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Enemy of the State
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Product Description

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive.

Teaming up once again with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun director Tony Scott demonstrates his glossy style with clever cinematography and breakneck pacing. Will Smith proves that there's more to his success than a brash sense of humor, giving a versatile performance that plausibly illustrates a man cracking under the strain of paranoid turmoil. Hackman steals the show by essentially reprising his role from The Conversation--just imagine his memorable character Harry Caul some 20 years later. Most of all, the film's depiction of high-tech surveillance is highly convincing and dramatically compelling, making this a cautionary tale with more substance than you'd normally expect from a Scott-Bruckheimer action extravaganza. --Jeremy Storey

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive.

Teaming up once again with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun director Tony Scott demonstrates his glossy style with clever cinematography and breakneck pacing. Will Smith proves that there's more to his success than a brash sense of humor, giving a versatile performance that plausibly illustrates a man cracking under the strain of paranoid turmoil. Hackman steals the show by essentially reprising his role from The Conversation--just imagine his memorable character Harry Caul some 20 years later. Most of all, the film's depiction of high-tech surveillance is highly convincing and dramatically compelling, making this a cautionary tale with more substance than you'd normally expect from a Scott-Bruckheimer action extravaganza. --Jeremy Storey

Customer Reviews:

  • Big Brother is Watching You !
    First of all, it reminds you the novel by George Orwell. Although the idea is similar, this movie is great !.. I do not know how many times I watched this movie, but I enjoy everytime I watch it. You never get bored while you are watching as the continous action scenes makes you sit in your chair w/out a pause and they were shot in a perfect way. One of my best in my collection together with Matrix, Thomas Crown Affair, Truman Show, Notting Hill etc....more info
  • VERY GOOD MOVIE
    THIS IS THE TYPE OF MOVIE THAT FILLS IN THE GAPS OF WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN OUR GOVERNMENT. I HAD THE VHS AND I HAD TO HAVE THE DVD. THIS IS A CLASSIC MOVIE....more info
  • "You have something they want!"
    When compared to MAN ON FIRE and DOMINO you have to understand that this is one of those movies where an average joe's life gets flipped upside down when he intercepts very politically, and potientially deadly, threatening materials. The minute we find ourselves plugged into this man's world we are introduced to several people who are keeping tabs on him 24 hours a day. They wait outside in trucks, bugging him, tapping him, questioning him, even picking up satiliete images to pin-point his exact location. It gives an all new meaning to the words "overactive paranoia." But, in DOMINO, it related the most becuase DOMINO, as well, was about someone normal who evoked a change in her boring life. This is the story of a man who didn't ask for his life to be changed. Whihc makes him the perfect everyday hero, in my humble opinion.

    Enjoy!...more info
  • The Cure for the Evasive Number 2
    The formula for any Will Smith movie is to have him say "Damn" every six line of his dialogue and give him really cute humor, no matter what the situation is. This movie was totally unbelievable, honestly. For instance, Big Willie Style running around Metro D.C. in the winter wearing only boxer shorts. Not to mention countless errors both in editing and directing. On to the plot, the entire American government is evil (it can happen), mind you are villains are Jon Voight, who I can swallow as a villain, but Jamie Kennedy, Jack Black, Barry Pepper, Jake Busey and Seth Green?! Is this an action movie or a poor man's Kids in the Hall? Gene Hackman is always good, but I don't even think Lex Luthor can help the Fresh Prince in this over price bucket of trash.

