosphere is cracking. But my previous point, against this we have a droopy love tale which merely offers up sappy forced emotions to try and engage you further. Unfortunately all it does is kinda annoy you because you wanna see sniping action.

Being a film based on sniping and realism don't expect this to be chock full of explosions and mass action. What action there is is naturally slow but nicely nerve racking, well reasonably. It is a bit hokey because we all know damn well the main two won't possibly die until the end yet anyone else is fair game haha sniper fodder.

The film captures the propaganda of the time well, the way the Soviets made Zaitsev a national hero and tried to scare the Germans. Vice versa with the imposing threat of the older German marksman brought in to defeat the Soviet. All roles are played well in the visual sense, what I mean is all the cast look like they belong in this era, especially the drawn gaunt looking Harris. The only issue I had was the fact no one really tried for authentic accents bar Hoskins (looking like an angry Russian Hobbit). Law still has his cockney accent, Fiennes sounds English as does Weisz and Hoskins has a muddled cockney/Russian thing going on...but at least he tries.

I didn't really agree with one action that the director makes Harris's character (König) carry out in the film, a grim scene involving a young boy he trusts. Unsure how accurate that is suppose to be, I dare say its completely crap, they shouldn't really add things like that unless its accurate.

A well paced film that does show the realities of war to a degree if somewhat glorifying or romanticising it a touch. The Russians tend to drink and be generally rowdy when not fighting which doesn't seem too right. Not as epic as the films poster designs make out but still a decent war film focusing on a very good tale. The silent stern cold ruthlessness of Harris as the German sniper stands out for me here, but you still feel for him at the end. After all its war and every man simply does what he needs to do to survive.

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Enemy at the Gates Quotes

– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)

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