    Hey we should all just get Jiggy with it!!
    ...more info
  • No "Conversation"
    The filmmakers were unwise to make Hackman's character so similar to his earlier role in "The Conversation", as that film is superior to this one in every way. This one's a poor excuse for a thriller. The script's half as clever as it wants to be, and Will Smith's one-liners don't help any. The surveillance technology throughout is more or less magic, doing impossible things with lots of gee-whiz sound effects....more info
  • It could'a been more...
    I love the cast in this film. Hackman and Smith have done some really excellent work. While I generally enjoyed this film for what it was, it could have been much more. I am somehow reminded of "Conspiracy Theory" in that it was a disappointment considering the possibilities it offered. Mostly, the problem is in the basic premise of the story. Any one of thousands of conflicts could have been played out, but instead, we see a personal crime in Voigt's character taken out on an unsuspecting citizen. This may sound minor, but we could have seen a glimpse of some big-brother massacre, and the minor hero who overcomes it. Some of what is offered here makes you wonder (in worried fascination) what is possible, but generally I can say this is NOT a must-see movie. If you saw Conspiracy Theory, don't bother with this one. I give it 3 stars in case you didn't catch Conspiracy Theory, otherwise, 2 stars....more info
  • Enemy of the State
    This movie has a good plot, good actors and overall is entertaining. The only thing in the form of a critique would be that the screenplay writers seemed to want the movie to run into tomorrow. It could have ended much sooner than it did by cutting out some of the scenes that contributed little-to-nothing to the movie. Because of that, when it gets close to the end, you might either already be bored, or on the other hand, happy that the movie is ending soon.
    As I said, good plot, good acting, and screenwriters with an ego....more info
  • Chase film with pretensions.
    'Enemy Of The State' is a mostly enjoyable exercise in 'North By Northwest' Lite. Will Smith is the professional who becomes an innocent on the run from both the bad guys and the Law. The novelty in this case is that both are the same - and when the axis of evil has the resources of the State behind it, the odds are fairly stacked against its enemies. Of course, like Cary Grant in Hitchcock's film, Smith isn't really innocent - though essentially decent and a loving father, he is complacent, arrogant, politically apathetic, and has cheated on his wife. He has an Oedipal problem to work through, having to put a bossy wife-mother in her place and supercede a father figure (Brill). The subsequent peril he undergoes is a purgatorial chastening, a test he must take to prove himself an adequate, trustworthy family man again. Anything that gets in the way - be it the Mob who threaten his client, or the woman he had the affair with - must be removed. It is good to remember this dubiously punitive aspect of the film whenever anyone talks about its liberal paranoia.

    I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I read that certain critics who should know better took the film's 'politics' of paranoia seriously: some even suggesting a family resemblance to Coppola's 'The Conversation' (Gene Hackman plays a similar character in both films), one of the most difficult films in American cinema. 'Enemy' is not difficult or ambiguious or doubting - it knows exactly what it stands for. Unlike Hitchcock, who used his camera to implicate the viewer in his matrices of voyeurism, Scott's camera stands outside the various weapons of surveillance of the film, uncovering, rather than spying; clarifying, rather than obscuring. Unlike Coppola's film, we know from the start who the enemy is and what his weapons are - it's merely a matter of being vigilant and getting rid of him. Yeah right.

    Tony Scott is no more interested in political paranoia than he was in flag-waving or militarism in 'Top Gun'. Both narratives give him a structure within which he can practise his vision of Total Cinema. So the best bits of 'Enemy' are the chases - the splattersome pursuit of Jason Lee; the whole hotel sequence with Hackman, as Smith is sought by increasingly hysterical Feds; and the tunnel run - even if these are more Keystone than Keaton. It is less interesting when people make speeches about privacy, the 'surveillance society' and the connections between the telecommunications industry (whoops!) and the military-industrial-complex (or whatever it is). If I want to know about politics or threats to my civil liberties or Establishment fascism in the US, I'll go to a newspaper, NOT Hollywood. Still, in the 'light' of 'recent events', 'Enemy' has a lot more bite than it used to, with references to both US-backed Afghans and pretzels....more info

  • Enemy of the State
    An earlier Will Smith movie but the first that allowed him out of his "Fresh Prince" role. Loved it when first released and loved it now, essential if one is keeping Will Smith movies. Nice blu ray transfer....more info
  • Quite a surprise -- a must see film
    Didn't expect much from a Will Smith movie for some reason, always thought of him as a bit of a lightweight, so maybe that's why I was amazed at how good, tight, exciting, and disturbing this movie turned out to be, and Will's performance was superb....more info
  • Fantastic Thriller!
    I just finished watching Enemy of the State and I have to tell you that I should have watched it sooner. I love thrillers and this movie hit the right spot. Some great chase scenes but with a good plot which leaves you hanging until the very end. Definitely worth to watch....more info
  • Fast Paced Riveting Thriller
    Director Tony Scott's ENEMY OF THE STATE is an engaging thriller. This film covers territory frequently traversed by Alfred Hitchcock, namely that of "the wrong man" being placed in jeopardy without any plausible explanation. Brilliantly played, Will Smith is that man. This film runs at a breakneck pace as the NSA pursues Smith for something he unwittingly has been handed. Smith eventually becomes teamed with Gene Hackman who plays a former NSA operative on the lamb. Hackman's character here seems based on his character from Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION. Gene Hackman is very good at what he does and he steals this film in the process. The pace is frenetic with the latest high tech surveillance devises including satellite GPS systems tracking Smith and Hackman's every move. The climax is riveting with NSA bad guy Jon Voight and mob boss Tom Sizemore bucking heads. Composer Trevor Rabin's contribution to the score is very effective. Gabriel Byrne has a brief but pivotal scene. This is a good one.
    ...more info
  • Engaging and Riveting Thriller
    Director Tony Scott's ENEMY OF THE STATE is an engaging thriller. This film covers territory frequently traversed by Alfred Hitchcock, namely that of "the wrong man" being placed in jeopardy without any plausible explanation. Brilliantly played, Will Smith is that man. This film runs at a breakneck pace as the NSA pursues Smith for something he unwittingly has been handed. Smith eventually becomes teamed with Gene Hackman who plays former NSA operative on the lamb. Hackman's character here seems based on his character from Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION. Gene Hackman is very good at what he does and he steals this film in the process. The pace is frenetic with the latest high tech surveillance devises including satellite GPS systems tracking Smith and Hackman's every move. The climax is riveting. This is a good one.
    ...more info
  • Solid Action From Tony Scott & Jerry Bruckheimer In A Much Needed Double Dip, But Is This Truly Unrated?
    MOVIE: Enemy of The State is another one of Jerry Bruckheimer's mid 90's action extravaganzas. He reunites with Tony Scott to bring us this action flick about government coverups and how technology is used to basically track every aspect of your life. The movie is about a lawyer who is unwillingly thrown into a wild cat and mouse chase. A congressman is murdered near a reservoir where research is done on migratory geese. So, unknowingly, the whole thing is caught on tape and ends up in the hands of a nerdy and young Jason Lee. He realizes what he has in his possession and during a foot chase he bumps into his old friend played by Will Smith and secretly drops the tape in his bag. Now Will Smith's character is thrown into a world of espionage without knowing why he is being hunted. He meets up with Brill, played by Gene Hackman, an ex NSA agent who ends up helping him. Hackman basically plays a reincarnation of his character in Coppola's The Conversation. The movie is directed at a fast pace by Tony Scott, and it's an overall entertaining action flick. I felt the movie tried to be smarter than it actually was and that the characters were very plain and boring.

    ACTING: I didn't like Hackman in this role, but Will Smith brought some life into the movie. For people who haven't seen the movie in awhile you should check it out to recognize some young faces including Jack Black, Jake Busey, Jaimie Kennedy, Seth Green, and the of course the previously mentioned Jason Lee.

    VIDEO: The great thing about the recent releases of Con Air, Crimson Tide, and Enemy Of The State are the new anamorphic transfers of the films. They are greatly appreciated and are so much better than the old ones. The quality of the transfer has not improved greatly in terms of picture quality, but there is a noticeable difference.

    AUDIO: As for sound we get a very dull Dolby 5.1 mix. All the dialogue is usually center heavy, and rarely does action actually envelope you from the surround speakers. The track is the same from the old release, so it's not the best. There are some scenes with helicopters and some big explosions that utilize the surround speakers well, but overall it's a very dull mix.

    SPECIAL FEATURES: The "making of" featurette was actually more extensive than I was expecting. They talk more about the gadgets used in the film versus the actual movie, but overall I found it to be interesting. All the interviews were done back during the making of the movie and it was a pretty extensive behind the scenes for what the movie is. One thing I found extremely interesting was that they talked about a scene where Will Smith is chased by cars in an underground tunnel in his bathrobe. In reality, the cars didn't fit into the tunnel so they had do take the cars apart and weld them back together in the tunnel. The entire scene was maybe a minute long! I just found it interesting that all that work was done for maybe a blip of action. Anyway, the next featurette is basically some on set footage. Overall the two featurettes do justice for what this movie is.

    BOTTOM LINE: I got confused whether this was indeed an "extended" cut of the film or not. The cover you see on places like Amazon is not the cover that you actually get. The cover of the film is actually labeled "Special Edition", but the menu does indeed say "Unrated Extended Edition". So, I am thoroughly confused. I didn't notice anything noticeably new, and the running times listed are identical between the old disc and the new one. Still, the upgrade is worth it. ...more info
  • A bit much ....
    This movie reminded me of why I don't watch slick, big budget, big star hollywood movies. Slick is the operative word here. Far too slick. The camera work was disractingly slick. There were far too many convenient coincidences to make it believable. As the movie went on, it steadily diverged more and more from reality. If all of these high tech spy tools exist (call me naive, but I doubt it) I doubt they would all have been brought to bear to such a degree on one hapless guy. The NSA geeks sure had hard time catching Smith. That's because, despite all their whiz-bang gizmos, they were mostly a bunch of incompetent oafs. Lots of gratuitous chases were thrown in to wow the audiance. It was hard to get up the mental stamina to follow the plot, since I didn't really care about the fate of the good guys. This just isn't how you pace a movie to artfully develop real suspense. It was quite a disappointment for me....more info
  • a surprising two thumbs up
    when i originally rented it i thought it would be okay to have on as background noise while i did other stuff around the house.

    nope. sat down and was glued to the screen from start to finish. i liked seeing the technology. lol.. unfortunately my perception of this movie and what i got from it was -reasons NOT to have this kind of invasive technology- i think osama bin laden would've gotten further along and even faster if this stuff was really around. (just my humble opinion).

    the two leading actors did fantastic. will smith's character, well i really liked him, and his attitude. and the same for gene hackman. i still pop it in once and a while and think.. i wonder if these "i only think of what i need and want to" people will ever realize how easily and swiftly we can lose our simplest rights. privacy is no big deal. until it's gone....more info
  • Okay for action. Acting not very convincing.
    Ever see a movie that takes you so far that you actually see the characters as someone really talking in front of you? Will Smith, Lisa Bonet and Tom Sizemore (amongst the others), are acting too hard. They weren't convincing enough to make me feel like they were real characters. Again, the action was great. But the acting was contrived and predictable. ...more info
  • Great action
    movie. You are almost tired by the time it is over. All actors were superb. Will Smith is perfect for these types of movies because of his wit and seriousness. He just brings this character to life and we are routing for him until the end....more info
  • Good Action-Suspence movie
    Another greatly produced movie from Jerry Bruckheimer which showcases the talent which Will Smith has not only as a singer but as well as an actor.
    With the addition of the legendery Gene Hackman,the cobination produces great specticale for the audience.With the ever evolving plot in this movie,it will be always interesing to watch time and time again.
    However one minor disadvantage is that the munes of the DVD could have been improved.
    Overall,a great movie to enjoy for evey end of the audience spectrum....more info
  • It exceeds your expectations
    The acting in Enemy of the state is far beyond Ok as you see Will Smith set up the high tension and thrills perfectly. The movie starts out with a little confusement so already I liked it because unlike the movies today I wasn't able to predict a thing. Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family that loves a orginized and free of crime life. turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop where he goes to pick up a gift for his wife. While waiting he's just been had a videotape sliped into his bag containing a congressman's assassination. Right on his back for this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a hostile fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive. Privacy is never certain in this movie and it shows you that it's like that in real life. There's no sign of slowing down until the very end. ...more info
  • Excellent Movie Must See
    It has a great actor like Will Smith, if any one is suspicious of the goverment this will just add fuel to the fire....more info
  • Post 9/11 - Must See Movie
    Wow, I remember seeing this movie a long time ago and didn't really give it much thought. It just seemed like Hollywood hysteria and way out there fiction for the most part. I had forgotten about the movie.

    Recently I was shopping for some DVD's here on Amazon and this movie came up on my recommended list. So I bought a copy and watched it. This movie really freaked me out watching it now in a post 9/11 world. The measures taken by those in power to get what they wanted - "The Telecommunications, Security, and Privacy Act" and dead on similarities of the powers enacted by the "The Patriot Act" should be a wakeup call for everyone. To quote the chairman at the beginning of the movie: "Invasion of privacy is more like it", and he goes on to state: "This bill is not the first step to the surveillance of society, IT IS the surveillance of society"... Of course the government bad guy played by Voight says: "It's just liberal hysteria" The chairman had the good sense to say: "I am not going to sit in congress and pass a bill that allows the government to point a camera and microphone at anything they darn well please!"

    All this is in the opening scenes of this movie. Now I would have given the movie 5 stars, but some of the things are a stretch as far as capabilities and things happening which I won't go into in this review. In this post 9/11 world I feel this movie is dead on relevant and the abilities and power the government has given itself by playing on our fears is unprecedented. This movie should scare and provoke some thought about what we have and are doing to our society today and just what does freedom really mean. This was a ho-hum movie that has become a great movie due to the turn of world events and apparent level of manipulation and terrorizing of society that is happening today.

    Pick up a copy of this movie or pull it off the shelf and watch it today and see if it doesn't open your eyes and give this movie a new edge that it didn't have when it first came out!...more info
  • Great action flick, keeps you on your toes
    Makes you think, too. Maybe "they" aren't so far away from being able to do that...I no longer pick my nose, not even alone in the bathroom....they...might...be....watching......more info
  • An intense 'man on the run' thriller
    Enemy of the State may be the best thriller about an innocent man on the run since the movie version of Mission: Impossible. Admittedly, such movies are largely the same story told over and over again with differing interpretations, but director Tony Scott's retelling is one of the most innovative.

    These movies almost always revolve around a man caught in the grips of some paranoid government agency. This time, it's the audience that needs to be paranoid, because if such a situation ever happens in real life, we are all up the creek. What makes this one so creepy is the fact that some of the technology depicted actually exists.

    The affable Will Smith plays a Washington, DC attorney named Robert Dean. The character is somewhat prone to getting himself into hot water, and when he bumps into an old school chum, he gets some information a federal agency will literally kill to get back. To compound the problem, Dean doesn't even know he possesses such dangerous information. Even when it becomes apparent that some group is after him, as well as his family and friends, he is at first clueless as to what they want and then totally unaware of where what they want is. He's got a definite problem.

    The people out to get him work for the Federal Information Agency, which has managed to link together all of our telecommunications technology. They can tap any type of digital telephone and pager at will. They can instantly pull up records on any citizen. They have installed video cameras everywhere and can tap into most private security cameras. If necessary, they can follow people almost anywhere by calling up any of hundred of satellites spinning around Earth. The agency is truly a nightmare come true.

    What Dean doesn't know he has is a videotape of a murder. The agency has dispatched an uncooperative Congressman and made it look like an accident. The scene was unwittingly recorded by Dean's old friend, who, realizing what he has and being chased by the bad guys, slips it to Dean moments before his own death.

    All of this is done at break neck speed. The movie starts with a bang, and they keep coming until it's over. There is some very fancy camera work and lots of well done special effects. The music is innovative, with a full orchestra playing melodically against an intense electronic theme.

    Will Smith seems to be able to do anything. He has been a TV star. He remains a very successful singer. He's starred in two huge hits, Men in Black and Independence Day. This summer he plays in Wild, Wild West. In Enemy of the State, however, the limits of his acting range are more apparent. It's not because this is any more serious than his other films, but because he is playing against two acting giants, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight. Voight is truly menacing as Thomas Reynolds, the man in the agency behind the murder. Hackman is superb as Edward Lyle, the technological master who is Dean's one chance of survival. Not only have these two been making movies since before Smith was born, they both received Academy award nominations when they were about his age. I do like Smith a great deal, and it is possible that he will turn out to be a late bloomer, much like Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford, who both seemed one- dimensional until they were nearly forty....more info

  • Very good
    US techno-thriller in which successful lawyer Will Smith's life is turned upside down when he somehow gets hold of a tape that shows prominent politician Jon Voight murdering a fellow congressman. Voight and his people find out that Smith has possession of the tape and then set about trying to get the tape back, tracking Smith using the latest surveillance technology including tracers and spy satellites. They also invalidate Smith and his wife's credit cards by computer to make life as difficult for Smith as possible and murder Smith's close friend Lisa Bonet, hoping to frame Smith for her murder in an attempt to discredit him if he were ever to go public with what he knows. Smith goes on the run and eventually teams up with reclusive former National Security Agency employee and technological whiz Gene Hackman and together they try to bring the nefarious Voight and his team down. A pacy conspiracy thriller showing the potential for the abuse of power by those that control the surveillance technology that is supposed to protect us from threats such as terrorism and a timely commentary on the erosion of personal privacy and civil liberties in this day and age. Not a perfect movie because I did not feel that justice had been correctly served by the end of the movie but nonetheless very good....more info
  • The Fresh Prince Has Been A Bad Boy
    It only took me 8 years, but I was finally inspired (by Will Smith recently filming "I Am Legend" right in my neighborhood) to see Enemy of the State. And it was a good 2 hours and 10 minutes of time well spent.

    Will Smith is on a roll...has been on a big screen roll ever since Bad Boys (1995). It seems that he always plays the same character: confident, smart talking, tough, funny. But the redundancy works...every time. It worked in Enemy of the State too.

    Like a lot of other Will Smith movies ("Independence Day", "Men in Black", "I, Robot", "Hitch"), Enemy of the State is a thoroughly entertaining movie that keeps you in your seat. It's got a great story with some great actors.

    And post 9/11, the subject of government surveillance is even more on topic. Can anyone say, "The Patriot Act"?

    Enemy of the State is classified as a thriller. A thriller is supposed to be exciting, full of suspense, intrigue and mystery. Enemy of the State does not disappoint.

    A worthy rental.
    ...more info
  • Excellent movie.
    This is an excellent thriller/drama movie with a very relevant plot for todays society. It may have been far fetched when it was made but it is more of a blue print for todays reality.

    The audio and video transfers are excellent and definitely rate a tier 1 presence for Blu-Ray....more info